Positive Parsons using mental strength to build on 2018 success

Positive Parsons using mental strength to build on 2018 success

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.”

Parsons goes the distance to end successful year on another high

Parsons goes the distance to end successful year on another high

Jake Parsons wrapped up his 2018 season in typically impressive style with more success this weekend, clinching victory in the Prototype class at the prestigious Gulf 12-hour race. The talented young Australian racer joined forces with James Winslow and Neale Muston to put the Graff Racing LMP3 entry on the top step of the podium at the Yas Marina circuit.

“We had a great time here in Abu Dhabi. It was certainly an eventful weekend; such a lot can happen in 12 hours! To win in my first 12-hour LMP3 race is a fantastic feeling,” explained the 23-year-old.

Although the #4 Graff car qualified in overall pole position unfortunately a late rule change, handicapping prototype cars with an extra minute during pitstops, took them out of contention for the outright win. The team went on to dominate the prototype class, with Parsons enjoying many stand out moments in the Norma M30 chassis.

“Putting the car on pole overall was a major highlight for us of course, then leading every lap in our class to bring it home in the top spot was a brilliant and well-deserved result for all the team. I did four stints in the car, doing maximum drive time of around five hours, and starting each of the six-hour parts of the race. It was a great challenge, with lots happening around me. At one point I was turned around by a GT car, but I managed to keep the momentum going into a 360 spin and not lose too much time!”

Parsons, who also won the Japanese F3 National class championship this year, had never driven for Graff Racing before, but was very impressed with the French team.

“They were a really good team, very welcoming and friendly too, so I thoroughly enjoyed working with them. Max, our engineer, actually helped developed the Norma car that we drove, and he was just a genius. We made some good progress together on the setup and I think that really paid off with the pace we got out of it.”

Tokyo based Parsons has raced several LMP3 events throughout the season and is keen to do more, already confirmed for the Bathurst 12-hour race on February 3rd with M Motorsport.

“I’ve done quite a few LMP3 races now, but I think the Norma M30 chassis is my favourite so far. It’s so consistent, well-balanced and very fast, so I’d love to do more endurance races and hopefully more with the Norma too. My next event is the Bathurst 12 hours in February, which I’m really looking forward to as Mount Panorama is a circuit I know very well and really enjoy racing. I still hold the track’s Formula Ford lap record, so it will be great to do another endurance race there and it’s always nice to come home and race in my own ‘back yard’.”

On seeing the 5.554km/3.451mi, 21-turn Yas Marina F1 circuit for the first time, Parsons admitted that he felt it would also become one of his favourite tracks just from the way the layout worked, and he wasn’t disappointed.

“It was great to drive! It has a bit of everything, huge braking zones, technical areas and opportunities to pass. Definitely a fun circuit and an amazing quality facility in general too, from the track and paddock, right through to the hotel here. It’s just a great place to have a race.”

Heading into the holiday season, Parsons is looking forward to allowing himself a little down time with his family after an intense season. But with motorsport the season never truly ends, so the young Australian still be focusing on his training and preparations for what is going to be another big, exciting season in 2019.

“I’m looking forward to spending some time with my family over the holidays, but I’m still focused on preparing for the challenges ahead. I’ll kick it back a little, but I’m still keeping my foot firmly on the gas as there are lots of things to do to keep moving forward.”

On leaving Abu Dhabi, Parsons added his thanks to everyone who had made the weekend such a success. “I’d like to say a big thank you to all at Graff Racing, and of course my two teammates James and Neale. They drove really well, and we worked well together too, all having flawless, consistent stints to bring home the very best result. A great way to end a great year”

The Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour race takes places at the Mount Panorama Circuit, Bathurst on the 3rd February.

Gulf 12 hour gallery below, click on image to view next:

Parsons joins prestigious Gulf 12 hours field

Parsons joins prestigious Gulf 12 hours field

Australian star Jake Parsons is set to round out his impressive and successful 2018 by competing in the famous Gulf 12 hours endurance race in Abu Dhabi this weekend. The 23-year-old will reunite with the experienced James Winslow to drive in the LMP3 class for Team Graff.

“I’m really looking forward to this weekend at Yas Marina. I’ve driven the Bathurst 12-hour race before and this will be my longest LMP3 event so far. I always see these long-distance races like a journey, as there’s such a lot happens between when we start and finish. I really enjoy that aspect of endurance racing. I’m actually staying at the circuit hotel and, as I’m sitting here looking out on the track, I just can’t wait to get out there now. It’s great being on site, but it’s a bit of a tease too!” explained the young Australian racer.

Alongside winning the Japanese F3 National Championship, Parsons had two impressive outings in the FRD LMP3 China Endurance series this season, driving with Winslow. The pair claimed victory in Parsons debut event, followed up by strong podium finishes, and are now looking forward to teaming up again with successful French team Graff at Abu Dhabi.

“Although I’ve not driven with Graff before, I’ve seen the team compete in many series, including European Le Mans. They’re a very strong, world renowned team, so I’m very excited to work with them for the first time. It’s obviously great to be driving with James [Winslow] again too, as we’ve built up a very solid partnership. We get on well and, as our driving style is very alike, our feedback is often very similar, which is a huge benefit. With the success that we’ve had I can feel confident we’ll be competitive and that we have the right package to have a positive weekend.”

The Yas Marina Formula 1 circuit is a new one for Parsons, who is keen to experience and learn the 5.554km/3.451mi, 21-turn Hermann Tilke designed track’s unique challenges.

“I’ve been watching onboard footage and I’m really excited to drive it after seeing the level it’s at, definitely right up there with the likes of Shanghai and Circuit of the Americas in Houston that I’ve driven before. It doesn’t change my preparation that it’s an F1 track, as knowing it’s a high-level circuit gives you a positive feeling and focus. I can tell already just from the layout that it’s going to be one of my favourite tracks.”

On the back of a season of great success and growth as a driver, Parsons is looking forward to channelling the many skill sets he’s developed into ending the year on a high and building for the new season ahead. 

“My objective is to get myself dialled in and up to speed as quickly as possible, getting the car into a good spot then we can apply the best strategy for the race. I want to get the maximum out of my time in the car and we’re all working together for the best result. There is every indication it is going to be a good weekend. So, I’m feeling pretty good about it all, and genuinely can’t wait to get going now.”

Tokyo based Parsons is especially grateful for the exceptional, loyal and passionate support he’s received this year, adding this message for his fans. “Huge thanks to everyone who has followed me this season, through my progress in Asia and now into my first race in the Middle East. Thank you for all your support. Here’s to another good weekend and being in a great position to keep building and developing my career in 2019.”

The Gulf 12 Hours takes place at Yas Marina circuit, Abu Dhabi on 15-16 December

Parsons impresses on return to China LMP3 series

Parsons impresses on return to China LMP3 series

Australian star Jake Parsons once again impressed in the FRD LMP3 China Endurance Series on the brand new V1 Auto World Tianjin circuit in Beijing this weekend. The 23-year-old, who won on his debut in the series, returned to race alongside British driver James Winslow in Craft-Bamboo Racing #95 Ligier JS.

