WEC 2018/2019 - 6 Hours of Fuji - Toyota Gazoo Racing enjoys one-two glory on home soil
The 2018 6 Hours of Fuji provided competitors with a mixed bag of weather, with a wet start behind the safety car soon followed by drying, then completely dry conditions.
The early scrap between the two Toyota TS050 Hybrids and the Rebellion Racing and SMP Racing non-hybrid prototypes gradually shifted in the Japanese squad’s favour as the racing line became gradually clearer. The six-hour race was eventually won by the N°7 TS050 Hybrid of Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi and José Maria Lopez. The trio’s first victory of the season rewarded a spirited fightback after their pole-winning effort in qualifying was discounted due to a pit-lane speed-restriction infringement that led to them beginning the race further down the start order.
The 2018/2019 FIA World Endurance Championship’s provisional leaders Sébastien Buemi, Fernando Alonso and Kazuki Nakajima steered the N°8 TS050 Hybrid to second place, with the N°1 Rebellion R13 of André Lotterer, Neel Jani and Bruno Senna joining them on the afternoon’s podium, four laps adrift of the two Toyotas.
The LM GTE Pro class kept the many Japanese spectators who braved the poor weather on their toes from start to finish. After dominating qualifying, Aston Martin emerged as the team to beat early on but failed to translate this form into victory. The top prize ended up in the hands of Kevin Estre and Michael Christensen in the N°92 Porsche 911 RSR. The N°82 BMW M8 was second past the flag, a second clear of the Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK-run N°67 Ford GT.
Porsche came out on top in LM GTE Am, too, thanks to Project 1’s N°56 Porsche 911 RSR (Jörg Bergmeister, Patrick Lindsey and Egidio Perfetti).