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First of all I wish everyone a Happy New Year 2014! As most of you know, as a racing driver we are not allowed to make comments on our plans for the year before any official announcement. But what I can say is that I will be at the Tokyo Auto Salon from the 10th to 12th of January for a Talk show regarding the March Nismo, as well as the GT-R Nismo. I hope many of you will go there as it is always fun to walk around there especially in the off-season, to look at all the exotic tuning cars in Japan.

I had a full month off after a very eventful year and am now full of energy to tackle the new year. Last year was surely one of the most busy years of my whole career, especially regarding air time. Sometimes it felt like I was living on airports.

Super GT with Yokohama was a tough challenge and we struggled in the beginning. But after the summer break we made big steps forward and were actually very competitive during our race runs by the end of the season. Our qualifying pace needs to be worked on, then top results will follow. The Kondo racing team worked very hard all year, and I like it especially when my boss Kondo san motivates us on the radio. Shouting to us to not give up when we have a bad start of the race really helped to produce some good point finishes!

Another highlight was Le Mans. It was the first time for me in an LMP2 car and without testing it was not an easy task. Nevertheless we brought the car home on the podium in 3rd place together with my teammates Lucas Ordonez and Jann Mardenborough, which is great result. The conditions were very tough with rain stopping and starting at different points on the track, which made it ever so dangerous. The race was over shadowed by the accident of Allan Simonsen, a shocking experience right after the start. This was just another reminder that racing is still very dangerous even though so much is done for the drivers safety. As a driver you cannot think about barriers and run-off areas when you are driving, it is your job to always push 100%. But I certainly do hope that lessons have been learnt from this accident and that we find more soft barriers in the future in Le Mans.

The other highlight for me was the time attack in the GT-R Nismo at the Nordschleife. What a great car the team was able to produce here, nevertheless there are still people out there who believe that the car like seen on youtube will not be sold. But I can assure you that the GT-R version (or update kit) that you can buy later this year, is going to be just like the one we did that crazy time with. Personally it is even difficult for myself to grasp how high corner G`s we were able to pull with normal road tires.

Apart from this work, I attended many Nissan Events in Germany, as well as driving the Nurburgring 24h. I was in Australia for just one day to test in the V8 Altima in Winton. In America I helped working on the Nissan Blade Glider, also a very exciting project. What I didn't do was watching a tennis match live of Kimiko, as there was simply no time to do this. But I was lucky enough that she supported me at some races and events.

Then we had this tragic accident of Michael Schumacher. I really wish him a full recovery, and my thoughts are with him and his family. Watching him drive live was always something special for me. The first time in 1988 in a Formula Ford, he was just on such another planet driving wise, we were all watching in awe. I have never met anyone with so much determination and work ethics like him. At the same time I hardly met anyone with so much peer respect as Michael. I wish more young drivers of today would learn from his approach to racing.

So racing is dangerous, but not only that, life itself is dangerous, but as Michael said often enough, it is destiny when something like this happens, and he never worried about it either. I couldn't agree more.

In that sense, I wish everyone a very Healthy and Safe New Year 2014!



まずは、皆さん2014年明けましておめでとうございます!レーシングドライバーとしては、皆さんご存知のように、公の発表を前にしてその年の計画に関する意見を述べることは認められません。僕がいま言うことができることは、GT-R Nismoと同様にMarch Nismoに関するトークショーのために1月10日から12日まで東京オート・サロンに出ているということです。日本ですべての新種のチューニングカーを見に、特にオフシーズン中に見て歩くことがいつも楽しいように、たくさんの方が来場することを望んでます。


YokohamaとのSuper GTはタフなチャレンジで始まりから苦戦しました。しかし、夏休みの後、僕たちは大きなステップアップをし、シーズンの終わりまでにはレース中の競争力が非常に高くなりました。予選ペースはさらに頑張らなければなりませんが、トップの結果はそれについてきてくれるでしょう。Kondoレーシングチームは年間を通じて熱心な仕事をし、ボスである近藤さんがラジオを通して僕たちのモチベーションをキープしてくれたことが良かったです。僕たちが悪いスタートを切ってしまったときに諦めないように激励を飛ばしてくれたのはポイントフィニッシュにも繋がったと思います!


僕にとっての別のハイライトは、NordschleifeのGT-R Nismoでのタイムアタックでした。チームがそこでプロデュースした素晴らしい車で、youtubeで観たような車は売り物ではないと信じる人がいるでしょう。でも今年後半買うことができるGT-Rバージョン(あるいは最新版キット)が僕たちのその正気でない時間を行ったものにちょうど似ているだろうということを保証することができます。個人的に、ノーマルロードタイヤで引っ張られる速いコーナーでのGはを掌握することは難しいです。






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