Well, here we are in 2018 already! I hope you all had a great holiday season, and this new year is a good one for us all. I am feeling very positive about what lies ahead… but more of that later.

As you know, last year was one of huge change and development for me, moving to a new country and culture and, of course, to a new racing series. It was quite a rollercoaster ride at times, but it was awesome being part of, and truly experiencing Super GT. My focus was very much on establishing myself into the series and finding my feet, so to speak. So, I am massively proud of how much I learned and how much I have grown, not only as a driver, but as a person too. I feel these past years have made me stronger, more confident and prepared for the new challenges ahead, ready to make 2018 about advancement and achievement.

It has certainly been a long season, much longer than when I was driving in America. During my time in Pro Mazda, our final race was in September, but this year Super GT didn’t finish until the middle of November! As a result, I hadn’t been able to visit my family back in Australia as much, so coming home for the holidays felt even more special.  

Spending time down in Melbourne with family is a Christmas tradition that I really enjoy, and a wonderful way to unwind after the intense racing season. Especially as I get to hang out with my Grandpa and uncle Greg, who, alongside my Dad, both helped fuel my passion for motorsport. Greg restores old cars, and his yard is full of them – including the old go-kart I used to watch him race when I was just two or three years old! Almost coming full circle, Greg and I actually went karting together out on Phillip Island, which was fantastic fun, and, exactly as you’d expect, ridiculously competitive too!

It really was an awesome way to spend the holidays, and catch up with my family. Like so many top athletes, I know I couldn’t do what I love without their support, and I’m incredibly thankful to them all.

Although I enjoyed my time back in Australia, it was also good to get back here to Japan too, as it’s truly starting to feel like home now. I love it here, and almost feel like a local! I definitely could have done without the ‘welcome back’ magnitude 5 earthquake though. We regularly have tremors, but that is the biggest one I’ve experienced since being here. It certainly got my attention!

The weather was a big change too - going from the hottest day on record in Sydney to snow and minus numbers here, is quite a shock to the system! I actually enjoy the cooler temperatures though, and I’m looking forward to exploring the snowy prefectures (states) as part of my on-going training regime.

Of course, now the holidays are over, I am fully focused on the season ahead, and making the right choices for my career. I’m thrilled that we have a lot of good, strong options to weigh up right now and feel positive about where we are heading. There will be lots of meetings and discussions before we make the right decision for where I need be – advancing and achieving, challenging for victories and championships.

Keep posted on my website and social media for all the latest news and updates, as we’ll have exciting news coming very soon.

Hold tight though guys, as 2018 is going to be a big and fast year….

Jake