“I think we can be really happy with how we performed, with two podiums and a fourth position finish. That’s a great take away in itself, but we also managed to finish third in the championship, even though we only did half of the series together,” explained the young racer.

In the opening race, rescheduled from the Zhuhai round, Parsons started from seventh position avoiding the squabbling pack ahead to make a big move into the first corner and come out in the lead. Consistent running from both he and Winslow saw the #95 car round out the podium positions. Teammate Winslow started race two from pole, with the pair clinching second place for a double podium on Saturday.

The final race of the weekend, Tianjin’s feature event, saw Parsons start from second on the grid. Some changes to the car that didn’t quite work out, combined with some eventful action on track, led to the Craft-Bamboo Ligier JS coming home in fourth, enough to secure third in the championship.

“I had such a good time racing with Craft-Bamboo again, it was a lot of fun out there and that move in race one was definitely a personal highlight from the weekend. I’d love to do more races with them and James in the future, as there was such a great atmosphere and synergy within the team and how everyone worked together.”

Parsons, who has taken much more of a technical lead throughout his National class championship winning season in Japanese F3, relished the challenges presented by the brand-new Tianjin facility.

We were the first ever series to race on the circuit, so there were a lot of challenges in setting up the car, but also the track was evolving the whole time too. So, it was largely about adapting to the circuit as it developed. I’m proud of the progress we made, as even the changes that didn’t quite work helped us to learn and adapt. The track itself felt like a mixture of the Toronto and Kuala Lumpur street circuit’s I’ve raced on, with very similar layout and cornering. A lot of the turns had a rather unique edginess to them, rewarding commitment and risk.”

The Tokyo based racer is now channelling the positives from his 2018 season forward into the next stage of his exciting and ever-growing future.

“I’m taking a lot of extra self-belief from this. Not just from being competitive on a brand-new circuit in a less familiar car this weekend, but also from the series in general. Getting three podiums, including a debut victory, and finishing third in the championship is big confidence boost. Both here and in Japanese F3 I’ve developed on so many levels this season. From race craft to technical ability, and much more between, I have a lot to take forward into all I want to achieve across Asian motorsport next year.”

Incredibly grateful to everyone who has supported and helped him this season, from the teams and engineers to all the loyal, passionate fans, Parsons left Beijing by adding, “Huge thanks to everyone at Craft-Bamboo Racing for this opportunity and their support. I’d like to give an extra thanks to James for helping me come into the LMP3 series, it’s been really great working with him. Big thanks to Bruce the engineer too; we became the ‘dream team’! Also, thanks to Smart Mind Institute’s Dave Diggle for his invaluable influence and input throughout the year, and of course to the great JP team supporting me.”

Jake Parsons is currently focused on maximising his options for 2019 and beyond with many interesting and exciting paths ahead. Please stay posted for all the latest news and updates or contact info@jakeparsons.net for more information

Parsons to drive LMP3 China finale on brand new circuit

Parsons to drive LMP3 China finale on brand new circuit

Jake Parsons is reuniting with Craft-Bamboo Racing this weekend to contest the final round of the FRD LMP3 China Endurance Series. The 23-year-old will once again partner experienced British racer James Winslow, who is looking to defend his championship, in the #95 Ligier JS.

“It’s great to be back racing in China and reconnecting with all the team again. We had a really good race last time together, so I think we’ll carry that momentum and positivity, working with each other, into this weekend”, explained the young Australian.

Tokyo based Parsons is thrilled to be returning to the LMP3 series, where he scored an impressive victory alongside Winslow on his debut in September. He’s also excited that LMP3 will be the first race series to compete at the newly built V1 Auto World Tianjin circuit.

I had a walk around the track last night. It has literally just been finished, but the layout looks good, as it’s got a lot of unique corners. There are some really tight sections and some very unconventional shapes in the turns too; it’s got a bit of everything. I think it will be an exciting weekend racing on this kind of layout, because it’s a purpose-built facility but some of it is street circuit, where you’re on part of the highway! So, it will be pretty interesting coping with the different surfaces.

Having already won the Japanese Formula 3 National class championship, Parsons is keen to continue his impressive performances, finishing 2018 on a high. “We have three races here, with the Zhuhai main event being cancelled due to the typhoon. It will be a busy weekend, but I’m really looking forward to getting started now. We’re going to be the first ever people to race on a brand-new circuit. It will be a journey of discovery, but it’s going to be an enjoyable way to finish the season off and will definitely be a memorable weekend.”

The success Parsons has enjoyed across both Japan and China this season continues to build and enhance both his profile and brand throughout the prestigious and fast-growing world of Asian motorsport. His impressive, mature race craft during recent races in China, alongside his Japanese F3 victory, have attracted much attention, acknowledgement and interest from many teams and potential backers, opening up exciting new pathways for 2019.

The final round of the FRD LMP3 China Endurance Series take place at V1 Auto World Tianjin on 10-11 November.

The brand new Tianjin circuit ready for action

The brand new Tianjin circuit ready for action

Champion Parsons ends debut season on a high

Champion Parsons ends debut season on a high

National Class Champion, Jake Parsons, closed out his winning season in typically strong style as the Japanese F3 drew to a close at Fuji International Speedway this weekend. The talented young Australian, driving the Noda Racing Academy car, again showed his impressive race craft, taking the fight to the higher specification Championship Class cars.

“It’s hard to believe the season is over already, it has gone by so fast! We had another good weekend to finish off the year though. I’m especially pleased with the positive input I was able to put into the set-up, as I’ve been learning a lot about the engineering of the car. In race one I came through the field to run in the top ten overall battling hard with the C-Class cars again. Unfortunately, we had a fuel issue that meant I had to pit so we didn’t get the finish we deserved but we were still very happy with our performance. In the final race I was able to show again the consistency that has been a key factor during our season,” explained the 23-year-old.

Tokyo based Parsons took the lead on engineering the #10 car set-up this weekend and was especially proud of the strong pace they showed in the dry conditions.

“This weekend has given me a lot of extra confidence for my next races. Going into the future I know I can rely on myself to be a valuable part of the data and feedback, directing and even leading the set-up now, which is a great skill to have moving forward in my career.”

Parsons has loved racing the formula cars on the Japanese circuits this season, with the iconic and scenic 16 turn, 4.563km/2.835mi Fuji track being no exception.

“I always love the layout here at Fuji, as it’s a challenging circuit but rewarding too. I’m thrilled I was able to be so competitive here in the dry. During the opening laps of the first race I was right up with the pack, battling with them, which was a lot of fun.”

Parsons has been overwhelmed by the incredible support of the Japanese fans this year and would like to show his appreciation to them, the NRA team and everyone who has helped him on his journey this season.

