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.