Toyota HYBRID Racing took a dominant 1-2 in today’s Six Hours of Fuji, with the #8 TS040 of Sebastien Buemi and Anthony Davidson taking victory ahead of the #7 of Kazuki Nakajima, Alex Wurz and Stephane Sarrazin.
The race started in frantic fashion, with pole-sitter Buemi slipping back to second two times behind both the #20 Porsche 919 and an Audi, although neither were able to hold the pace to keep the lead.
Eventually the cars settled into a rhythm, with Buemi leading the way from the #20 Porsche of Mark Webber, with Nakajima sitting in third. However, towards the end of the first hour the Porsche made an unscheduled stop due to a puncture, handing second place back to the Toyota, a position that the team wouldn’t relinquish.
The two-car duo eventually pulled out a two lap advantage over the third placed #20, with power issues effecting both the #20 of Webber, Brendon Hartley and Timo Bernhard and the #14 of Romain Dumas, Neel Jani and Marc Lieb, although both cars got back on pace towards the end of the six hours.
For Audi things went disastrously wrong, with neither car being able to double stint the tyres, dropping them way down the order behind both the Toyota’s and Porsche’s, with the #1 coming home fifth and the #2 in sixth, three laps down.
In LMP1-L it was a race of attrition, with all three cars suffering issues. The top car in the class finished in P11, with the #13 Rebellion Racing R-One of Dominik Kraihamer, Andrea Belicchi and Fabio Leimer suffering from rear damper failure an hour before the finish. In second was the second of the R-One’s, with the #12 of Nick Heidfeld, Nicolas Prost and Matihas Beche finishing last of the runners after TC issues throughout the race, with the car boxing eight times throughout the six hours.
For the third P1-L car things came to a heated end, with the #9 Lotus CLM P1/01 – AER of Christophe Bouchut, James Rossiter and Pierre Kaffer burning to the ground after 191 laps, with Bouchut escaping the car OK.
In LMP2 G-Drive Racing took overall honours, with the line up of Roman Rusinov, Olivier Pla and Julian Canal claiming victory by 5.434 seconds over the Oreca 03-R of KCMG, with Pla taking the lead from Alexandre Imperatori in the last twenty minutes of the race after a splash-and-dash stop, taking the OAK Racing-ran Ligier to its first ever WEC race win.
Next was another OAK Racing-ran car, this time the OAK Racing entered Morgan-Judd of Alex Brunde, Gustavo Yacaman and Keiko Ihara, with the trio coming home in third. However, that result came after much controversy, with Yacaman hitting the then third placed #27 SMP Racing Oreca of Sergey Zlobin, with the Russian less than happy with the move, which dropped the car down to fourth in class at the flag.