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Porsche Yet to Decide on Fuji Aero Package

Porsche could opt for Le Mans low-downforce aero for Fuji…

Photo: Porsche

Porsche has yet to decide on what aero kit it will run in next month’s Six Hours of Fuji, with its Le Mans-spec low-downforce package still a “topic we’re investigating” according to LMP1 team principal Andreas Seidl.

The German manufacturer, which is coming off its fourth consecutive victory in the Six Hours of Circuit of The Americas, could revert to a version of the aero kit it began the season with due to the long straight at Fuji Speedway.

“It’s still a topic we’re investigating,” Seidl told Sportscar365. “We have both options to use. It’s a circuit that’s right in between.

“So we have to wait for the final weather forecast, the final simulations with all of the updates we’ve put in from what we’ve learned [at COTA]. It’s never standing still.”

Porsche debuted its high-downforce kit at the Nürburgring in July, opting to focus development around its Le Mans aero package, which Seidl admitted could now make a one-off return.

It evaluated both packages in Free Practice at Fuji last year, and ultimately elected to go with its high downforce kit for the race, which saw Toyota Gazoo Racing score its first win in nearly two years.

While the low-downforce package is not currently on its overseas travel kit, Seidl said they could make the decision quite late in specifically air-freighting it from Germany, and potentially testing both packages again in public.

“If you put it to the extreme, you could do it during the race weekend,” he said.

“We have three weeks. We go away from [COTA], analyze everything and then make our conclusions for what we do for Fuji.”

Toyota technical director Pascal Vasselon reaffirmed that it will remain in high downforce trim for the remainder of the season, with Fuji “not an option” for its Le Mans kit.

Seidl Expecting “Close Races” for Remainder of Season

Despite having claimed convincing wins at the Nürburgring and Mexico, Seidl is expecting a much closer fight with Toyota for the final three races of the season.

Toyota showed improved pace last weekend at COTA, finishing within 25 seconds of the winning No. 2 Porsche 919 Hybrid of Brendon Hartley, Earl Bamber and Timo Bernhard.

“We definitely expect Toyota to be very strong [at Fuji], as we have seen in previous years. Especially with the long straight, so we have to see,” Seidl said.

“But I think we will have some close races. Fuji, for sure, but also other tracks like Shanghai and Bahrain could be open.

“I’m pretty happy with what the team did after Le Mans. We were slower at Le Mans compared to Toyota and we worked hard in the five and six weeks afterwards.

“The guys were able to find ways to improve the performance, together with the high downforce kit, it’s impressive and hopefully it will be enough to win the title at the end of the year.”

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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