1-2 success for Toyota/Michelin wraps up 2023 title
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1-2 success for Toyota/Michelin wraps up 2023 title


Toyota Gazoo Racing monopolized the top two places in Japan with the Toyota GR010 Hybrids of Conway/Kobayashi/Lopez and Hartley/Buemi/Hirakawa to claim its sixth world endurance title in association with Michelin. The #6 Porsche 963 led for much of distance before scoring its maiden FIA World Endurance Championship podium. There was one-two glory, too, for Ferrari/Michelin in LMGTE Am thanks to its #54 AF Corse (Flohr/Castelacci/Rigon) and #57 Kessel Racing 488 Evos.

A boisterous start to the 2023 FIA WEC's penultimate fixture saw the #6 Porsche squeeze past the two Toyotas which had locked out the front row in qualifying. Laurens Vanthoor used the grip and consistency of his medium-compound MICHELIN Pilot Sports to stay in front during his first double stint.

The German prototype led until around the four-hour mark when the Toyotas finally found a way through to maintain the make's unbeaten record at Fuji since 2015. The #7 GR010 Hybrid, which Kamui Kobayashi had steered to a new Hypercar track lap record (1m27.784s) in qualifying, took advantage of its Michelin tires' longevity to double-stint (equivalent to some 180 kilometers on the same set) and ultimately beat the team's #8 car by almost 40 seconds.

Penske Motorsport's #6 Porsche 953 went on to claim the second podium finish of its career, while the #50 and #51 Ferrari 499Ps took advantage of their strong starts to round out the afternoon's top-five. They were followed over the line by the #38 Jota Sport Porsche and the two Peugeot 9X8s, while the #2 Cadillac V.Series (wheel problem) and #5 Porsche (collision) suffered delays.

The battle in LMGTE Am - where all the teams have chosen Michelin as tire supplier - was dominated by Ferrari which secured first and second places, ahead of the 2023 title-winning #33 Corvette. Once again, the #85 Iron Dames Porsche 911 RSR finished just shy of the podium.

The last round of the 2023 FIA World Endurance Championship will take teams to Bahrain for an eight-hour race at the beginning of November.

2023 6 Hours of Fuji - final positions:

  1. Conway/Kobayashi/Lopez (Toyota GR010 Hybrid/Michelin), 229 laps
  2. Hartley/Buemi/Hirakawa (Toyota GR010 Hybrid/Michelin), +39.119s
  3. Vanthoor/Estre/Lotterer (Porsche 963/Michelin), +47.768s
  4. Fuoco/Molina/Nielsen (Ferrari 499P/Michelin), +1 lap
  5. Pier Guidi/Calado/Giovinazzi (Ferrari 499P/Michelin), + 1 lap