2022 WEC 6 Hours of Fuji – How to watch, session timings and more

Fuji makes its eagerly-anticipated return to the FIA World Endurance Championship calendar this weekend to host the penultimate round of the 2022 season. Here's how you can follow it.

2022 WEC 6 Hours of Fuji – How to watch, session timings and more

Three-years after it was last held in October 2019, the 6 Hours of Fuji returns to the calendar with a strong 36-car grid and Hypercar machinery makes its first visit to the Toyota-owned venue, with LMP1 cars still in pre-eminence when the WEC last visited.

Victory on that day for the #8 Toyota TS050 HYBRID driven by Sebastien Buemi, Kazuki Nakajima and Brendon Hartley was the fourth in a row at Fuji for the Japanese manufacturer, who return in 2022 seeking to continue a streak that dates back to 2016.

In fact, only once has Toyota been defeated at Fuji in the current WEC era since 2012, when Hartley, Mark Webber and Timo Bernhard triumphed for Porsche in 2015. It was also credited with victory in 2013, when heavy rain meant the race was unable to start and the result was taken from qualifying.

Another home victory for Toyota would be especially welcomed in the boardroom as the 2022 WEC season approaches its crucial closing stages, with Alpine heading the best-placed GR010 HYBRID in the points after the French marque’s win at Monza last time out.

The second victory of the season for Nicolas Lapierre (a winner at Fuji for Toyota in 2012 and 2013), Andre Negrao and Matthieu Vaxiviere extended their advantage in the standings to 10 points over Le Mans 24 Hours conquerors Hartley, Buemi (also a Fuji victor in 2014 and 2017) and Ryo Hirakawa in the #8 Toyota, who finished second in Italy. The #7 Toyota of Kamui Kobayashi, Mike Conway and Jose Maria Lopez remains third in the standings, albeit a further 20 points behind.

Monza polesitter Glickenhaus has not made the trip to Japan, but the Hypercar contingent is again boosted by the presence of Peugeot, making its second race outing after giving its new 9X8 Le Mans Hypercar a debut in Italy.

While the Peugeot Sport team may be new to Fuji, its #94 line-up of Loic Duval, Gustavo Menezes and James Rossiter boasts plenty of Japanese pedigree. Duval was victorious at Fuji on his way to the 2009 Formula Nippon crown and has won at the track in Super GT in 2006 and 2007, while Rossiter scored his first Super GT win at Fuji in 2013. Could their local knowledge pay dividends and get Peugeot off the mark?

#94 Peugeot Totalenergies Peugeot 9X8 of Loic Duval, Gustavo Menezes, James Rossiter

#94 Peugeot Totalenergies Peugeot 9X8 of Loic Duval, Gustavo Menezes, James Rossiter

Photo by: Paolo Belletti

The class battles

It is incredibly close in the points race between Ferrari and Porsche in GTE Pro. With just two races to go before the class bids farewell, there is just one point between the leading crews of the respective manufacturers as each bids to have the last word before moving into the Hypercar class in 2023.

Finishing third at Monza was enough to move defending champions James Calado and Alessandro Pier Guidi in the #51 Ferrari above the #92 Porsche of Gianmaria Bruni in the standings, while the sister #91 Porsche of Kevin Estre and Michael Christensen is just one point further back in third.

After testing positive for COVID-19 and being replaced at Monza by Fred Makowiecki, Bruni’s regular co-driver Richard Lietz returns to the #92 car for Fuji, where he and Marc Lieb took victory over Bruni (then driving for Ferrari) and Giancarlo Fisichella in 2012.

Corvette Racing took its first win of the 2022 WEC at Monza with a superbly-judged fuel-saving display from Nick Tandy and Tommy Milner, and the Anglo-American pair will hope to continue their form as the C8.R makes its Japanese bow.

In the GTE Am class, the points race is similarly close with just four points separating the two leading Aston Martin contenders. A dramatic crash at Monza for Henrique Chaves in the TF Sport Vantage meant the Le Mans-winning car he shared with Marco Sorensen and Ben Keating collected no points in Italy, but the NorthWest AMR machine of Nicki Thiim, David Pittard and Paul Dalla Lana was unable to take full advantage by finishing eighth.

Aston Martin took GTE Pro (with Thiim/Sorensen) and GTE Am honours (with TF Sport) in 2019, so watch out for a battle royale from the British cars. Their closest challenge may come from Proton Dempsey Porsche drivers Harry Tincknell, Seb Priaulx and Christian Ried, the only crew to have won twice so far this year and is 20 points off the summit in third.

#51 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GTE EVO: Alessandro Pier Guidi, James Calado,

#51 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GTE EVO: Alessandro Pier Guidi, James Calado,

Photo by: JEP / Motorsport Images

In LMP2, the #38 Jota Sport ORECA crew has the biggest points advantage of any class leader with 19 points in hand over their nearest rival. Second at Monza after winning their class at Le Mans and placing third at Spa, the enviable consistency of Antonio Felix da Costa, Will Stevens and Roberto Gonzalez has put them in the driving seat over Oliver Jarvis and Josh Pierson in the #23 United Autosports USA ORECA.

But with Realteam by WRT crew Ferdinand Habsburg, Rui Andrade and Norman Nato hitting their stride with victory at Monza, Jota can’t afford to let its concentration drop. The #41 Realteam crew sits third in the standings, 27 points down on Jota, close enough to strike in the event of an issue for the points leaders.

Rene Rast will be replaced in the sister WRT entry by fellow Audi factory driver Dries Vanthoor, who drove a third car for the Belgian outfit at Le Mans, while two-time Daytona 24 Hours winner Renger van der Zande joins Vector Sport in place of Nico Muller.

Full 2022 6 Hours of Fuji session timings

Friday 9 September 2022
Free Practice 1: 03:00-04:30 BST (11:00-12:30 local)
Free Practice 2: 07:30-09:00 BST (15:30-17:00 local)

Saturday 10 September 2022
Free practice 3: 02:20-03:30 BST (10:20-11:20 local)
Qualifying 1: 06:40-06:50 BST (14:40-14:50 local)
Qualifying 2: 07:00-07:10 BST (15:00-15:10 local)

Sunday 11 September 2022
Race: 03:00-09:00 BST (11:00-17:00 local)

Fuji Fans

Fuji Fans

Photo by: JEP / Motorsport Images

How can I watch the 6 Hours of Fuji?

The 6 Hours of Fuji can be viewed via the Motorsport.tv streaming service, which brings fans a weekly schedule of live races and on-demand content. A monthly subscription that includes live WEC coverage, access to the Duke Motorsport Archive and the exclusive full 24 Hours of Le Mans archive costs £4.79, or £39.99 on an annual basis.

Fans can download the official WEC App, which provides fans with English-language commentary of all sessions, as well as access to live timing and highlights. Within the app, a full season pack costs £23.99, which allows users to watch the live feed and access exclusive onboard camera footage on five devices. For more information, click here.

The race will also be available to watch via streaming service discovery+, which costs £6.99 per month or £59.99 annually.

Reports will follow every session on Autosport.com, and a full race analysis will be available to read on Monday.

Weather forecast for the 6 Hours of Fuji

The weather is forecast to be warm for the 6 Hours of Fuji, with highs of 29°C on Sunday afternoon, but with a chance of a thunderstorm that could turn strategies upside down.

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