“I’d really like to thank all the fans that came out to support me through the year, you’ve been amazing. It was pretty special to see people waving homemade JP flags today! Thank you all for being part of JP crew, I look forward to bringing you more great results in the future. I also want to give a huge thank you to the Noda Racing Team for growing with me through the season. I think we worked really well together, and it’s been a lot of fun too. Big thanks to the Smart Mind Institute too and the great team I have around me, making it easier for me to do what I do best out on the track.”

On leaving Fuji and reflecting back on his debut F3 season, which has been a big learning curve, Parsons was very positive and excited about what lies ahead now.

“I’ve learned so much from this season. It’s been a really good year of personal progress and I’m just really excited now for the next chapter here in Japan. I’m taking away a lot of new skill sets in my driving and technical knowledge, along with a general confidence in both areas too. That will all help me going forward into 2019 and beyond.”

Parsons looks to end winning season on a high

Parsons looks to end winning season on a high

Having already secured the National Class Championship, Jake Parsons is showing no signs of easing off his impressive 2018 performance as Japanese Formula 3 heads to Fuji International Speedway for the final round this weekend. The talented young Australian is determined to continue getting the best from his distinctively liveried #10 Noda Racing Academy car right to the final flag.

“I’ve been studying some engineering aspects between the races, so my aim this weekend is to really apply that extra knowledge to help me continue pushing the boundaries in my driving and set-up of the F3 car. I want to keep building on the excellent consistency we’ve developed this season and bring home more strong results for the team. It would be great to end the season on a high note with a good finish at Fuji and take that momentum into next year” explained the 23-year-old.

Tokyo based Parsons is looking forward to returning to the stunning foothills of Mount Fuji, with the iconic 16 turn, 4.563km/2.835mi circuit having played a key role in his career.

“I do really enjoy driving at Fuji. I enjoy all the circuits in Japan, but Fuji was the first I drove on when I came out here and where I made my debut race too. I actually drove a road car around the track long before I came out to race in Japan. So, it’s definitely a good feeling to come back here, having achieved my dream of competing, and winning, in Asian motorsport.” 

Having excelled in recent rain affected races, including his best overall result of the season last time out in Sugo, Parsons is fully prepared for whatever the typically uncertain Fuji weather delivers over the weekend.

“It’s forecast to be quite cool, but you never quite know what you’re going to get here. I feel confident whatever conditions we get though, especially as our last few wet races have gone really well. The rain does tend to give us more opportunity to battle with the higher specification Championship cars, as it negates some of their power advantage, but I’m just looking forward to getting out on track and delivering our best result, no matter what the conditions are!”

The final round of the Japanese F3 Championship takes place at Fuji on 13-14 October, supporting the 6 hours of Fuji World Endurance Championship race.

Parsons and NRA clinch National Championship at Sugo

Parsons and NRA clinch National Championship at Sugo

Talented Australian racer Jake Parsons, and his Noda Racing Academy team, clinched the Japanese F3 National Championship in typically impressive style at the Sportsland Sugo circuit this weekend. With the 23-year-old bringing home the distinctively liveried #10 car to its best overall result of the season.

 “The first two races that we did in the dry were really good, both the team and I were very happy with them. The real highlight though was race three where we finished ninth overall, our best finish of the year. I started the race in 14th position, passing two cars into turn one and another on the outside going into the second corner. From there I held off pressure from behind, to settle into a good, consistent rhythm and battle for points with the higher specification Championship class cars. It was quite a chaotic race, but I made the most of the situation. It feels awesome to bring home our best result so far, definitely one of my favourite races of the year,” explained a thrilled Parsons.

The Tokyo based driver’s track record of finishing every race this season on the podium sadly came to an end in race four, with an engine failure preventing the car from reaching the starting grid. But neither the engine failure nor the on-coming typhoon could dampen the team’s spirits.

“I pulled out of the pits and the engine started making a strange noise. The team checked the car over, trying different things to give us every chance of making it to the grid, but sadly it was bigger problem with the engine that couldn’t be fixed. It’s unfortunate, but we’re still really happy with the weekend, as there were so many positives that far outweigh this.”

The changeable conditions made the 3.737km/2.323mi Sugo circuit even more challenging than on the series’ previous visit back in May, though Parsons took it all in his stride with typical mental strength and adaptability.

“We had the car set-up in a much better place than when we last came here, even though we still set a lap record then! It’s difficult to give a direct comparison due to the conditions being so different this time, but we were definitely able to hone the set-up more, which was great. We were really fast in the wet practice on Thursday, then got chance to dial the car into the dry track on Friday, so I was pretty comfortable with whatever conditions the weekend brought. I adapted back to the F3 cars quickly, after my LMP3 drive last week, and my pace in the wet gave me some extra confidence too. So, I was kind of hoping for a wet race, as it adds more variables and opportunity to challenge with C-class cars, and it all came together nicely in that third race.”

Having been presented with the National Class Championship during the weekend, Parsons was keen to thank everyone involved in his success this season.

“It’s been great to work with Noda Racing Academy this year, thanks to all the team for their hard work and support. Also, a big thank you to the F3 Association and Smart Mind Institute. This year, we definitely worked well together as a team and grew a lot too. I especially feel that I’ve developed a lot, honing my skills and taking them to a new level. We’ve achieved some great things together as a team too, with lap records, excellent consistency and some fantastic results amongst the faster C-class cars too. I’m very proud and happy for what we’ve achieved.”

Despite clinching the title, heading into the final round of the season in three weeks, Parsons is still keen to focus on developing both the car and his driving skills, constantly building for the future.

“I’m keen to keep working on my consistency, as I think it’s going to be such a critical factor for my future, and one of my key strengths as a driver. I want to keep improving my knowledge of the F3 car and learning to tune into the Japanese circuits too, building my experience in the formula cars. Every bit of technical knowledge is vital for the next steps in my career.”

The final round of the Japanese F3 Championship takes place at Fuji on 20-21 October.

Parsons keen To Bring Lessons From P3 Win To Sugo

Parsons keen To Bring Lessons From P3 Win To Sugo

After an impressive debut victory in FRD China LMP3, Australian star Jake Parsons is looking forward to continuing his dominant form as the Japanese Formula 3 Championship returns to Sportsland Sugo this weekend. The 23-year-old is keen to put into practice the experience and skills developed during his stint driving in China’s premier prototype series.

“It will be good to get back into the formula car again, especially after such a great time in LMP3. I think I’ll be carrying extra confidence forward, as well as some technical knowledge, from working on the set-up in the P3 car too. Sugo is a good circuit for us too being very technical, which gives us more opportunity to battle among the Championship cars.”

Tokyo based Parsons, goes into round eight of the F3 series having been on the podium in every race he’s contested so far this year, but the #10 Noda Racing Academy driver isn’t feeling any extra pressure to maintain his perfect record.

