Solid Start for Toyota at Fuji

by Jake Handley

Toyota HYBRID Racing made a solid start to their home race during practice for the Fuji 6 Hours today, with the #7 TS040 finishing P5 in both sessions and the #8 P3 and P4.

In the morning, the #8 of Anthony Davidson and Sébastien Buemi was P3 with a time of 1:28.981, set by Davidson, with his lap only three tenths off the session’s fastest time of 1:28.628 set by Loic Duval in the #1 Audi. In the afternoon session the car dropped down a place, with a time of 1:28.587 set by Buemi only enough for P4.

“It felt like a very productive two sessions today,” said Davidson. “The weather was kind to us and we worked on the car set-up throughout the day and had a good balance. I got a chance to understand this circuit a lot more because last year the mileage was limited.

“As always here the third sector is the most challenging and I think I can still find some performance there. It was nice to get into a rhythm and understand where we need to improve tomorrow.”

In the #7 Alex Wurz and Stéphane Sarrazin ran in the car during the morning session, with a 1:29.076 set by Sarrazin enough for P5, albeit four tenths off Duval. In the afternoon it was time for Kazuki Nakajima to get in the car for the first time since Le Mans, with the Japanese Super Formula ace setting a 1:29.083, again only enough for fifth place.

“Our long run was pretty good; it looks okay compared to the competition and we seem strong in terms of tyre degradation,” said Nakajima, who has already won at Fuji this year. “Still the circuit didn’t have a lot of grip so I hope we get more rubber down for qualifying and the race. We still need to find a bit more to fine-tune the balance but I think we have good potential here at Fuji. Let’s see how it goes for qualifying.”

The 6 Hours of Fuji will start at 11am local time (8am GMT) on Sunday, barring any weather impacts from the incoming Super Tyhpoon Vongfong.

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