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FIA WEC: 6 Hours of Fuji – Toyota takes win, Audi manufacturers’ championship

Torrential rain at 4.563-km Fuji International Speedway stopped the race at 3 hr and 46 min, with the No.7 Toyota TS030 Hybrid of Kazuki Nakajima, Nicolas Lapierre, and Alexander Wurz declared the overall winner. Half points were awarded to all drivers, whether they got behind the wheel or not. The No.2 Audi R18 e-tron quattro of Tom Kristensen, Loïc Duval, and Allan McNish finished second clinching the FIA World Endurance Manufacturers’ Championship for Audi. The No. 2 car, starting from position four, extended its lead in the Drivers’ Championship to 40.75 points.

 

Only 16 laps of racing were completed – all behind the safety car – and the race was suspended twice for safety reasons. Rain prompted officials to start the race behind the safety car. But the track was too wet for the race to go green, so stewards interrupted the race after eight laps. It resumed behind the safety car after two and a half hours but was interrupted again 22 min later. Two hours later, participants again started behind the safety car before the race was stopped for good after just one lap.

 

“I’ve often driven in Japan,” said Duval, the only driver to pilot the No. 2 on the day. “There have been a lot of races that were canceled in such weather conditions. Our cars are not drivable in such heavy rain. It’s as though you were in a boat. Of course we’re racers and want to drive in front of our fans but this was the right decision today by race control.”

 

The No.8 Toyota of Anthony Davidson, Sebastian Buemi, and Stephane Sarrazin and the pole-sitting No.1 Audi R18 of reigning World Champions Andre Lotterer, Benoit Tréluyer, and Marcel Fässler both suffered problems during the race. The Toyota started from the pit lane after missing the pit exit closure time, and the Audi had to make three unscheduled pit stops to deal with debris in the air intake system and finished 26th. These events combined to allow the No. 2 Audi to move into P2, despite no green-flag laps having been run.

The No.12 Rebellion Racing LMP1 Lola-Toyota privateer entry of Mathias Beche and Andrea Belicchi finished third just ahead of LMP2 class-winner, the No.35 OAK Racing Morgan-Nissan driven by Bertrand Baguette, Ricardo Gonzalez, and Martin Plowman. The No.26 G-Drive Racing Oreca03-Nissan of Roman Rusinov, John Martin, and Mike Conway finished second in class.

 

“It’s been a frustrating race for everybody,” said Baguette, the only driver to actually log time in the No. 35 cockpit, “but from a more down-to earth-point of view, it’s a good result for us as we’ve scored the maximum amount of points available in the circumstances, so it’s a good operation in the championship after our setback in the USA. We’re very sorry for the Japanese fans who are really unbelievable supporters. They stayed right till the bitter end in the rain despite the neutralization of the race.”

 

GTE victory went to Aston Martin Racing’s No.97 Vantage V8, driven by Darren Turner, Stefan Mücke and Frédéric Makowiecki, ahead of the No.51 AF Corse Ferrari 458 Italia of Giancarlo Fisichella and Gianmaria Bruni and the No.91 Porsche AG Team Manthey 911 RSR of Jorg Bergmeister and Patrick Pilet.

 

Race results

1 Lapierre/Nakajima/Wurz (Toyota) 16 laps in 2h 56m 05.785s
2 Duval/Kristensen/McNish (Audi R18 e-tron quattro) + 1.901s
3 Beche/Belicchi (Lola-Toyota) + 3.872s
4 Baguette/Gonzalez/Plowman (Morgan-Nissan) + 6.131s
5 Conway/Martin/Rusinov (Oreca-Nissan) + 8.224s
6 Hiranaka/Ueda/Wirdheim (Zytek-Nissan) + 11.055s
7 Brundle/Heinemeier Hansson/Pla (Morgan-Nissan) + 12.834s
8 Graves/Nakano/Walker (Oreca-Nissan) + 15.323s
9 Bradley/Koizumi/Matsuda (Morgan-Nissan) + 19.569s
10 Kaffer/Minassian/Perez Companc (Oreca-Nissan) + 21.494s
...
26 Fässler/Lotterer/Tréluyer (Audi R18 e-tron quattro) + 2m 49.150s

 

Full results can be found HERE

 

CLICK HERE for the Championship Classifications after Round 6

Posted in: Sports
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