Having missed the rounds in Brazil and Bahrain Kazuki Nakajima rejoins the Toyota Hybrid Racing squad for both his and the manufacturer’s home race at the Six Hours of Mount Fuji this weekend.
The Japanese driver, who missed the two rounds of the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) to concentrate on his campaign in the Japan-based Super GT, will once again team up with Alex Wurz and Nicolas Lapierre in the team’s lone Toyota TS030 Hybrid.
“I am really excited to be driving the TS030 Hybrid again,” said Nakajima. “It seems like a long time since our podium at Silverstone! It’s been great to see the progress made by the team since then, particularly with the win in Sao Paulo. I would love to have been there for such a special moment so I am really motivated to create another great result this weekend. Fuji Speedway is one of my favourite tracks and I know it really well. Actually I raced there already twice this season in Super GT, although it will be a different challenge in an LMP1 car. I can’t wait to drive this car at Fuji Speedway in front of Toyota’s home fans.”
The race at the Fuji track, which last hosted the country’s F1 event in 2008, will be the TS030’s first race at home and comes just two races after the team took an unexpected win at Interlagos in just their third race.
“It feels very cool to go to Japan as a TOYOTA driver. It puts a bit of extra pressure on as well and that is good for us,” explained Wurz. “Fuji Speedway is an iconic track in sportscar history and it also a difficult one. You have an extremely long straight, some fast corners in the middle then the last sector is very technical and tricky. It is actually one of the most difficult tracks in my opinion to get the set-up right. I am looking forward to racing in Japan again; the Japanese fans are very special and very enthusiastic. I hope they still remember the great days of sportscar racing and come back to see these extremely good, sexy-looking race cars because the show will definitely be very good.”
Though it the Okayama circuit that hosted the racing the last time ACO regulation cars raced n Japan, in 2009, Fuji has a history as a host of major sportscar events, and the TS030’s automotive ancestors have had significant success there, the TS010 winning the All Japan Sportscar Championship event at the track in 1992, the TS020 finishing second in the Le Mans Fuji 1000km in 1999.