“It has been a great year, but I wouldn’t say I feel pressure about the success rate. It’s more a feeling of confidence, having it reinforced that what I’m doing is working. So, for me, it’s more about continuing to do what I’m doing and building on that, to grow and develop even further as a driver.”

Round eight will be the Championship’s second race weekend at the challenging 12 turn, 3.737km/2.323mi Sportsland Sugo track, having previously raced here back in May.

“Sugo is a very technical track, and since our last visit I feel that I’ve improved my technical skills a lot, so I should be able to work on the set-up better. That should give me a better chance of running among the C-Class cars too, which is a big goal for this event having scored overall points in Okayama last time out. The circuit’s also quite physical, so my training during the year should also help me maintain my consistency and bring home more strong results.”

As the F3 season enters the final stages, Parsons is determined to continue pushing hard, building the physical and mental strengths and skills needed to take the next steps forward in his career.

“My goal is to keep driving better and push the set-up to new levels, while still being super consistent. I have a lot of internal goals, and I know if I do everything right, the results will follow. The weather is looking pretty mixed this weekend too, so it will be great to get more experience in all track conditions, push as high up the field as possible.”

Round eight of the Japanese F3 Championship takes place at Sugo on 29-30 September.

Jake's Journal - A Winning Culture

Jake's Journal - A Winning Culture

Hey everyone,

Well, it might have been a while since my last journal post, but it’s certainly not because I haven’t had anything to write about! In fact, it’s been an incredible year, summed up by the fact I’ve been on the podium in every race I have contested so far!

I feel like I have really developed and grown as an all-round driver this year, thoroughly enjoying the challenge of running in the Japanese Formula 3 Championship. I’ve learned so much from transitioning and adapting to the differences from last year’s GT car. The formula cars have much more grip and downforce, and a lot less technical assistance too, which really affects the braking zones, so it’s been fun finding and pushing my limits to consistently bring home the best results.

Talking of adapting to new situations, I was delighted to have the opportunity to make my debut in the FRD LMP3 China Endurance series last week, driving alongside James Winslow in the Craft-Bamboo Racing Ligier. It was a fantastic experience, for so many reasons. To claim such a dominant victory in my first ever P3 race was absolutely awesome. But to help the team to their first win of this LMP3 season, and James to his first since a huge, career threatening accident at the beginning of the year, just made it even better. I’d met James during my time racing in AsiaCup, when he was a driver coach, so to be able to claim such a significant win together as teammates four years on, was just brilliant.

James and I connected so well in and out of the car. We were both totally calm and focused before and during the race of course, but afterwards it was all rather overwhelming! Sitting in the driver’s room together, talking through how special it all was got quite emotional to be honest. Definitely a very happy and special moment for us both.

Another added extra from the weekend for me was being able to work with Kogi, my mechanic from AsiaCup and Formula Masters, again. Back then we developed our own way of communicating through the cars, as he didn’t speak English. It seemed to work though as we still had a lot of successes. It was great to finally be able to talk with him properly, as well as work with him again and continue our success together!

I absolutely loved driving the LMP3 car and I’m keen to do more in the future. It’s quite different from the P2 car I drove earlier in the season. The P3 car really liked straight braking and setting up for the exit, going in big on the brake zones. It had similar capabilities to the formula car, because of the corner speeds, but technique wise it had more GT elements. I adapted quickly to the style, but it’s quite a unique car that I’d really like to continue learning about and competing in.

It’s hard to believe that I’ve been living over in Japan for two years. It really does feel like home now. The people are amazing, and the culture is so diverse. Where I live, I have a big park with a shrine on one side, and on the other is Tokyo’s city centre. That just epitomizes the huge contrast that makes Japan so fascinating, and why I love living here. When my Dad visited recently, we went out to Kyoto, which is kind of the ‘Zen’ capital of Japan, with so many temples, castle ruins and significant cultural areas. We visited Nijo Castle which has been a residence of the Tokugawa shogunate, and an imperial palace, before being made a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994. It was a beautiful place, and again highlights the amazing culture and diversity in Japan.

I’m continuing to learn Japanese, which has been challenging but very rewarding too! I’m getting to conversational level, and can talk to fans now, which I love. But I still want to get to a stronger level where I can debrief a full race with my engineers. Hopefully I can reach that by next year, so watch this space!

The car culture here in Japan is just incredible too. It’s so pure, having so many of its own manufacturers, and a totally unique style. There are a couple of places in Tokyo and Yokohama, that are meet up spots, especially on weekends, where people bring their cars. Again, the diversity is huge. A lot of different groups turn up, from European Sports Cars to the JDM tuning cars, with everything in between, right up to a group that have neon on every part of the car possible! There’s always some interesting stuff, and it’s awesome to be part of that car community. I’ll definitely be looking to get more involved when I get myself a car, hopefully next year.

Right now, though, I’m focusing on finishing the season on a strong note and putting myself in the best place to make the right step in my Japanese career next season. Keep posted across my website and social media for all the latest news and updates, and also watch out for some new video uploads too!

Here’s to driving the future.


Parsons victorious on LMP3 debut at Zhuhai

Parsons victorious on LMP3 debut at Zhuhai

Young Australian Jake Parsons had a perfect debut in the FRD LMP3 China Endurance Series, with an impressive win at Zhuhai International Circuit this weekend. The 23-year-old partnered experienced British driver James Winslow to the top step of the podium in the #95 Craft-Bamboo Racing car, during a weather shortened third round of China’s premier prototype series.

“Definitely a great weekend! It was my first time driving with both Craft-Bamboo Racing and alongside James [Winslow]. We started off in a pretty good spot, getting up to speed quickly in the two practice sessions on Friday and refining things going into qualifying. I didn’t quite hook together my perfect lap, but I could feel that the speed was there, and we were shaping up for a really good race. James had an excellent qualifying, so we started off P2, getting a great start and from there we were able to control the race. We had a pretty good gap when I took over the car, so I was able to just focus on my own race and increase the margin by the end to around 9 or 10 seconds. So, we really dominated,” explained Parsons afterwards.

The Tokyo based driver, who is currently racing in the Japanese Formula 3 Championship, took the second stint in the Craft-Bamboo Racing Ligier JS, driving a faultless race to continue his record of finishing on the podium in every race this season.

“The speed and consistency I showed was exactly what I was hoping for, and over the last few laps we were the fastest on the circuit. We were actually one of the last to pit, due to our speed, so didn’t need any alternate strategies or anything. We had a pretty much 50/50 split in the driving and I was really happy with how I handled the car. I had such a great time out there, and taking the chequered flag was an amazing feeling!

Parsons was especially pleased that he could show how much his intense preparation, training and mental strength helps him transition smoothly to different cars and is keen to keep challenging himself with more P3 drives in future.

