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Toyota Wins At Washed Out Fuji As Audi Secure Title

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Toyota took its first win in the 2013 FIA World Endurance Championship in a rain-affected 6 Hours of Fuji, while Audi secured the Manufacturer’s Title.

Due to heavy rain the race started under the safety car, only managing a total of 8 laps before the organisers took the decision to halt the race as cars aquaplaned off the circuit. The race resumed just over two hours later, but once again only managed eight laps before a second red flag period.

The weather eventually eased a further two hours later, only for the rain to start falling heavier as the cars made their third start of the race. Half a lap later and the decision was made to call the race a result, with the #7 Toyota TS030 Hybrid in first position, marking the second straight home win for the Japanese manufacturer.

The win was a stark contrast to Toyota’s fortunes at the beginning of the race, after a late decision to top up the #8 car with fuel resulted in Anthony Davidson missing the call to the grid, having to start from the pitlane and losing a lap before the race had even begun.

During the first safety car period, many of the GTE Am teams made the decision to pit and put their slowest drivers in the car, using up their required on-track time whilst behind the safety car. Following the first red flag period, Andre Lotterer brought the #1 Audi in to the pits, complaining of an unresponsive throttle. Some quick pit work from the Audi mechanics over the next couple of laps meant that Lotterer never lost a lap, but relinquished the lead to Kazuki Nakajima in the #7 Toyota, promoting Loic Duval in the #2 Audi up to second, and pushing Rebellion Racing on to the final step of the podium.

LMP2 saw victory go to the #35 OAK Racing Morgan-Nissan, beating G-Drive Racing‘s Oreca-Nissan and Gainer International‘s Zytek-Nissan to the top step of the podium, meaning Nissan powered all of the top three cars at its home round.

Aston Martin dominated in the GT classes, taking victory in both, with Fred Makowiecki placing the #97 on the top step of GTE Pro, followed home by Gianmari Bruni‘s AF Corse Ferrari 458 and Patrick Pilet in the #91 Porsche AG Team Manthey car. Aston Martin Racing enjoyed a 1-2 result in GTE Am, with Bruno Senna leading home team-mate Jamie Campbell-Walter, while Paolo Ruberti rounded out the podium in the #88 Proton Competition Porsche 911.

While Audi wrapped up the World Endurance Championship for Manufacturers at Fuji, there was confusion over the scoring for the drivers, with many teams only having one driver out during the duration of the race. At the time of writing, no points had been awarded in the Drivers’ Championship, however Loic Duval potentially leads the championship on his own, as neither Tom Kristensen or Allan McNish had any time in the #2 Audi during the race.

Following the race, Fuji Speedway and the FIA WEC decided to invite all the fans, the majority of whom had stayed in the pouring rain throughout the afternoon, to the pit lane for an impromptu autograph session.

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