Parsons targets Super GT return alongside Mercedes deal
Japan-domiciled Australian racer Jake Parsons will contest the 2021 Super Taikyu season with the 5Zigen team, and is targeting a return to SUPER GT later in the year.
Parsons will share a Mercedes-AMG GT4 in the ST-Z Class of the second-tier Japanese sportscar series with ex-Honda GT500 driver Toshihiro Kaneishi and gentleman racer Ryuichiro Otsuka.
The 26-year-old is also in discussions with teams about making one-off SUPER GT appearances in the second half of the year after losing his seat at the Drago Corse squad.
Parsons contested the full SUPER GT season last year with Drago, sharing the team’s Honda NSX GT3 with owner-driver Ryo Michigami, but the loss of primary sponsor Modulo over the winter forced him to look elsewhere for a drive in 2021.
After holding talks with other GT300 teams, the Melbourne native settled on a return to Super Taikyu, having previously raced in the series in 2019 in a Volkswagen Golf TCR.
It will mark his fifth season of racing in Japan since he moved to the country in 2017 to contest SUPER GT for the first time.
“I’m really excited to be racing in Super Taikyu for 5Zigen this year,” commented Parsons, who will join the team for this weekend’s Fuji Speedway pre-season test. “It’s one of the biggest names in Japanese racing, and it’s really cool that I can be part of their comeback.
“I see this season as the start of a longer-term partnership and I can definitely see potential for the team to grow and expand into other championships in the future.”
5Zigen - pronounced ‘go-zigen’ - was a fixture of Japanese Formula 3000 and Formula Nippon (now Super Formula) throughout the 1990s and through most of the 2000s, winning the teams’ title in 2001.
It also enjoyed a brief spell campaigning Toyota GT500 machinery in what was then known as the All-Japan GT championship in the late 1990s, and took the title in the forerunner to Super Taikyu, the N1 Endurance Series, in 2000 with a Nissan Skyline GT-R.
After a period of inactivity, 5Zigen returned to action in 2019 in Super Taikyu before embarking on a full season last year with its Mercedes, finishing third overall in the ST-X class.
Salo to race alongside son Max in Fuji 24 Hours
Kobayashi to race hydrogen Toyota in Fuji 24 Hours
Toyota has revealed ambitions to switch to liquid hydrogen for its developmental Corolla racer after securing another finish with the car in its second outing in the Fuji 24 Hours last weekend.
Toyota World Rally Championship boss Jari-Matti Latvala believes hydrogen power could be an option for rallying to consider in the future as he prepares to tackle the Fuji 24 Hours this weekend.
Toyota World Rally Championship boss Jari-Matti Latvala will contest next month's Fuji 24 Hours as part of the crew tasked with driving the Japanese marque's hydrogen-powered Corolla.
Nissan has announced it will race a version of its new Z in the Fuji 24 Hours, as it seeks to gather data for the car to be used in other categories.