Kiwi racer Nick Cassidy is likely to return to Japan next year and defend the Super GT crown he won last weekend.

The two-time Toyota Racing Series champion partnered with local driver Ryo Hirakawa to take their Lexus to the premier Japanese racing title.

Cassidy was one of the most talented youngsters to leave New Zealand shores a few years ago but compared to drivers such as Brendon Hartley (F1 and WEC), Mitch Evans (Formula E) and Earl Bamber (WEC) he is almost a forgotten entity competing in Japan.

But that is largely due to our lack of understanding of the Japanese scene.


"For me to win this - I didn't even know the feeling until it happened," he told Radio Sport. "It is massive here. It is Japan's biggest GT championship, the fastest GT cars in the world. They use the same chassis as DTM - we had DTM cars there and DTM personnel over the weekend because Super GT and DTM are looking to combine for an inter-series race in the future, which is massively exciting.

"There are three massive Japanese motor brands - Lexus, Honda and Nissan fighting it out in a 15-car field for the Japanese championship.

"Each region has their premier GT category. There is DTM in Germany and Supercars in Australia - this is it for Japan."

The Super GT Championship is well regarded around the world and there is likely to be significant interest in Cassidy's services but he is not planning on any big changes to his 2018 program.

"I have thought about it a little bit but at the same time I have been so focused on finishing the year strongly and getting the championship done that it hasn't been a massive priority," he said.

"I am pretty certain I will be in the same situation next year with Lexus and trying to defend the championship - I am 90% confident of that but nothing is confirmed for sure."

Cassidy split his time this year by running in the premier Japanese single-seater category as well and narrowly missed winning that title.

"It looks good that I will be staying in Super Formula again and do a dual program next year, which I think is really important.


"Firstly it is really fun to drive the fastest cars in the world basically and then secondly to be racing that much in Japan - seat-time is really valuable as well."