Toyota Racing maintained their unbeaten record on home ground with a dominant one-two victory in the Six Hours of Fuji on Sunday, the fifth round of the FIA World Endurance Championship.
The team’s third consecutive win in the event came courtesy of Anthony Davidson and Sebastien Buémi in the No8 TS040 Hybrid, who extended their lead in the drivers’ championship. The result also returns Toyota to the top of the manufacturers’ standings.
In a perfect day for the team, the No7 car of Alex Wurz, Stéphane Sarrazin and Kazuki Nakajima was a close second. Both cars finished a lap ahead of the field, giving the team an eight-point advantage over title rivals Audi.
In the drivers’ standings, Anthony and Sébastien lead by 26 points from team-mate Nicolas Lapierre, who missed the Fuji race for personal reasons. The third-placed crew of the Audi No2 car now trail by 29 points.
Buemi started from pole position, briefly slipping to third on the first lap before quickly retaking the initiative. Kobayashi was also involved in an early battle, gaining a place to run third, then taking second as the No20 Porsche made an early pit stop. From here the two TS040 Hybrids ran at the front, extending their lead on new tyres just after the one-hour mark.
Running a clean double stint Davidson and Sarrazin safely negotiated traffic to pull out a gap of almost a lap over the third place runner. The size of the advantage helped the team take a cautious approach to tyre strategy and target a maximum points finish. Davidson completed a further double session to take the chequered flag, with Sarrazin bringing home the No7 car.
Davidson said: “It was an absolutely perfect race and a perfect weekend for everyone at Toyota Racing. That was a great job by all the team; we had the strongest car, the right strategy and great pit stops. First and second in our home race; it doesn’t get better than that, and for the team to win here three times in a row now is pretty special.”
Toyota Racing will be out to consolidate their advantage in the next round of the championship , the Six Hours of Shanghai, which starts on 2 November.