New Zealand motor racer Nick Cassidy has firmly established himself in Japan as one of the best drivers over the past five years.
What makes Cassidy's racing statistics in Japan even more interesting is that he has been successful in open wheel and GT racing.
Cassidy is a factory driver for Lexus in the Super GT and Toyota (through the manufacturer's TOM's backed team) in the Super Formula championship.
Super GT is Japan's equivalent of the Australian Supercars series, but with much better-looking cars developing over 650 horsepower, and are the fastest form of production-based sports racing today.
The Super Formula cars are no slouches either and can, at a push, be compared to an IndyCar. When raced at the Formula One track Suzuki, lap times would have qualified a Super Formula car towards the back of an F1 grid.
Although Cassidy did have an early foray into Europe, he became an early adopter of looking towards the Asia Pacific route as a way to become a professional race car driver.
The two-time Toyota Racing Series champion announced his arrival in the region by finishing third in the Macau Grand Prix in 2014.
The following year he won the Japanese Formula Three series.
Although the cars he now races are different in almost every aspect, Cassidy has accumulated numerous wins in both categories. He won the Super GT championship in 2017, finished second in 2018 along with finishing second in Super Formula the same year.
He is again contesting the same two championships in 2019. After four rounds he sits second in Super Formula and is also second in the Super GT series after four rounds.
Cassidy will be joining the HubAuto Corsa in a Ferrari 488 GT3 alongside former F1 race winner Heikki Kovalainen and Nick Foster at this month's Suzuka 10 Hours endurance race. The Taiwanese-based team is one of three outfits nominated to score Intercontinental GT Challenge (IGTC) points for Ferrari at Suzuka.
Kovalainen spent seven years in F1 and moved to Japan in 2013 and won the Super GT championship the year before Cassidy in 2016. Add Foster to the mix, who himself has had success winning the second round of the IGTC at the California 8 Hours, and you have a potent trio.
Cassidy was set to race and team with Kovalainen and Foster at HubAuto last month at the 24 Hours of Spa. However, he never got to turn a wheel as the car had to be retired before he could belt up.
Cassidy has turned quite a few laps at Suzuka over the years. He finished second there in May at a round of the Super GT. He and the team will be looking to win and the rest of the field will have to be on their game to hold the Kiwi and company back.