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Home Comforts for TOYOTA Racing at Fuji

World Endurance Championship round 5

With the breathtaking majesty of Mount Fuji as the backdrop, TOYOTA Racing maintained its unbeaten record on home ground with a dominant one-two victory in the 6 Hours of Fuji, the fifth round of the FIA World Endurance Championship.

The team enjoyed the lofty view from the top step of the Fuji podium after a third consecutive win in their home event thanks to the #8 TS040 HYBRID of Anthony Davidson and Sébastien Buemi, who extend their lead in the drivers’ World Championship to 29 points over the competition.

A sensational day for the team was capped with a dominant second place finish for the #7 TS040 HYBRID, winner in Fuji for the past two seasons, with Alex Wurz, Stéphane Sarrazin and Kazuki Nakajima at the wheel.

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Fighting spirit

Unlike last year, when heavy rain ruined the event, this weekend’s race started in dry but cool weather. But the action soon heated up.

6 Hours of Fuji Highlights

Nakajima, starting the race from fourth, was soon involved in a battle and quickly gained a position to move up to third. Following a pit stop for the Porsche #20, Nakajima’s #7 then snapped up second and the two TS040 HYBRIDs raced in tandem at the front, stretching their lead and delighting home fans.

After a long, trouble-free, double stint where both cars had to fight their way through plenty of slower traffic, the pair were separated by just three seconds and had increased the gap to third place, by almost a lap.

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With this generous advantage, the team and drivers adopted a cautious approach to tyre strategy and how they dealt with traffic to ensure maximum points from the weekend.

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Seeing it home

For the last hour, Sarrazin took the wheel of the #7 while Davidson remained in the cockpit of the lead #8 and, in front of enthusiastic Japanese fans, took the chequered flag for what would be a very popular one-two result.

A third win of the season means TOYOTA regain the lead in the manufacturers’ World Championship and also puts the team eight points clear of Audi with three rounds left to go.

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In the drivers standings, Davidson and Buemi lead Nicolas Lapierre (who missed Fuji for personal reasons) by 26 points, and extend their lead over the third placed crew of Audi #2 to 29 points. After the race a jubilant Davidson said: “It was an absolutely 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.“ With the momentum of a perfect weekend behind them, the team now prepare for a hectic climax to the WEC season, starting on 2 November with the 6 Hours of Shanghai before the season-closing races in Bahrain and Sao Paulo.

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