Published on October 16th, 2016 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
Toyota Gazoo Racing wins an epic 6-hours of Fuji
The No.6 Toyota Gazoo Racing trio of Kamui Kobayashi, Stephane Sarrazin and Mike Conway won a highly memorable 6 Hours of Fuji this afternoon after a gripping contest throughout the entire duration of the race.
The fight for victory came down to a last hour battle between all three LMP1 manufacturers. It was a tense ending to the race but Kamui Kobayashi’s Toyota TS 050 HYBRID just had enough to hold off the No.8 Audi Sport Team Joest driven by Loic Duval.
The 6 Hours of Fuji, Round 7 of the 2016 FIA World Endurance Championship, saw the closest finish of the season so with the no6 Toyota Gazoo Racing TS050 Hybrid of Kamui Kobayashi taking the chequered flag just 1.439 seconds ahead of the no8 Audi Sport Team Joest Audi R18 of Loic Duval, with the no1 Porsche 919 Hybrid of Mark Webber just 15 seconds behind the leading pair after six hours of racing.
The race in Japan was the first win for Toyota since November 2014 and the first uninterrupted race since May 2015 as the 6 Hours of Fuji didn’t feature one safety car or full course yellow.
It was also the first win for Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK, a debut win for the UK arm of the US manufacturers return to endurance racing, with the no67 Ford GT of Andy Priaulx and Harry Tincknell heading a Ford 1-2.
It was also the first win of the 2016 for the no26 G-Drive Racing Oreca-Nissan, the Russian team finally getting the victory after four pole positions. However it wasn’t an easy task as Will Stevens had to battle hard with the no43 RGR Sport Ligier-Nissan of Bruno Senna for the final 30-minutes of the six hour race.
Japan saw Rebellion Racing secure their fifth LMP1 Privateer teams title, with Dominik Kraihamer, Alexandre Imperatori and Matheo Tuscher taking the drivers title after the no4 Bykolles Racing Team CLM retired on lap 79 of the 244 lap race.
The no98 Aston Martin Racing Vantage of Paul Dalla Lana, Mathias Lauda and Pedro Lamy dominated the LMGTE AM class to secure their fourth victory of the 2016 season, one lap ahead of the no83 AF Corse Ferrari.
The FIA World Endurance Drivers Championship is still led by the no2 Porsche 919 crew of Marc Lieb, Neel Jani and Romain Dumas after they finished the 6 Hours of Fuji in fifth. They now have 140 points, 23 ahead of the no6 Toyota crew of Kamui Kobayashi, Mike Conway and Stephane Sarrazin with 52 points still available from the final two races of the 2016 season.
Porsche are still leading the FIA World Enduranec Manufacturers’ Championship with 263 points to Audi on 204 and Toyota on 174 ponts.
The next round of the 2016 FIA World Endurance Championship will be the 6 Hours of Shanghai on Sunday 6 November, with the season finale in Bahrain two weeks later.
6-hours of Fuji Race Results
1 Conway/Kobayashi/Sarrazin (Toyota) 244 laps
2 Di Grassi/Duval/Jarvis (Audi R18) +1.439s
3 Bernhard/Hartley/Webber (Porsche) +17.339s
4 Buemi/Davidson/Nakajima (Toyota) +53.779s
5 Dumas/Jani/Lieb (Porsche) –1 lap
6 Imperatori/Kraihamer/Tuscher (Rebellion) –15 laps
7 Brundle/Rusinov/Stevens (Oreca-Nissan) –21 laps
8 Albuquerque/Gonzalez/Senna (Ligier-Nissan) –21 laps
9 Lapierre/Menezes/Richelmi (Alpine) –21 laps
10 Gelael/Giovinazzi/van der Garde (Ligier-Nissan) –21 laps