“The P3 car was different from the formula cars I’m driving this season; the style was a little more like the GT cars I raced last year. I guess, they’re kind of somewhere between the two. I had to maximise the braking zones and exits like in the GT car, and there’s also a lot of power steering, but I dialled in to those really quickly. I’d definitely like to do more P3 racing as it’s a great, fun series and the car was awesome to drive.”

Speaking about racing alongside 35-year-old British driver James Winslow, who is the defending FRD LMP3 champion and has a long list of achievements, Parsons had only praise and respect.

“It was great to race with James, he brought so much experience, as he’s done so much time in the P3 cars. He gave me a lot of insight, so I could get a heads up on what to expect and really maximise our partnership. His experience showed over the weekend, as he drove great, and our synergy was excellent, bringing our performances together to create the perfect result.”

The young Australian was equally delighted by his first time racing with the globally successful Craft-Bamboo Racing team too. “I had a brilliant time working with Craft-Bamboo Racing. They’re such a professional team, being so well managed. Everyone involved is incredibly knowledgeable and the engineer was fantastic. I actually had the mechanic I raced with in Formula Masters back in 2015, where we had a lot of success. So, it was pretty cool to work together again, and continue that success! I’d really love to work with the team again in the future, so fingers crossed for more opportunities ahead.”

Parsons excited for LMP3 challenge at Zhuhai

Parsons excited for LMP3 challenge at Zhuhai

Always keen to keep expanding his racing knowledge and experience, talented Australian driver Jake Parsons is undertaking a new challenge this weekend, joining China’s premier prototype championship, the FRD LMP3 China Endurance Series, for round three at the Zhuhai International Circuit.

“I’m super excited for this weekend, and especially heading back to Zhuhai. It’s been quite a long time since I was there, with my last race being in 2015. I’ve had wins and podiums there, so I’m really looking forward to returning as it is one of my favourite tracks. To go there with a new car and team is a great challenge that I feel I’m well prepared for. I’m feeling very positive and can’t wait to get out on track and dialled in,” explained Parsons.

Running with the renowned and widely successful GT team, Craft-Bamboo, the 23-year-old will race the #95 Ligier JS P3 car, partnering experienced English driver James Winslow in round three of the season. Although he’s not raced in the series before, Parsons is feeling confident heading into the event, carrying forward the knowledge he’s gained from both GT and formula racing. Especially coming off an impressive run in the extreme wet conditions at Okayama in the Japanese F3 series that saw him clinch another two class victories and score points in the overall championship.

“I’ve driven a P2 car and I briefly tested a P3 car last year, which will all help me this weekend. But I think the experience I’ve gained from driving Japanese F3 this season will help me adapt to the Ligier too, as the style of the LMP3 cars is very similar to that of a formula car. I really like the LMP cars, and I think it will be a pretty smooth transition, especially coming out of an intense event last weekend in the formula car. I have a lot of momentum behind me now and I’m ready to jump into this great, new opportunity.”

For Parsons, the 14 turn, 4.319km/2.684 mi circuit is a particular favourite, with good memories of his previous successes at the challenging Chinese track during his 2015 Formula Masters China campaign.

“The layout at Zhuhai is quite interesting because it has so many straights into tight corners, which creates a lot of passing opportunities. That always spices things up, which is great for the drivers and spectators. The combination of high speed and tight corners is always fun, because you’ve really got to commit into the braking zones. That mixed with the good memories it holds, make it a really enjoyable and successful circuit for me.” 

Based in both Hong Kong and Silverstone, the independent Craft-Bamboo team has many years of International motorsport success, priding itself on both driver and car development across a vast range of series.

“I’ve never raced with the Craft-Bamboo team before, but I have a lot of respect for how well they run their programs from my time competing in Asia. They’ve always been very competitive and professional, so I’m really keen to work with them now and hope this can open the door to doing more together in the future.”

Speaking about the young Australian joining the team, Daryll O’Young, director of Craft-Bamboo Racing, added, "We are really excited to have Jake join our line-up for the coming round of LMP3 this weekend in Zhuhai. Although Jake is young, he has a vast amount of experience behind him, so we expect him to adapt to the new car and team quickly. It will be a benefit for Jake to be paired with James Winslow, as James can pass off his LMP3 experience. I expect the two drivers together to get up to speed quickly and be in a position to contend for the win come race day."

Parsons is keen to race alongside his experienced teammate Winslow, having already learned from him during his earlier career.

“I first met James (Winslow) back in 2014, as he was coaching for the AsiaCup when I was champion in the series. So, it will be great to race alongside him, in a peer situation, and I’m sure we’ll be a strong team. James has a lot of experience, so I know I will be able to rely on him and learn a lot from him over the weekend too.”

“I want to show my experience and really own my driving in the P3 this weekend, pushing myself with a great team. If I can do that then I’m sure our results will be strong. Overall, I’m really excited to be back racing in Asia, increasing my time there and building for the future.”

Round three of the FRD LMP3 China Endurance Series take place at Zhuhai International Circuit on 15-16 September.

Parsons winning in the rain at Okayama

Parsons winning in the rain at Okayama

Australian racer Jake Parsons overcame the extreme weather conditions at Okayama to clinch another two national class victories in the Japanese Formula 3 Championship this weekend. As the lingering effects of a recent typhoon took hold, Parsons used his now typical mental tenacity and smart race craft to battle hard on the waterlogged circuit. 

“It’s the first time we’ve had a weekend that’s been totally dominated by the rain like this, but it actually went really well for us. In the opening race we were able to take the fight to the higher specification Championship cars, which we hadn’t quite been able to do in the rain at Fuji. Finishing in 10th position gave us points in the overall championship for the first time this season too, and it’s great to have achieved that at the team’s ‘home’ race track. So, all in all, a great weekend,” explained the 23-year-old.

Driving the distinctively liveried #10 Noda Racing Academy car, Parsons came home 11th in the similarly drenched second race, which was started under the safety car. The worsening weather eventually leading to the third race of the weekend being cancelled. Speaking afterwards, the young Australian star felt particularly pleased with his progress through the challenging wet conditions.

“The spray out on the track was just insane, making the visibility very difficult. It was probably the most significant wet race I’ve done in a formula car, with the level of spray and aquaplaning, especially through the esses section. I’ll definitely remember that race for a long time and take a lot of knowledge from it too.”

Although Tokyo based Parsons hadn’t driven on the 13 turn, 3.703km/2.300mi Okayama circuit in the wet before, the team’s extensive data and experience from their home track helped create a strong baseline setup for Parsons to build on.

“We had a really a good base to begin with and from there I was able to tweak and refine the car to my style and the changing conditions. I feel that my technical ability and awareness is much stronger now, and I’m able to drive the development of the setup much more. Our knowledge and experience here definitely helped us to battle with the C Class cars. The rain probably helped us in some ways too, creating more opportunities, however, there were a lot of pros and cons to the conditions to be honest. I’d say it was our great team work, progress and consistency that made it possible for us to capitalise on the opportunities that presented themselves.”

