Kiwi wins maiden Japanese Formula 3 crown, now sets up for November’s Macau GP
New Zealander Nick Cassidy has won the 2015 Japanese Formula 3 championship after sweeping the final round of the season at the Sugo circuit, situated in the town of Murata.
Approaching the weekend, the 2012 Toyota Racing Series (TRS) champion was tied on points with fellow Petronas Team Tom’s driver Kenta Yamashita. But Cassidy would take the pressure in his stride, securing pole position across both qualifying sessions before dominating both races — winning race one by eight seconds, and race two by an even more impressive 19 seconds. He led home GT Academy graduate Lucas Ordonez on both occasions.
Photo / Nick Cassidy
“[I’m] super proud of our performance this weekend. Two poles, two wins, and two fastest laps! The team at Tom’s Racing has done an amazing job all year, and my full respect to Kenta Yamashita who has pushed me all the way — a great driver and team mate,” said Cassidy over social media.
Cassidy’s stint in the Japanese Formula 3 series sees him strengthen his connections with Toyota’s motorsport segment, as well as forge healthy links with Petronas — the chief backers of the Mercedes AMG F1 squad that dominated the 2014 Formula 1 championship, a team that look set to repeat the performance in 2015 with drivers Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg.
Photo / Japanese Formula 3
Cassidy will now turn to his attention to the 62nd annual Macau GP, held on November 13–16. Among his main challengers in the illustrious event will be reigning Macau GP winner Felix Rosenqvist — who was promptly picked up by Italian open-wheel powerhouse Prema Powerteam soon after his 2014 success for their assault on the 2015 European Formula 3 Championship, which Rosenqvist went on to win over the weekend.
The Macau GP holds standing as one of the best ways for young racers to grab international attention, with some of the sport’s most highly regarded names — Ayrton Senna, Michael Schumacher, David Coulthard, and Rickard Rydell included — receiving their big motorsport break after winning the historic race.
Cassidy will also be joined in Macau by numerous other former TRS competitors, including Callum Ilott, Santino Ferrucci, Arjun Maini, Ryan Tveter, Sam MacLeod, and 2014–’15 champion Lance Stroll of Canada.