World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) racer James Nash was back from Sonoma, California for less than a week before repacking his suitcase and flying out to Japan for the next rounds of the series that take place on Sunday 22nd September at Suzuka, the legendary venue that is also the home of the F1 Grand Prix.

James Nash, Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T, Bamboo-Engineering
James Nash, Chevrolet Cruze 1.6T, Bamboo-Engineering

Photo by: Brad Fox

In California, Milton Keynes-based Nash had successfully fought stifling ambient temperatures and personal illness (he picked up a viral infection on the eve of the US race meeting), to score some big Championship points that elevated him to fourth in the overall standings with just three meetings or six races to go.

He also bagged himself two podium finishes in his quest for the WTCC’s Independent driver’s award which means that the former British Independent touring car champion is joint top with Denmark’s Michel Nykjaer in the standings. However, there are now unconfirmed reports that the Dane may have to quit the Championship for financial reasons.

James Nash: “ If it is true that Nykjaer is out of the running then in all honesty I have mixed feelings. He’s been a very tough competitor all season and if I do now go on and win the Independent title I would much rather beat him on track to do so than have him sat on the sidelines watching.”

“Regarding the overall Championship, Yvan Muller has pretty much wrapped up the title for this season but behind him there are five of us close in the battle for runner-up. Whatever happens though I’m determined to keep giving it my best shot and to hopefully get a least another overall race win. It will be fantastic if we can do that. That’s the aim. ”

“I’m looking forward to racing in Japan. I’m told that Sunday’s second race will be the 200th in the Championship so congratulations to Marcello Lotti and all concerned at Eurosport and FIA WTCC for reaching the double-century and also for continuing to make the WTCC such a special series to race in.”

“We’ll be racing on the shorter circuit at Suzuka and not unfortunately the full Grand Prix layout but it is still pretty good and not too dissimilar in fact to Sonoma. My Bamboo Engineering Chevrolet Cruze went well in race one in the US before we lost our way a bit on car set-up for the second. We know now where we went wrong and I’m feeling much better too so there is every reason to believe that we can perform well at Suzuka.”

“At Suzuka of course the ‘works’ RML Chevrolet’s as everywhere will be very tough to beat while on ‘home’ territory, the Honda’s will be extra-strong too. Nykjaer or whoever else might race his Chevrolet will definitely be a factor in Japan and I’m expecting Tom Coronel’s BMW to be back on form as well. It promises to be fun!”

All the action from Suzuka will be broadcast on Eurosport TV or via www.eurosportplayer.co.uk with Qualifying on Saturday and two races on Sunday.

James Nash Racing