Australian star Jake Parsons returns to action on one of his most successful circuits this weekend, joining the Jackie Chan DC Racing team for the Asian Le Mans finale at Sepang, Malaysia.
“It’s always exciting to go back to Sepang as it’s played a very significant role in my career, with many of my milestones happening there. Winning my debut International series, AsiaCup, having my debut in Formula Masters, with a pole position and victory, and also my first prototype drive was there too. It has such a strong, positive feel for me, so I’m thrilled to be going there with a team like Jackie Chan DC Racing, as they’ve been a great outfit for many years. I’ve always been very impressed watching them throughout the season and, obviously, how they run at Le Mans 24 hours too. It’s my first time working with the team, but I think we’ll make a strong combination,” explained the 2018 Japanese F3 Champion.
Having sat out the last two rounds of the series, the JCDC Racing team return to the ultra-competitive ALM’s series with a completely new line-up for the 4 Hours of Sepang finale. Parsons reunites with experienced racer James Winslow, with whom he’s enjoyed several endurance class victories over the last year, while South Korean Rick Yoon completes the trio.
“I’m really looking forward to driving with James again, as we’ve had a lot of success together and we’re keen to continue that. He’s such a good, reliable teammate, and we have a good relationship on and off the track, which helps a lot. We often have very similar insight and feedback on the car and the circuit, but we can also learn from each other when we pick up on different things. We have a lot of respect for each other which makes our synergy really strong. I haven’t driven with Rick before, but I’ve heard good things and I’m looking forward to working with him. We should have a strong team and it’s all shaping up to be a good weekend.”
Parsons will be driving the #38 JCDC Ligier JS entry, a chassis he knows well from previous endurance races. “I’ve driven the Ligier several times now, being very competitive in the FRD Championship with wins and pole positions. It will just be a case of dialling in the set-up to Sepang, which I’m sure the team will be on top of and, obviously, I’m looking forward to bringing my own experience of the track too.”
As mentioned above, the 15 turn, 5.543km/3.445mi Hermann Tilke designed Sepang circuit is one of the young Australian driver’s favourite tracks. One he’s particularly looking forward to taking on for the first time in the LMP3 class cars this weekend.
“Sepang is certainly a special place for me, and I’ve done a lot of laps there over the years. It’s got many high-speed areas but, having such unconventional corners, it also requires a technical approach. Heading onto the back straight through turns 13 and 14, you need a perfect balance of speed, aggression and finesse. With a lot of the corners it depends on the car you’re driving whether they’re flat out or not. I’m particularly looking forward to attacking the fast turns five and six in the LMP3 car. The sheer variety of turns at Sepang make it a really interesting and challenging circuit and it’s impossible to have a boring lap here! The whole track provides good opportunities for overtaking, so it should create a really good race.”
Parsons has taken on several last-minute drives for different teams in the past few years and credits his now trademark mental training for helping him adapt to those situations in such impressive and professional style.
“I have a very systematic approach to my preparation, so as long as I get around 24 hours warning, I can adapt to the weekend. I have had less time and still gone on to have a successful event, so I think it’s all down to mental approach and that systematic preparation. I know how to switch on the focus when I need to, turning up to the circuit and getting into the zone. I’m usually more worried about whether my plane can get there in time!”
As he heads to Sepang, Tokyo based Parsons is keen to continue building his experience and success in the LMP3 endurance events, with a clear view of what he wants from the weekend.
“My main goal is to get the best from myself and the car, as it’s my first time at Sepang in the LMP3 class. I know if I focus fully on doing the best I can with the team, then the results will follow, and we can chase the victory. Huge thanks to the Jackie Chan DC Racing team for this opportunity.”
“I’d also like to thank all the amazing fans for their support and messages, it’s always such a special thing to receive. Stay tuned for more news soon on my plans for the season ahead.”