Toyota bags 1st and 2nd places at Silverstone with Michelin
Toyota Gazoo Racing kicked off Season 8 of the FIA World Endurance Championship with a resounding one-two finish at Silverstone. The four-hour race was won b...
Seven is a lucky number in Japan. It is also the number of times Toyota/Michelin has won its home round – the 6 Hours of Fuji – since the FIA World Endurance Championship’s creation in 2012. This year’s victory went to the N°8 Toyota TS050 Hybrid of Buemi/Nakajima/Hartley, chased by the N°7 sister car of Conway/Kobayashi/Lopez. Michelin came first in all four classes thanks to the N°29 Oreca07-Gibson in LMP2, and the N°95 and N°90 Aston Martins in LMGTE Pro and Am.
Despite carrying ballast due to the team’s success at Silverstone, Toyota’s two TS050 Hybrids dominated the 2019/2020 FIA WEC’s second clash, posting the fastest lap times in free practice, qualifying and the 232-lap race itself on their way to collecting the team’s fourth one-two result on home soil.
Sébastien Buemi, Kazuki Nakajima and Brendon Hartley overcame a drive-through penalty for a pit-stop infraction to finish 33.955s clear of the N°7 prototype which missed a turn at the start. The N°1 Rebellion R13/Michelin (Senna/Menezes/Nato) was third after splitting the two Japanese machines early on.
A shower in the first half of the race prompted some teams to fit rain tyres, but the conditions stayed more or less dry this year as the thermometer climbed to around 25°C.
The LM GTE Pro winner was Aston Martin Racing/Michelin’s N°95 Vantage AMR (Sorensen/Thiim). Marco Sorensen passed Gimmi Bruni (N°91 Porsche/Michelin) during the first hour and then held firm, aided by a smart tyre strategy during the short spell of rain. The N°92 Porsche/Michelin (Estre/Christensen) and N°97 Aston Martin/Michelin (Lynn/Martin) were second and third.
Aston Martin and Michelin took the LM GTE Am spoils, as well, thanks to TF Sport’s N°90 Vantage (Yoluc/Eastwood/Adam) which led from start to finish. The N°88 Porsche and N°98 Aston Martin tangled at lights-out, leaving the N°83 Ferrari/Michelin and N°57 Porsche/Michelin to pick up podium placings.
The 2019/2010 FIA WEC will remain in Asia for round three – China’s 4 Hours of Shanghai – on November 10.
2019 6 Hours of Fuji – final positions:
1. Buemi/Nakajima/Hartley (Toyota TS050 Hybrid N°8), 232 laps
2. Conway/Kobayashi/Lopez (Toyota TS050 Hybrid N°7), +33.955s
3. Senna/Menezes/Nato (Rebellion R13-Gibson N°1), +2 laps
4. Van Eerd/Van der Garde/De Vries (Oreca07-Gibson N°29), +10 laps (1
5. Gonzalez/Da Costa/Davidson (Oreca07-Gibson N°38), +10 laps
6. Tung/Aubry/Stevens (Oreca07-Gibson N°37), +11 laps
7. Hanson/Albuquerque/Jarvis (Oreca07-Gibson N°22), +12 laps
8. Patterson/Yamashita/Fjordbach (Oreca07-Gibson N°33), +13 laps
9. Lapierre/Borga/Coigny (Oreca07-Gibson N°42), +10 laps
10. Robertson/Simpson/Smith (Ginetta G60-AER N°6) +14 laps