It’s fair to say that 2018 was an impressive year of results, growth and development for young racer Jake Parsons. The talented Australian not only won the Japanese F3 National Class Championship, but also clinched podiums in both LMP2 and LMP3 endurance races throughout the season, including a dominant victory on his LMP3 debut.
“Last year was definitely a big one on a lot of different levels, but especially my personal progress. I’ve really focused on developing my skill set for the future, and, in particular, my consistency on track. I think that’s one of the biggest steps I’ve taken forward, being able to consistently deliver a performance I’ve been proud of. My lap times, strong results and high start to podium ratios all back up the work I’ve put in, both on and off the circuit,” said Parsons as he prepares for the 2019 season with a very positive mind set. “It gives me a lot of confidence going into the new year, that I can continue to deliver strong results whatever and wherever I am racing.”
The Tokyo based driver has many stand out moments from an action-packed season to draw confidence from heading forwards. Among his personal highlights are going from seventh to first on the opening lap in the LMP3 finale on the brand-new Tianjin circuit, as well as clinching the F3 lap record at Sugo. Another race Parsons is especially proud of was F3 at Motegi, where his consistent race pace was fully evident with 80% of his lap times being within just a tenth of each other.
Speaking about his impressive consistency last year, Parsons explained, “I think making my own performance the primary focus has allowed me to push my own boundaries more. It’s about pushing myself to new levels rather than relying on the competition to push me. Having myself as a constant reference, I’ve found I’ve got better and more consistent results.”
Parsons credits his training, both on and off the track for his impressive results and consistency this season. Though now more sought after and respected, the mental aspect of racing preparation has always featured very heavily and importantly in the Australian stars approach to his career.
“I’ve been working closely with the Smart Mind Institute over the past five years and it all came together to a new level last year, showing in my results, consistency and reliability. I think it’s still an area that’s overlooked and under-rated within the racing industry sadly. You’ll often see drivers have good races then not back it up or start strongly then fall away and vice versa, which is largely down to the mental aspect and just highlights to me how important it is. It’s gradually gaining appreciation and understanding across the board, but it’s still a slow process. Personally, I think my mental approach is one of my biggest strengths, as it’s an area I’ve really focused on and honed over the years and I can really see the benefits I get from it now.”
Parsons is now busy channelling his confidence and mental attitude into building on his positive 2018 season and reaching new heights, keen to maximise the interest his achievements have created both at home and across the globe.
“I’m really looking forward to continuing to develop my racing here in Japan, which has been my home base for two years now. I love living and driving here; the support and respect I receive from the Japanese racing scene is astonishing. I’ve grown so much as a driver here, and I’m excited for what lies ahead.”
“I’ve got a lot of options for 2019, with the scope to race internationally in several different series as well. It’s great to get that kind of recognition, support and interest in what you’re achieving. Right now, we’re analysing the schedules carefully and working on creating the best path forward for my career. I’m continuing to work hard on training, both physically and mentally of course, ready to make 2019 the best year yet once we confirm our plans. Wherever I am racing, it’s my goal to continue taking all I’ve built forward into an even bigger season on a global level. It’s certainly looking very exciting, so watch this space for more news soon.”