We caught up with Kazuki Nakajima to recap on his 2015 season, and to already look forward to the 2016 World Endurance Championship
Can you describe your 2015 season?
It has been a difficult season for sure. We knew that it was not going to be as dominant as last year but we expected to win some races and fight for the championship. We started pretty okay, with a podium in Silverstone. In Spa I had an injury, which was a quite tough moment for me but with a lot of help I managed to come back for Le Mans. Even though that was a difficult race for us, I was happy to race there and to finish. Last year we had a competitive car and didn’t finish the race, so at least this was a good moment for me. But after that the season was quite difficult. We always fought hard and in Fuji we could show our pace in the wet, which was a good feeling at our home race.
Has there been any highlight in the 2015 season?
For me personally, coming back from the injury in Spa was a big highlight. I worked really hard, with great support from the medical team and physios, to be back for Le Mans. When I heard that I was okay to race, it was a nice moment. It’s easy to forget how the situation was directly after Spa; at that time it was really difficult. So that is a highlight from a tough season.
How did the 2015 TS040 evolve compared to 2014?
We definitely had a good step forward, without dramatic changes to the powertrain. The car in 2015 was around two seconds quicker than last year, so normally you would think it’s a good step. But because of the new technology we have in WEC, the steps the other manufacturers did were incredible. We made a good step but it was simply not enough.
What do you plan during winter?
It’s going to be quite busy actually. I still have some testing in Japan and our testing starts again in the new year. So not much time for me but I will use the time left to prepare myself again, especially physically. During the season it’s pretty difficult to train so during winter I want to refresh myself and do as much sport as possible.
What are your hopes for next year?
We want to be able to fight again for wins and the championship. That’s our target. I’m sure it’s not going to be as easy but to be in the fight is our expectation.