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Toyota Claims 1-2 Finish in Weather-Shortened 6H Fuji

Toyota scores 1-2 finish in weather-shortened Six Hours of Fuji…

Photo: Vision Sport Agency

Toyota Gazoo Racing has claimed a 1-2 finish in Sunday’s weather-shortened Six Hours of Fuji.

The No. 8 Toyota TS050 Hybrid of Kazuki Nakajima, Sebastien Buemi and Anthony Davidson have been declared winners, completing 115 laps in the rain-soaked and fog-impacted race, which saw seven safety car periods and two red flags.

A safety car was deployed for visibility with 1 hour and 40 minutes to go, with the red coming out ten minutes later and the race being officially called with 14 minutes left on the clock.

The decision came despite an attempt to restart the race for a ten-minute shootout, but was ultimately reversed due to worsening conditions.

It marked only the third shortened race in WEC history, and second at Fuji Speedway.

Davidson, in his return to the team after missing Circuit of The Americas, did not drive in the race due to the pair of red flags, which began with a 33-minute stoppage in the second hour, also for fog.

Toyota’s victory, its first since the Six Hours of Spa in May, came in a dominant run in wet conditions.

While the pole-sitting No. 2 Porsche 919 Hybrid of Earl Bamber stretched out into an early lead, it was eliminated with the second safety car at the end of the opening hour.

The car went a lap down in the third hour after Timo Bernhard struggled in the conditions, and lost out when making a green flag pit stop.

Championship leaders Bernhard, Bamber and Brendon Hartley finished fourth behind the sister No. 1 Porsche, which also was unable to match the Toyotas in the wet.

The result keeps both the Drivers’ and Manufacturers’ Championships mathematically alive for Nakajioma, Buemi and Toyota heading into next month’s penultimate round of the season in Shanghai.

The No. 1 Porsche rebounded from a front nose change after Lotterer made contact with Buemi and lost a dive plane in the opening hour, moments after the green after starting the safety car start.

Vaillante Rebellion, meanwhile, picked up LMP2 honors, with Bruno Senna, Julien Canal and Nico Prost claiming their second class win in the last three races in the No. 31 Oreca 07 Gibson.

The Anglo-Swiss squad led virtually from the start, and has clawed further points away from class championship leaders Jackie Chan DC Racing, which finished third with Oliver Jarvos, Ho-Pin Tung and Thomas Laurent.

Laurent, who like fellow Silver-rated driver Canal, did not drive in the race but is expected to still earn championship points due to the circumstances.

Nico Lapierre, Andre Negrao and Gustavo Menezes came home second in class in the No. 36 Signatech Alpine A470 Gibson, after battling early race issues. 

RESULTS: 6H Fuji 

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365 as well as the recently launched e-racing365 Web site for electric racing. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for FOXSports.com/SPEED Channel, and contributes to other publications worldwide. Contact John

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