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Rossiter looking forward to Japan return

Britain’s James Rossiter didn’t get a proper chance to say goodbye to his fans in Japan when he returned from the country to Europe at the end of 2019. The Team Peugeot TotalEnergies driver is therefore looking forward to making amends at Fuji!

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The 6 Hours of Fuji – Round 5 of the 2022 FIA World Endurance Campionsip (FIA WEC) – will see the former TOM’S and Honda F1 test and development driver James Rossiter take on Toyota (notably) when he defends the colours of France in his Peugeot 9X8 on September 11.


“Japanese motorsport fans are so loyal and respectful,” says the 39-year old Oxford-born driver who spent several seasons competing in Japan’s Super GT and Super Formula championships. “All my races in Japan took place in front of packed grandstands and the passion for the sport there is absolutely unique. Covid prevented me from saying goodbye properly when my career brought me back to Europe, so I’m really looking forward to seeing them all again when I return in the Peugeot 9X8. I even share the #94 car with Loic Duval, whose shoes I filled when I joined TOM’S!”


James first travelled to Japan in 2005, for an F1 test at Motegi with Honda and a visit of the latter’s facilities. “It was unforgettable. I was 21 and on my own. Nobody was holding up a board when I arrived at the airport in Tokyo, and not a single message for me in English. Finding the train station wasn’t easy. I spent five days in the country that first time and was immediately won over by the cuisine and culture which is founded on altruism, respect and a sense of honour.”

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A Briton’s take on Japanese weather

It was in 2013 that James made the move to Japan’s racing scene, with Kazuki Nakajima as his team-mate at TOM’S. Having spent a number of years in the world of Formula 1, he remembers being surprised by the level of professionalism and the attention to detail that was paid to his car. “They recruited European drivers because they wanted their homegrown ones to compete against the international best,” explains the Englishman who won second time out in GT500, at Fuji. “The atmosphere in the team was fantastic. We were like a family and I had figured out an effective way of communicating with my Japanese colleagues during my F1 days.”


There are numerous circuits in Japan, many of which are reputed internationally, although the local weather is something newcomers must acclimatise to. “The summers are hot and humid, but at the same venue at another time of the year you can bet that if it rains in the morning it won’t clear up that day. Fuji’s like that. I often raced in the wet Japan and loved it. But I learnt my trade in the UK, so I was accustomed to poor weather, concludes James who, like Loïc Duval, can’t wait to put his experience in Japan to maximum use when he tackles the 6 Hours of Fuji with Team Peugeot TotalEnergies.

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