Mark’s Fuji Memories
Of all the venues I’ve been to in the past 20 or so years of racing, Japan has always been a special place to go to. The whole country is crazy for motor sport and embrace us drivers regardless of which team we’re driving for or which country we’re from. The Japanese love Super GT, motor bike races, F1 and endurance racing.
Growing up in Australia I remember watching the Suzuka 8 Hours motorcycle race on TV, as a lot of Australians rode in that race and it was an easy one to follow due to the time difference.
The track in Fuji has a long sportscar racing history with the first races taking place in the 1960s and they hosted the World Sportscar Championship in the early 1980s and have since hosted Super GT races and other categories such as F1 in 2007 and 2008.
I enjoy racing at the Fuji track, it’s a challenging circuit with the traditional long straight. I like the start of the second sector, with a left and then long double right before the hairpin at the back and then into a high speed passage. The last sector is quite a challenge too, it’s tight and twisty, which I actually really like and it suits our 919 very well with the four-wheel drive.
The setting with Mount Fuji in the backdrop is quite spectacular and we always receive a warm welcome from the Japanese fans who know and love their motorsport.
The competition in the last few races has been pretty close and that will be no different in the remaining rounds. There are so many things you have to get right as a team, whether it’s the weather or tyre strategy – you have to be on top of your game. Off the back of the last few races we want to keep the run going with car number 1 and get another nice results in Japan.