It was a straightforward win for #8 Toyota in FIA World Endurance Championship’s (WEC) in 6 hours of Fuji in the LMP1 class from sister #7.
After the #8 Toyota crew of Brendon Hartley, Sebastien Buemi and Kazuki Nakajima secured WEC 6 hours of Fuji pole, thanks to the LMP1 handicap system where even the sister #7 Toyota car was losing nearly half a second per lap, it became easier for #8.
Despite a rain shower and a drive-through penalty for the #8, they secured their first win of the 2019/20 WEC season in the LMP1 class by over 30 seconds, with the #7 Toyota trio of Kamui Kobayashi, Mike Conway and Jose Maria Lopez having to settle with second.
The team also had to fend off early fight against #1 Rebellion Racing Gibson of Gustavo Menezes, Bruno Senna and Norman Nato, who rounded out the podium after finishing two laps down on the leader. They scored their first podium of the season.
Even though the two Team LNT Ginetta cars were fourth and fifth in the LMP1 category with #6 crew of Guy Smith, Mike Simpson and Charlie Robertson ahead of #5’s Egor Orudzhev, Luca Ghiotto and Ben Hanley, but they were 10th and 12th overall.
The latter looked set to finish ahead of the former but a brake failure hampered their run as they ended up 16 laps behind the leaders. The #5 finished 14 laps down with their own issues, which included a puncture and mid-race technical infringement.
The LMP2 class had some late dramas as a spirited performance from Nyck de Vries in the #29 Racing Team Nederland Oreca with Giedo van der Garde and Frits van Eerd, helped them secure their first win in WEC in 6 hours of Fuji.
The Dutch outfit also ended up fourth overall after getting past leaders #38 Jota Oreca, #37 Jackie Chan DC Racing Oreca and #33 High Class Racing Oreca. The fight at one stage was between the two Jota-run teams and High Class Racing.
But with the latter running gentleman driver Mark Patterson in the last stint after completing with Kenta Yamashita and Anders Fjordbach, it was too much for him as he eventually finished fifth, behind the #22 United Autosports Oreca.
The two Jota cars were second and third on the podium with the #38 crew of Anthony Davidson, Roberto Gonzalez and Antonio Felix da Costa ahead of the #37 crew of Ho-Ping Tung, Gabriel Aubry and Will Stevens.
The LMP2 category was then rounded out by #42 Cool Racing Oreca in sixth from #36 Signatech Alpine and #47 Cetillar Racing Dallara, with the former finishing ahead of LMP1’s Team LNT and Signatech sandwiching the two Ginettas.
LMGTE Pro and LMGTE Am
The LMGTE Pro category had a win for #97 Aston Martin Racing in the new Vantage as the pair of Nicki Thiim and Marco Sorensen took an early lead, which they never looked to lose. It was double delight in WEC 6 hours of Fuji for the British outfit.
With the #97 scoring the win, the #95 crew of Alex Lynn and Maxime Martin were third behind the #92 Porsche Team of Kevin Estre and Michael Christensen. Sister #91 was sixth due to track limits penalty, behind AF Corse Ferrari of #51 and #71.
After the dramas on Saturday, the LMGTE Am class had the #90 TF Sport Aston Martin of Salih Yoluc, Charlie Eastwood and Jonathan Adam winning from #83 AF Corse Ferrari of Francois Perrodo, Emmanuel Collard and Nicklas Nielsen.
It was a spirited performance from the #57 Team Project 1 Porsche of Ben Keating, Felipe Fraga and Jeroen Bleekemolen to be third after being sent to the back of the grid from pole on Saturday. The trio fought back in the race with supreme pace.
Check out the full results, here.
UPDATE: The results on the LMP2 side has seen a change with the #38 Jota car being disqualified due to an ‘outside neutral switch unable to disconnect the transmission’ on the car, which means the sister #37 car is promoted to second.
It also sees the #22 United Autosports on the podium, their first in the WEC category. Updated results can be found here.