Given the difficult conditions throughout the weekend, Parsons particularly wanted to thank the loyal fans who endured the weather to offer their incredible support at Okayama. “It is always great to have their support, and especially so through all the rain and delays. You are the best!”

Heading into the closing stages of the 2018 season, the talented Australian is carrying a lot of confidence forward now, taking much from his growing experience and consistency in all conditions.

“Having more wet races under my belt now, I think that the extra confidence from experiencing this weekend will pay dividends in the remainder of the season, and beyond.”

Parsons is now busy putting all his experience into preparing for an exciting opportunity next weekend, as he joins the Craft Bamboo team to race LMP3 at Zhuhai, a track he rates as one of his favourites and is very familiar with, having won there during his Formula Masters season in 2014.

“I’m really excited for the race, as I love experiencing new cars and series. It’s going to be a good one, especially on one of my favourite circuits to drive too.”

Parsons poised for quick Okayama return

Parsons poised for quick Okayama return

As the Japanese Formula 3 Championship returns to the Okayama circuit for the second time this season, Australian driver Jake Parsons is eager to use all the lessons he learned there to continue his impressive form. Coming off another three class victories at the last round, the 23-year-old is also keen to take the fight to the higher specification Championship cars.

“The last round we had at Okayama was really good, so we have a great base from all the data, especially as it’s our ‘home’ circuit. We’ve been working on some developments too, which should give us a better chance at being more competitive with Championship cars. So, we’re really excited to try those and keep pushing our own boundaries.”

Parsons is looking forward to returning to the fast 13 turn, 3.703km/2.300mi Okayama circuit, which used to play host to the F1 Pacific Grand Prix.

“I really like the high-speed sections here, with turn one and two my favourite spot. It’s a bit like Sepang, but the shape and camber are different, making it quite challenging. I always like those high-speed, double turn areas, with quick transitions from one to the next. It’s a fun layout, so I’m keen to get back out there, especially as that’s one of my strongest spots compared to the C Class cars too.”

During the season, Parsons and his Noda Racing Academy team have made strong, positive progress at every round, but the young Australian is still setting more targets for the remaining races this year.

“Consistency has been the big theme for us this year. Our last race weekend was actually our most consistent, so it’s important to keep that going forward. I also want to push my pace more and keep learning about the F3 car, as we’re in a competitive spot but I want to keep stepping that up. I want to optimize everything I can and gain as much knowledge as possible before progressing further into the Japanese motorsport scene. Everything I learn here is a building block to being prepared for the next level, like a university.”

Tokyo based Parsons has been thrilled by the amazing support he’s received from the extremely knowledgeable and passionate fans in Japan over the last two years.

“I hope the fans have enjoyed the journey from last year into this one. Thank you for all your support at each round, as some races can be challenging but it’s always so uplifting to have your support and positivity. I really appreciate that and hope you’re as excited about the future as I am.”

Round seven of the Japanese F3 Championship takes place at Okayama on 8-9 September.

Consistent Parsons keeps that winning feeling at Motegi

Consistent Parsons keeps that winning feeling at Motegi

Jake Parsons continued his impressive run of results in the Japanese Formula 3 Championship, claiming three more class victories in round five at Motegi this weekend. The talented Australian racer produced another strong, consistent performance, which he feels truly highlights his intense levels of preparation and training for this season.

“It was a really good weekend for us, and we were able to show some very strong pace, especially in qualifying. Then during the races, we had exceptional levels of consistency, to the point that my times were within a tenth on each lap in race one. I was really pleased with that as it shows how much my mental training, focus and work with the Smart Mind Institute is enabling me to produce those performances,” explained the 23-year-old.

Driving the uniquely liveried #10 Noda Racing Academy car, Parsons found the layout of the quirky Motegi road course made it more difficult than usual to battle closely with the higher specification Championship cars. “The long straights here made it really tough to get into contention, but I had a particularly good battle towards the end of the final race. We spent at least four or five corners side by side, and switching positions, which was good fun and a great experience too.”

Although the earlier forecast high temperatures weren’t as extreme throughout the weekend, making the addition of the cancelled race from Okayama easier to deal with, Parsons has been focusing particularly hard on his stamina and fitness in order to manage all conditions.

“The weather was actually kind to us for a change! It actually felt more like normal humidity and temperatures, so the stamina demands weren’t as intense as we’d expected. It was quite a comfortable event for me fitness wise, which I think showed in my consistency levels. My training is certainly all coming together nicely, both physically and mentally.”

The Melbourne born driver, who is now based in Tokyo, had previously raced on the challenging 14 turn, 4.8km/2.983mi long Motegi track during his debut season in SuperGT, but was excited to experience how different the circuit was in the formula car.

“The braking zones were the biggest difference. Transitioning into the corners after the braking, and the entry phase is so much higher in the formula car. With so many long straights going into tight corners, this circuit is kind of based around braking, so if you you’re optimizing the brake zones you’re going to be fast. Doing that with ABS and such in the GT car is obviously very different from doing it with none of that in the F3 car. Then of course you have the extra speed from the downforce too, so it’s a very different style of braking. Some corners just became flat out, almost non-existent compared to the GT car. The last corner especially was a lot of fun as you can attack it more.”

Speaking after the three-race event, Parsons was keen to thank his NRA team for their efforts over the weekend. “I’m really grateful to the team, especially as we didn’t have our full crew, but it didn’t make any difference as everyone worked really hard and we performed very strong together.”

The Australian racer also wanted to say a big thank you to the large number of passionate and knowledgeable fans that came out to support him in Motegi.

“I’m really thankful for all the fans. I’m seeing a lot of people I recognise from race to race now, coming up to visit to me with gifts and photos. I appreciate that so much and it feels great to have that genuine support, seeing fans wearing JP hats. Thank you all and I look forward to getting more good results for the JP crew!”

Heading into the next round, back at Okayama, Parsons is looking forward to continuing and building the consistent form and taking more battles to the Championship class cars. “I’m hoping that at Okayama, and Sugo, we can be mix it up and be in contention to challenge for overall points with the C-class cars again.”

Round six of the Japanese F3 Championship takes place at Okayama on 8-9 September.

Parsons prepared to keep the heat on at Motegi

Parsons prepared to keep the heat on at Motegi

Talented racer Jake Parsons is keen to continue his impressive results and progress as Japanese Formula 3 heads to Motegi’s road course for round five of the championship this weekend. With four class victories, and strong performances against the much higher specification Championship class cars, the young Australian has every reason to be feeling confident and positive.

“I’m really excited for this weekend, and particularly keen to keep pushing and battling with the Championship class cars, which I’ve done more and more as the season has progressed. The last few races have been some of my strongest and most consistent, and I really want to continue that trend forward,” explained the 23-year-old.

