FIA WEC: Toyota wins 6 Hours of Fuji
Dusk was starting to fall over Fuji Speedway as Toyota Racing’s Kazuki Nakajima took the chequered flag in front of a grandstand wholly given over to the Japanese manufacturer. The clouds gathered little by little over the mountain peaks which surround the track but they didn’t discourage the 32,000-strong crowd (50,000 over the three days) which came to cheer on Toyota’s triumph, plus that of Nissan in the LMP2 class. The 6 Hours of Fuji will no doubt linger in Japanese fans’ memories for some time, the event having received a very warm welcome!
While Audi has already wrapped up the Constructors’ title, Toyota could be relied on to take the fight to the Four Rings in this latter part of the season. After its first victory in the 6 Hours of São Paulo, the No.7 TS030 Hybrid shone on home ground thanks to Nicolas Lapierre, Alex Wurz and Kazuki Nakajima who were fast on each of the three days of the event. The Japanese manufacturer took its second win in only its fifth race, an enviable statistic especially as the successes were achieved against a far more experienced adversary.
The battle was close right to the end with a gap at the finish line of just 11 seconds between the winning Toyota and the No.1 Audi R18 e-tron quattro of double 24 Hours of Le Mans victors André Lotterer, Marcel Fässler and Benoît Tréluyer. This trio, having been awarded a penalty for contact with the No.97 Aston Martin, had to make one more stop than planned and lost the fuel consumption advantage it held over its Japanese rival. Their second place wasn’t enough to allow them to take the Drivers’ title as the second Audi, the No.2 of Allan McNish and Tom Kristensen, also finished on the overall podium, having not been able to maintain the same rhythm as the top two cars after the first hour.
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