Kiwi hotshot reveals his wild Red Bull-backed Lexus
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To be backed in the world of sport by Red Bull means a bunch of things.
It means that you're the best of the best. You're meant to ooze professionalism, likability, talent. In short, that blue, red, and yellow dumps a lot of pressure to perform on anyone who wears their kit.
And right now, New Zealand has three Kiwis competing on the world motorsport stage in Red Bull colours.
Two of those drivers are household names; defending Supercars Championship winner Shane van Gisbergen and leading drifter Mad Mike Whiddett. And they wear those colours well — van Gisbergen as a current champion, and Whiddett as one of the biggest names in international drifting.
The third name? Nick Cassidy.
After winning the Castrol Toyota Racing Series and F2 midgets, as well as being a front runner in Formula Ford, Cassidy set sail for Europe before eventually nesting with Toyota and Lexus in Japan.
Cassidy's set himself up as one of Toyota's most promising young bucks, particularly after an exceptional debut season last year in the Japanese Autobacs Super GT series, where he was often a threat in the leading GT500 class.
And to acknowledge that pace, he's been shifted into the manufacturer's Red Bull backed KeePer Lexus LC500 — which he will race concurrently alongside racing in Japan's SUPER FORMULA open-wheel class in a Toyota-powered Kondo Racing machine.
The brief rundown on Super GT? Well it's like DTM in Germany, but with race cars that actually carve each other up a bit in the corners. DTM is great, but the racing can occasionally get a bit stale and follow-the-leaderish.
Some of that comes down to how aero-centric the cars are, but a lot of it also comes down to their choice of tyre.
This is where Super GT wins out. Even though the cars are more or less built to the same specifications, what with incredible aero and engine, they're much more entertaining to watch due to their tyre. Add into that equation too the presence of the slower GT300 class, which the leading GT500ists are forced to duck and dive around, and you've got a ripper category.
And Cassidy will be one to watch there this year.