With early forecasts of extreme temperatures, the addition of the typhoon cancelled race from Okayama to the schedule is sure to make this weekend’s event even more gruelling and demanding, something the #10 Noda Racing Academy driver is taking completely in his stride.

“Coming into Motegi I’ve heard that it’s going to be extremely hot, certainly making it one of the most challenging rounds physically. I’m looking forward to having a strong event though, from practice throughout all three races. The training I’ve been focusing on this year is really paying off, so it’ll be great to put it to the test again here and really go for it, especially with the extra 45-minute endurance race being added from the previous round!”

Having driven and tested at Motegi during his debut season in SuperGT last year, Parsons is keen to return to the challenging 14 turn, 4.8km/2.983mi long track, which is unusual among Japanese circuits for its relative lack of elevation changes.

“I have some expereince at Motegi, but only in the GT car, so I’m looking forward to driving it in the formula car now. It’s quite a quirky circuit, with many long straights and 90-degree, double apex corners, which I find a lot of fun. The stand-out section for me though is towards the end, with four corners together in a short distance as a sequence that all lead into each other. It’s unique to Motegi and is probably the most challenging part of the track, but also the most interesting and rewarding. Overall, the long, fast straights might make it tricky for us against the Championship cars, with their extra straight-line speed, but I really enjoy this track and think I’ll be able to go well here. We just need to keep focusing and building on our momentum and progress.”

Following a large break between races early in the season, the F3 schedule has been much more balanced and continuous over the past two months. Tokyo based Parsons strongly feels this is helping both him, and the team, build and maintain that momentum.

“Having races closer together definitely makes a big difference. When you have such a big break in the schedule, it’s almost like going back into an off-season mentality, as your focus is solely on training away from the track to be better prepared for the next race. But now that the races are close together, you have that race focus and momentum again, continuing to take steps forward, implementing the improvements and developments we make each weekend.”

Both Parsons and his NRA team have been working hard to carry forward the lessons and progress made in each round so far this season, which the Melbourne born racer is especially pleased with.

“We’ve focused a lot on set-up together, and I’m really happy that I’ve developed my technical input and feedback too. I understand more about how the formula car reacts compared to the GT car, and in different situations. My training is also making a big difference, as F3 is much more physically demanding than SuperGT, especially now during the peak of summer in Japan. The key factor is that we’re all seeing the benefits of the hard work, both physically and mentally.”

Alongside getting back out on track, Parsons is also looking forward to seeing as many of the exceptionally knowledgeable and passionate fans at the Motegi circuit as possible. If you’re planning to attend the event, be sure to drop by the pit walk/autograph session early to pick up some cool JP merchandise.

Round five of the Japanese F3 Championship takes place at Twin Ring Motegi on 18-19 August

Parsons shines again as typhoon hits Okayama

Parsons shines again as typhoon hits Okayama

Australian racer Jake Parsons continued his impressive form in the Japanese Formula 3 Championship this weekend, clinching two more class wins during a weather shortened round four at Okayama International Circuit.

“I think the weekend went really well for us. We got to fight with the Championship cars again and brought forward the consistency we started building in Fuji, allowing us to battle in bigger packs all race for the first time this season. It’s always good to be able to challenge throughout the race and keep pushing myself, plus it’s great that we’re continuing to move forward in our progress and development as we planned,” explained the 23-year-old.

Originally scheduled to be the season’s first three race event, high temperatures gave way to an incoming typhoon, leading to Sunday’s action on the 3.703km/2.300mi, 13 turn, Okayama track being cancelled.

“Initially it was super-hot, especially during practice on Friday, hitting around 37 degrees, which caused the track to become quite greasy and tricky to read. Conditions cooled down a lot on Saturday as the typhoon approached, making the track a lot quicker. So, it was easier to set-up and balance the car for qualifying and the two races.”

Speaking more about the Okayama circuit, Tokyo based Parsons added that the long straights made it challenging to pass the higher specification Championship cars.

“The two long straights on either side of the circuit made it difficult for us. I could get up behind the C class cars, but their higher top speeds on those straights made it tough to pass. That’s why I’m so pleased that we managed to stay in the battle and make up positions in both races.”

The #10 Noda Racing Academy driver had high praise for his team as he left Okayama. “Big thanks to the Noda Racing crew who had a great car for me this weekend. It was enjoyable racing with them, especially at their home event. We had a lot of support out there too, it was great to see everyone behind us and I’m just so glad we delivered such good results and racing at our home track.

Heading into round five at Motegi, Parsons is keen to continue his physical and mental preparation, in order to maintain the momentum and progress he and the team have built over the season so far.

“Building on the consistency is so important to us all. I’m producing really consistent times through practice and the race now, so I’m focusing on pushing myself to get the best from my driving and the car every time I’m on the track. My technical knowledge has improved this year, allowing me to race better, make better set-up changes, and understand the small tweaks needed to get the car into the right spot. We got the car set-up really quickly this weekend and could just refine it during qualifying, so we’re looking to build on that at Motegi.”

Round five of the Japanese Formula 3 Championship takes place at Twin Ring Motegi on 18-19 August.

Parsons ready to raise the heat at Okayama

Parsons ready to raise the heat at Okayama

As Japanese Formula 3 heads to the Okayama International Circuit for round four this weekend, Australian star Jake Parsons is feeling confident that his intense preparation, and the lessons he’s learned so far this year, will stand him in good stead for the extra challenges posed by the former Pacific Formula 1 venue.

“This is the first three race round that we’ve done this season. It doesn’t really change the approach that much, but it adds in the extra necessity to keep myself well managed physically across the weekend, especially with the intense temperature and humidity. It’s forecast to be averaging around 35 degrees every day, so it’s definitely going to be very physically demanding with the extra race. But I’m confident and excited that my training, on all levels, will put me in a good position to push hard and bring home more good results for the team,” explained the 23-year-old racer.

The #10 Noda Racing Academy driver knows the tricky 3.703km/2.300mi Okayama track well and believes it will give him a good opportunity to battle among the higher specification Championship cars once again.

“We tested here recently and weren’t too far off the Championship cars pace, so hopefully that will give us the chance to challenge for points. I want to push for good lap times, bring home more strong results and ultimately score some overall points, and that will come from focusing on doing the very best I can.”

Speaking more about the 13-turn track, Tokyo based Parsons added that Okayama rewards commitment and courage. “Turns one and two definitely require some bravery. They’re both high speed, and the second corner especially has a wall very close on the outside too. In testing I was pushing it really hard through there and saw just how essential it is to have the set-up, balance and cornering approach right to get everything out of it. I think our commitment and bravery will pay off in our pursuit of points this weekend.”

Coming off three class wins in the series so far Parsons, who won the 2014 AsiaCup Championship, is rightly proud of how much he’s already learned and developed technically as a driver during his return to formula cars.

