Today’s Six Hours of Fuji, led to a 1-2 victory by the Toyota Racing with the #8 of Anthony Davidson and Sebastien Buemi leading the effort home at Toyota’s home circuit.
Porsche, meanwhile, ran a strong race coming home third with Car #20 and matching the pace of the TS040 down the main straight at Fuji. Meanwhile Audi’s strength throughout this race was in the technical sections of the track, meaning a tough race, with a massive straight line pace differential, effectively ruling Audi somewhat uncompetitive coming home fifth and sixth.
Thankfully the rain stayed away from Fuji Speedway despite pre-race concerns of weather affecting the event as it did last year, leading to an impressively large crowd in Japan for WEC. Admittedly Toyota are most likely the biggest lure for the Japanese fans, but it does make you wonder if perhaps it’s also related to the technology currently used in WEC that is attracting the size of the crowd we saw today?
Meanwhile in LMP1-L Christophe Bouchut had to abandon his Lotus CLM P1 rather quickly into pitlane as the car caught a blaze, by the time flames where able to be extinguished, the car had suffered heavy damage. Christophe, however, was fine.
In LMP2, the battle was a little more intense between KCMG and the G-drive racing team ran throughout much of the race, eventually leading to G-drive taking honours, despite a worrying late race slow puncture.
In GTE Pro, it was a 1-2 from the AF Corse Ferrari squad, whilst in GTE AM, it was a 1-2 by Aston Martin Racing.
Overall then, my thoughts on the Six hours of Fuji 2014, was that the race was not the most interesting of the season, despite a lot of early race lap dueling between the LMP1 manufacturers of Porsche and Toyota, it settled into a fairly calm race.
What I can take from it, however, is that one reason for this is perhaps that the track heavily favoured particular manufacturers here, with domination by three manufacturers, across four of the classes compared to other tracks in the season which appeared to have more balance between the manufacturers competing.
With the results, the championship for LMP1 manufacturers Toyota expand its lead for the overall title, with 183 to Audi’s 175 points. The event also saw much of the paddock’s thoughts firmly with Jules Bianchi, with many of the driver’s helmets carrying decals with messages of support.
In the LMP1 drivers championship, following the victory, Anthony Davidson and Sebastien Buemi extend the joint World Endurance Drivers Prototype championship lead, with 122 points, unfortunately for Lappiere, with his team-mates claiming victory and him missing the race due to personal reasons, he now drops points, and sits third in the drivers title hunt with 96.
The 2014 FIA WEC season resumes with the Six Hours of Shanghai on November 2nd.