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.