“I was obviously very happy to win on my Fuji début in what was only my second sportscar race to keep up a 100% winning record. The team put me out on a set of tyres from qualifying for a single stint in the race and just told me to push hard every lap which is exactly what I did. The track had ‘rubbered’ in more for the race and that combined with the higher track temperatures, helped allay our tyre degradation worries. Jackie Chan DC Racing x JOTA gave Thomas, Stephane and I a great race car.
“I’d never been to Fuji or even Japan before and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience of both. Our aim is obviously to keep the momentum going in to 2018 and capture the title but I’m focussing on each race individually and so long as I come away having done a good job, then I’m satisfied.
“I’m loving the different challenges that I’m facing with racing a sports-prototype compared to a single-seater. For example, the ‘feel’ of the brake pedal is much softer than a Formula 3 car like I’ve been racing for the past two years. The Oreca sportscar has discs made from carbon fibre compared to the steel ones in an F3 car. In the close-cockpit sportscar, I cannot see the front wheels should they ‘lock-up’ under heavy braking, again unlike in an F3 car.
“A normal F3 race is a flat-out ‘sprint’ and lasts around 35mins so I’ve had to adapt my driving style. I could be in the car for over 90mins depending on team strategy and having to ‘manage’ my pace for fuel and tyre reasons in these four-hour races. But it all seems to have fallen into place.”