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AF Corse, Aston Martin Take GTE Honors at Fuji

Gianmaria Bruni, Toni Vilander take GTE-Pro honors at Fuji…

Photo: John Dagys

Photo: John Dagys

AF Corse claimed a 1-2 finish in GTE-Pro, while Aston Martin Racing swept the GTE-Am class in Sunday’s FIA WEC Six Hours of Fuji.

Gianmaria Bruni and Toni Vilander took their No. 51 Ferrari F458 Italia to their third class victory of the season, following a fight with the No. 99 Aston Martin, as well as the sister AF entry in the Pro ranks.

Vilander edged out the No. 71 Ferrari of teammate James Calado by 2.902 seconds to take top honors, with the pole-sitting No. 99 Aston Martin Vantage GTE of Alex MacDowall settling for third in class.

The Aston of Fernando Rees led early, getting around Bruni for the top spot midway through the opening hour. The fight continued between MacDowall and Vilander, although the race ultimately going in favor of the Prancing Horses.

Bruni and Vilander extend their lead in the Drivers’ Championship heading into next month’s round in Shanghai.

The No. 71 Ferrari of Calado and Davide Rigon was second, ahead of the MacDowall, Rees and Darryl O’Young-driven Aston, which completed the podium in third.

Trouble hit the No. 97 Aston Martin and No. 92 Porsche 911 RSR after the two collided with the No. 99 car on the opening lap, which saw both entries lose time with unscheduled stops for repairs.

It gave the No. 91 Porsche Team Manthey Porsche 911 RSR of Richard Lietz and Joerg Bergmeister clear sailing for a fourth place result in class.

GTE-Am class honors for the third time this season went to the No. 95 Aston Martin entry of Nicki Thiim, David Heinemeier Hansson and Kristian Poulsen, leading a 1-2 for the British manufacturer.

The “Dane Train” fought all race with the pole-sitting sister No. 98 entry of Pedro Lamy, Christoffer Nygaard and Paul Dalla Lana, which ended up second in class.

The No. 75 Prospeed Competition Porshce 911 RSR of Emmanuel Collard, Matthieu Vaxiviere and Francois Perrodo was third after a late battle with the No. 88 Proton Competition Porsche of Klaus Bachler, which settled for fourth.

The six-hour race ran entirely caution-free, other than for a brief Full Course Yellow to retrieve debris. The FCY, which saw cars slow to 80 km/h without the use of a safety car, lasted less than three minutes.

RESULTS: Six Hours of Fuji

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for and SPEED Channel and has contributed to numerous other motorsports publications worldwide. Contact John


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