“It’s really allowed me to grow further in my understanding of the technical side of racing. Being in F3 kind of takes me back to my formula car roots, so a lot of my responses were instinctive, almost nostalgic even, as I had a lot of data to call upon. But in general, the past two years of racing in Japan have increased my technical knowledge a lot, especially with the diversity of tracks we visit. Going from high speed circuits like Fuji, with its 1km straight, to somewhere more technical like Sugo, really makes you adapt to the polar opposites of racing and how to make sure the set-up works for both.”

With Okayama being the home circuit for his Noda Racing Academy team, the young Australian is keen to bring home his best result of the year so far for the crew.

“We have quite a lot of ‘local’ knowledge about the track from the team data and coming off testing I’m feeling very positive too. So, I’m pretty excited to push hard and crack into the Championship class points, which would be extra special for the team.”

Round four of the Japanese Formula 3 Championship takes place at Okayama International Circuit on 28-29 July.

Parsons shines through the Fuji clouds

Parsons shines through the Fuji clouds

Australian star Jake Parsons overcame changeable conditions to clinch another pair of class wins as the Japanese Formula 3 Championship returned to action at Fuji Speedway this weekend.

“We had a really good weekend, especially with the wide mix of conditions from very wet to totally dry. I think we made a lot of progress in understanding the car, especially from my side, with the different downforce levels in the differing conditions. I feel like I gained a lot of knowledge from that. It was really enjoyable to expereince Fuji in a formula car too. I’ve always loved this circuit, as it’s where I had my first Japanese race. I was actually excited to drive it in the rain for the first time too!” explained the 23-year-old.

Driving the #10 Noda Racing Academy car, Parsons took several stand out moments from the weekend, especially his ever-growing consistency during the second race.

“Running the F3 car in the wet for the first time was definitely quite a stand out for me. But also race two was probably some of the best, consistent driving I’ve done. So, I’m looking forward to continuing that going forwards into Okayama.”

Being such a high-speed track, Parsons was prepared for it to be difficult to challenge amongst the Championship class cars on the 4.563 km/2.835 mi, 16 turn Fuji track, but still managed to mix it up with the higher spec cars.

“The power difference in the C class is quite substantial here, and the downforce, especially in the floor construction, is much more pronounced, giving them a ‘stickiness’ I do not have. But I made really good starts and in the second race I made two passes in the first corner. I was able to stay with the Championship field for longer than I expected and just did my best to maximise the drafting. Everyone was running low downforce which made things harder, but we came very close to scoring points in the Championship field, finishing 11th overall. And we were running around two seconds faster that the National class cars were last year.”

With now typical tenacity and focus, the Tokyo-based racer has been training hard on neck and shoulder strength between races, to cope with the higher corner speeds in the formula cars, following his transition from SuperGT.

“I’ve been working hard since the start of the season, and really noticed the gains in my progress, putting in such a strong performance this weekend. My trainer works with some Super Formula drivers which is helping me get closer to maximising my abilities. We’re definitely on target for the trajectory we’re following and aiming for over the coming years, so I just need to keep working hard on making those gains.”

Moving forward to the next round of the series, Parsons is now keen to take all he’s learned from this weekend into Okayama. “I want to use the expereince, knowledge and consistency I’ve honed here in Fuji to take another step forward.”

Parsons had high praise for his Noda Racing team, who worked with him to develop and adapt the car throughout the weekend, as well as the amazing fans who braved the unpredictable weather.

“It’s great to have such a knowledgeable and positive team, who made great set-up calls and were also willing to listen to my feedback. It’s a great environment to work and learn in. I’d also like to give a big thank you to all the fans who came out too. Lots of people wearing JP hats and coming for photos. I saw some JP flags at the end of the second race too, which was pretty awesome! I really felt the support at Fuji which is nice.”

Jake Parsons would like to thank Noda Racing, Protex, the F3 Association, Smart Mind Institute, Isaratti and his media team, Driving the Future, for all their support in making this exciting and productive year possible.

Round four of the Japanese Formula 3 Championship takes place at Okayama on 28-29 July.

Parsons well prepared for Fuji challenges

Parsons well prepared for Fuji challenges

After a six week break in the calendar, Australian star Jake Parsons is excited to get back behind the wheel this weekend, as the Japanese Formula 3 Championship returns at Fuji Speedway. With two class wins so far this season, the 23-year-old is thoroughly enjoying running in the prestigious and competitive series, having always had it on his career trajectory.

“It’s an awesome thing to be involved in, as I love being part of the racing industry here in Japan. From the impact of the manufacturers to the support of the fans, there’s something very real about it. I’ve had fans follow me from SuperGT into Formula 3 which is a great feeling. So far, the season has been going exactly how we wanted. The deal came together quite late, but from the first round we’ve being building and improving, to the point we were setting lap records at Sugo! Now we want to keep developing and improving on that each time out,” explained the young Aussie racer.

Parsons, who one the 2014 AsiaCup, is hoping to use clever strategy to help him contend amongst the Championship class on the high-speed Fuji track. “The high corners speeds here will make it harder, but we aim to maximise the slipstream to lessen the deficit to the higher spec cars. My main focus is to transition to the circuit over the first few days, as I’ve never raced here in formula cars, then it will be business as usual, pushing the boundaries of myself and the car.”

Now based in Tokyo, Parsons has taken advantage of the long gap between races to target his preparation for round three of the series, both physically and mentally. With his impressive mental strength becoming a real asset to his overall driving.

“I’ve continued to train really hard, concentrating a lot of building strength in my neck and shoulders for the high-speed corners. Sugo was quite a physical track, and I wanted to build from there ready for the challenges Fuji will present. Mentally I’ve been continuing to work with Smart Mind Institute on how I transition from SuperGT into Formula 3 and tackle battling with the Championship cars. It can be hard to judge my performance against them, so it’s important I keep track of my own progress and focus on that.”

Heading to the scenic 16 turn, 4.563km/2.835mi Fuji Speedway circuit, in the foothills of the imposing Mount Fuji, Parsons is looking forward to experiencing how different certain areas are in the formula cars.

“I love racing at Fuji, though I there aren’t really any tracks here that I don’t enjoy! Fuji is definitely up in the top though. I think 100R, the long sweeping right hand turn four, will be quite different, as it definitely wasn’t flat in a GT car, but it will be very close to being so in the formula car. With the downforce and lower weight of the cars, the corners speeds will be much higher too. That will be one the critical features in my transition, allowing myself to maximise the downforce, keeping the flow and momentum, with less need to slow for the corners now.”

The young Australian went on to thank his NODA racing team for their efforts in developing the car together, heading into round three this weekend. “The team have been really diligent, working on things since Sugo to give us the best opportunities to get the outcome we need. I have a lot of trust in the people around me and I’m looking forward to continuing to deliver good results. Huge thanks also to the Formula 3 association for their support and the sponsors for making this great, productive and enjoyable year possible.”

Round three of the Japanese Formula 3 Championship takes place at Fuji Speedway on 7-8 July.