The Toyota TS030-Hybrid of Kazuki NAKAJIMA wins at Fuji; Audi Sport Team Joest claims 2013 Manufacturers’ title
Important victories, despite the race’s interruption due to torrential rain
The drivers who lined up for the beginning of the 2013 6 Hours of Fuji faced a horrendous cocktail of thick cloud cover and torrential rain which stopped only for short periods of time. The race got under way at 11am local time with competitors lined up behind the safety car. After eight laps, however, with safety hindered by poor visibility, the Race Director brought out the red flag. After more than two hours spent in parc ferme, the cars returned to the track, but still behind the safety car. This second spell lasted another seven laps until the competition was interrupted once again. At 3.35pm, the drivers went back out for one last lap before the race was halted for good.
As a consequence, this year‟s 6 Hours of Fuji lasted no more than 16 laps divided into three periods spent entirely behind the safety car. The N°7 Toyota TS030-Hybrid of Kazuki NAKAJIMA and team-mates Wurz and Lapierre was declared the winner, ahead of Kristensen/Duval/McNish (Audi R18 e-tron quattro). REBELLION Racing‟s LOLA B12/60 Coupé-Toyota was third, hours after winning the American Le Mans Series clash at Road Atlanta, USA (Petit Le Mans).
The result enabled Toyota to win in front of home fans with one of Japan‟s most popular drivers, Kazuki NAKAJIMA, while Audi wrapped up the 2013 Manufacturers‟ world title. On paper, the number two car‟s three drivers are still in „fighting‟ for the Drivers‟ crown.
“Congratulations to Audi Sport Team Joest,” said MICHELIN Motorsport‟s Director Pascal COUASNON. “The German team made sure of the title at Fuji in appalling weather, but only after a faultless season…
“The team‟s work on its car ahead of the 2013 FIA World Endurance Championship in parallel to the introduction of a range of evolution endurance racing tyres by MICHELIN gave it an assertive advantage.
“I would also like to underline REBELLION Racing‟s successful weekend. After winning Petit Le Mans in the United States, the Swiss team finished on the podium in Japan today to produce two back-to-back performances within just hours in topflight endurance racing.”
In two weeks‟ time, at Motegi, MICHELIN will be targeting its third straight Japanese Super GT title with partners Weider Modulo DOME RACING (Honda HSV-010 GT) and Mola (Nissan GT-R).