Toy­ota ends two-year World En­durance win drought on home soil

Motor Sport News - - Racing News -

Toy­ota ended its two year win drought in the FIA World En­durance Cham­pi­onship by com­ing out on top of a fierce bat­tle with Audi in last week­end’s Six Hours of Fuji.

Toy­ota starred on home soil in Ja­pan as the trio of Bri­ton Mike Con­way, Ka­mui Kobayashi and Stephane Sar­razin won by just 1.4 sec­onds over the Audi of Oliver Jarvis, Lu­cas di Grassi and Loic Duval.

Two late pit calls put the Toy­ota in front, courtesy of short-fu­elling the car dur­ing its penul­ti­mate stop, al­low­ing Kobayashi to move into sec­ond place. The team then opted not to change the car’s tyres dur­ing its last stop, putting Kobayashi back on track in the lead ahead of Duval. Duval chased hard and closed the gap to just 1.1s with two laps to go, but couldn’t find a way past.

Kobayashi said: “I think we had the per­for­mance all week and the team did a great job. It was re­ally hard, harder than ex­pected and we re­ally had to fight to achieve it.”

The win was Toy­ota’s first since Bahrain in 2014. Timo Bern­hard/ Mark Web­ber/bren­don Hart­ley fin­ished third for Porsche, ahead of the sis­ter Toy­ota of An­thony David­son/se­bastien Buemi/ Kazuki Naka­jima. Cham­pi­onship lead­ers Ro­main Dumas/neel Jani/mark Lieb were fifth.

Ro­man Rusi­nov, Alex Brun­dle and Will Stevens won the LMP2 class for G-drive Rac­ing, while Andy Pri­aulx and Harry Tinck­nell took their maiden GTE Pro win to­gether in the Ford GT.

Toy­ota’s first win since 2014

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