Toyota took the home victory today with a dominant performance in the 6 Hours of Fuji. Despite a drive-through penalty for speeding in the pit lane during the fourth hour Brendon Hartley, Sebastien Buemi and Kazuki Nakajima brought the #8 Toyota TS050 Hybrid home for its first victory of the Season.
The sister #7 car of Kamui Kobayashi, Mike Conway and Jose Maria Lopez finished second, just under 34 seconds behind.
The pair of Toyota’s two dominated the race however a flying Bruno Senna in the #1 Rebellion R13 split the TS050 Hybrids in the opening stint.
With the #7 Toyota carrying the ‘success ballast’ for the first time this season the gap between the two Toyotas was evident with the #8 consistently setting faster quicker lap times throughout the race.
But the Rebellion faded over the course of the race, with Senna, Gustavo Menezes and Norman Nato completing the podium two laps adrift of the winner.
The two Ginetta G60-LT-P1 AERs rounded out the LMP1 class order – in 9th and 11th behind the LMP2 leaders in the overall classification – with both cars running into issues and bad luck over the weekend.
In LMP2, Racing Team Nederland took their first WEC win with Nyck de Vries, Giedo van der Garde and Frits van Eerd winning out on a battle for the class honours with Jackie Chan DC Racing, JOTA (who were stripped of their second place following a technical infringement with the gearbox external neutral switch found in post-race scrutineering) and High Class Racing.
JOTA’s exclusion, which they are not appealing, meant that the #22 United Autosports ORECA of Phil Hanson, Filipe Albuquerque and Oliver Jarvis is promoted to third place, 2 laps down on the Dutch squad.
Speaking of their victory after the race Frits van Eerd said: “We have proved that we are very competitive. It’s our second time on the podium and now we have the win.
“It was a tough fight, but I’m so happy for my two teammates because they compensate so well for everything I might not do as well.
In the GTE classes Aston Martin swept the board with wins in both GTE-Pro and AM with #95 car of Marco Sorensen and Nicki Thiim taking the GTE-Pro class victory and TF Sport taking the AM honours.
Starting ahead of the sister #97 car the #95 ‘Dane Train’ Vantage AMR lost the advantage early on in the race however, heading into the chicane in the second hour Thiim made an excellently timed dive past Alex Lynn in the #97 to take an advantage the car would not relinquish with the Dane crossing the line over 17 seconds ahead of the #92 Porsche 911 RSR with the #97 sister Vantage AMR rounding out the Pro podium.
In the GTE-Am class TF Sport’s Salih Yoluc, Charlie Eastwood and Jonny Adam converted their pole position into the team’s first win in the WEC with the new Vantage AMR bringing the car home a lap ahead of the #83 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GTE EVO of Perodo, Collard and Nielson. The #57 Project 1 Porsche 911 RSR of Ben Keating, Jeroen Bleekemolen and Felipe Fraga rounded out the podium places.
The TF Sport trio put in a masterclass over the six hours with Yoluc putting in a blistering first stint. Eastwood and Adam consolidated the Turkish driver’s advantage over the following stints, with the bright red Vantage AMR rarely less than 50 seconds clear of the second-placed car.
After losing their pole position due to a technical issue with their car’s quick door release system the #57 Project 1 Porsche 911 RSR had to start from the back of the grid. Despite this the trio made a sterling fight back with Ben Keating putting in a storming first stint passing Christian Ried in the #77 Dempsey – Proton Racing Porsche for third within the first half-hour.
As the race reached the half-way point Dutch ace Jeroen Bleekemolen then put in a move on Francois Perrodo in the #83 AF Corse Ferrari into the chicane to put the Project 1 car into second place but Nicklas Nielsen overtook Fraga at the end of the fourth hour to reclaim the position and lock in the final podium order.
Final classifications here.
All images: Adrenal Media / FIA WEC.