Toyota has done it! They have won their home round of the FIA WEC at 6 Hours of Fuji, taking an emotional victory in front of local fans after Kamui Kobayashi crossed the finish line first in the #6 Toyota TS 050 Hybrid. This marks the first win for Toyota in a challenging season for the German-based team.
Ford did not disappoint either, the UK based Chip Ganassi team converted their 1-2 qualifying result into a successful 1-2 podium finish today in the LMGTE-Pro class. Aston Martin continued to dominate the AM class and sailed away with victory thanks again to Paul Dalla Lana and team in the #98 car.
Audi had everything covered in the first two hours, Oliver Jarvis started from pole in the #8 Audi R18 e-tron and managed to hold off Mark Webber in the #1 Porsche 919 Hybrid. The #7 Audi met trouble after a hybrid system error that forced Treluyer to run wide before pitting. Meanwhile, Mike Conway was now second in the #6 Toyota after briefly enjoying the lead. Di Grassi led in the #8 Audi while Timo Bernhard took over from Webber in the #1 Porsche.
Ford continued to hold the lead after two hours in the GTE-Pro class, with two AF Corse Ferraris right behind. Aston Martin led the #83 AF Corse Ferrari 458 in the AM class, the Larbre Corvette had also enjoyed second place before falling back.
After four hours of racing, the battles had intensified but Audi was still unshakable, Loic Duval was now in the #8 Audi and ahead of Stephane Sarrazin in the #6 Toyota. Timo Bernhard was now in the #1 Porsche and after a one to one battle with Sarrazin, the World Champion managed to pass the Toyota in the fifth hour. The #7 Audi had retired while the #2 Porsche was further back in fifth.
As the final minutes approached everything was all but tense, and it was the #6 Toyota that eventually crossed the finish line first ahead of the #8 Audi and the #1 Porsche. Kamui Kobayashi, Stephane Sarrazin and Mike Conway marked the very first win for the Toyota TS 050 Hybrid.
Rebellion Racing had a bigger reason to be happy as they won the LMP1 privateer class and effectively claimed the 2016 title with two more races left. The LMP2 class win went to the #26 Oreca 05 – Nissan from G-Drive Racing, their first win of the season. They shared the podium with the #43 Ligier JS P2 and the points leaders Signatech Alpine.
Ford would then claim a double podium in the LMGTE-Pro class by finishing 1-2. Harry Tincknell and Andy Priaulx in the #67 Ford GT scored the win ahead of the #68 sister car which suffered a spin that ultimately caused them their lead. Third in this class went to AF Corse with the #51 Ferrari 488 GTE.
Paul Dalla Lana, Mathias Lauda and Pedro Lamy led the entire race in the #98 Aston Martin Vantage claiming a dominant win in the LMGTE-Am class. Second in class went to the #83 AF Corse Ferrari 458 of Francois Perrodo, Emmanuel Collard and Rui Aguas who extended their title lead. The #78 Porsche 911 RSR completed an even podium in the AM class.
The next race will head over to China for the 6 Hours of Shanghai on 6th November.