Toyota Gazoo Racing took a memorable 1-2 finish at their home race this afternoon after a dramatic seventh round of the 2017 FIA World Endurance Championship at Fuji Speedway
Toyota Gazoo Racing took a memorable 1-2 finish at their home race this afternoon after a dramatic seventh round of the 2017 FIA World Endurance Championship at Fuji Speedway.
In challenging wet and foggy conditions Sebastien Buemi, Kazuki Nakajima and Anthony Davidson took the No.8 Toyota TS 050 Hybrid to victory.
They headed home the sister No.7 Toyota driven by Kamui Kobayashi, Mike Conway and Jose-Maria Lopez.
Toyota seemed to have a tyre performance throughout the weather affected race which saw six Safety Car periods, one Full Course Yellow and two red flag periods in an eventful race.
The result means that the destination of this year’s drivers’ title is still not known as the leading No.2 Posrche trio of Brendon Hartley, Earl Bamber and Timo Bernhard finished in fourth place. The gap between them and the No.8 Toyota crew is now 39 points with 52 to play for in the last two races of the season.
Rounding out the podium was the No.1 Porsche 919 Hybrid driven by Andre Lotterer, Neel Jani and Nick Tandy.
Andre Lotterer started the race but suffered contact with the back of Buemi’s Toyota. A broken dive plane from his 919 Hybrid affected his pace and he soon fell back to fourth position.
However, after taking a new front bodywork section Neel Jani and Nick Tandy fought back and were in contention to challenge for the win before the multiple stoppages for rain and fog came.
Vaillante Rebellion come through to win again
LMP2 saw the Vaillante Rebellion crew of Bruno Senna, Nicolas Prost and Julien Canal take their second victory of the season.
Bruno Senna and Nicolas Prost completed epic multiple stints at the wheel of the No.31 car to lead home the Signatech Alpine car of Nicolas Lapierre, Gustavo Menezes and Andre Negrao.
Completing the LMP2 podium was the points leading No.38 Jackie Chan DC Racing car of Oliver Jarvis, Ho-Pin Tung and Thomas Laurent. They still lead the LMP2 points table but now by a reduced lead of 10pts to Senna and Canal.
The race featured a spectacular and controversial incident between CEFC Manor TRS Racing driver Jan-Eric Vergne and No.13 Vaillante Rebellion racer Matthias Beche in the fourth hour. The two touched several times before Beche impacted the barriers.
51,000 dedicated fans witnessed the action at Fuji in difficult conditions, cementing the reputation of Japanese fans as some of the most passionate in the world of motorsport.
Next stop on the calendar is the 6 Hours of Shanghai on Sunday 5th November, the 8th round of the 9-race 2017 season.