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