Australian rising-star Jake Parsons overcame challenging conditions to take away positive, valuable experience at Sportsland Sugo today, in an eventful round four of the Autobacs Super GT series.
The #26 Taisan SARD Audi R8 V10 driver ran a strong pace during practice, but bad weather created difficulties in qualifying. Following a wet start to the 81-lap race, Parsons took over from teammate Shinnosuke Yamada in 25th place, impressively handling the tricky, constantly changing track conditions to make up several positions in the GT 300 class.
“I had a very eventful stint in the car, with the changeable weather conditions and a lot of lapped traffic. There was a lot of action with the different strategies out there. I’m really happy with how I handled the change to slick tires and moved through the field”, explained the 22-year-old, after surviving a treacherous last lap rain shower to finish in 18th.
The 2014 AsiaCup champion enjoyed racing on the short 3.737km (2.323 mile) Sugo circuit even though it was difficult to overtake, stating that it felt “pretty unique” from other tracks he’d driven on the calendar.
On reaching the halfway point of the Super GT season, Parsons is feeling positive about the progress he’s made so far through his debut year in the ultra-competitive Japanese series.
“I feel like my progress is going very well. I’ve had good speed in the races, and I’ve learned a lot technically about GT cars too. We’re making good advances with the car now, and our pace in the dry was strong this weekend. It’s all about working together as a team to keep moving forward.”
Speaking about the passionate support he’s received from the Super GT fans, the young Aussie racer added, “Thanks to everyone for attending the races and tuning in on TV, it’s great to have your support. I hope you’re all enjoying this journey with me.”
Parsons is now eagerly focused on round five, which sees the series return to Fuji in two weeks. “I’m really looking forward to Fuji, as we’ve got better set-up understanding and an advantage over other tracks, having already raced there. We can take the lessons we’ve learned into this race and have a strong result.”
Round five of the Autobacs Super GT championship takes place at Fuji Raceway on August 5-6.