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Practice report
WEC Fuji

WEC Fuji: Toyota flexes its muscles in second practice

Toyota dominated the first dry session of practice ahead of Sunday’s penultimate round of the World Endurance Championship at Fuji. 

#8 Toyota Gazoo Racing Toyota GR010 - Hybrid: Sebastien Buemi, Brendon Hartley, Ryo Hirakawa

Photo by: Masahide Kamio

The Toyota GR010 HYBRID Le Mans Hypercars ended up 1-2 in the times during Friday afternoon's Free Practice 2, Sebastien Buemi in the #8 car ending up over a second clear of the Japanese manufacturer’s closest challenger. 

Buemi and Kamui Kobayashi in the sister car each set two lap times faster than the Antonio Felix da Costa managed in the third-placed Jota Porsche 963 LMDh. The #8 car in Buemi’s hands ended up six tenths ahead of of Kobayashi in the #7.

Buemi got down to a 1m29.523s on his second hot lap on a fresh set of Michelin slicks at the beginning of the 90-minute session, which compared with a 1m30.120s best from Kobayashi.

The time from Buemi was only two tenths slower than than Kobayashi’s pole position mark for the Fuji 6 Hours 12 months ago. 

Jota driver da Costa vaulted to third position ahead of the best of the Ferrari 499Ps early in the session courtesy of a 1m30.584s. That pushed Alessandro Pier Guidi down to fourth in the #51 Ferrari in which he had posted a 1m30.618s. 

Michael Christensen ended up fifth in the first of the Porsche Penske Motorsport entries with of a 1m30.734s lap set early in the session. That gave him a margin of just over a tenth on the #50 Ferrari, which had topped the times in Antonio Fuoco’s hands thanks to a late run on slicks on a drying track in the morning session. 

Nicklas Nielsen got down to 1m30.877s in the afternoon aboard the second of the Ferraris to take sixth. 

The two Peugeot 9X8s took seventh and eighth positions. Jean-Eric Vergne’s 1m31.069s in the #93 car gave him a margin of little more than a tenth over team-mate Loic Duval, who ended up on 1m31.216s in #94.

#7 TOYOTA GAZOO RACING Toyota GR010 - Hybrid Hypecar of Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi, Jose Maria Lopez

#7 TOYOTA GAZOO RACING Toyota GR010 - Hybrid Hypecar of Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi, Jose Maria Lopez

Photo by: JEP

The second works Porsche was ninth in Kevin Estre’s hands, while Neel Jani took 10th in the Proton Competition’s team privateer 963.

The Vanwall Vandervell 680 LMH outpaced the solo Chip Ganassi Racing Cadillac V-Series-R at the rear of the Hypercar class. 

Louis Deletraz jumped to the top of the times in LMP2 as the chequered flag fell. He posted a 1m33.131s aboard the best of the WRT ORECA 07s to go nearly half a second clear of Pietro Fittipaldi in the Jota team’s solo P2 entry. 

The Brazilian had improved mid-session to 1m33.620s, which edged out the #23 United Autosports ORECA driven by Oliver Jarvis by just five thousandths. 

Fourth fastest in class less than a tenth behind was Ferdinand Habsburg in second WRT ORECAs. 

Factory Ferrari driver Davide Rigon led an AF Corse 1-2-3 in GTE Am. He topped the class order in the #54 Ferrari 488 GTE Evo on 1m38.239s, nearly half a second up on the team’s second entry in which Kei Cozzolino got down to 1m30.718s.

The Richard Mille-sponsored AF car took third position in Alessio Rovera’s hands. 

Final practice for the six-hour race at Fuji starts at 10:20 local time on Saturday, with qualifying following at 14:40.

WEC Fuji FP2 results:

 
 
       
Driver Info
 
 
 
   
Cla Team # Drivers Car Laps Time Interval km/h
1
Toyota Racing HYPERCAR
8 Switzerland S. Buemi New Zealand B. Hartley Japan R. Hirakawa Toyota GR010 - Hybrid 51 1'29.523   183.492
2
Toyota Racing HYPERCAR
7 United Kingdom M. Conway Japan K. Kobayashi Argentina J. Lopez Toyota GR010 - Hybrid 48 +0.597 0.597 182.276
3
HERTZ TEAM JOTA HYPERCAR
38 Portugal A. Felix da Costa United Kingdom W. Stevens China Y. Yifei Porsche 963 53 +1.061 0.464 181.343
4
FERRARI AF CORSE HYPERCAR
51 Italy A. Pier Guidi United Kingdom J. Calado Italy A. Giovinazzi Ferrari 499P 51 +1.095 0.034 181.275
5
PORSCHE PENSKE MOTORSPORT HYPERCAR
5 United States D. Cameron Denmark M. Christensen France F. Makowiecki Porsche 963 48 +1.211 0.116 181.043
6
FERRARI AF CORSE HYPERCAR
50 Italy A. Fuoco Spain M. Molina Denmark N. Nielsen Ferrari 499P 49 +1.354 0.143 180.758
7
PEUGEOT TOTALENERGIES HYPERCAR
93 United Kingdom P. di Resta Denmark M. Jensen France J. Vergne Peugeot 9X8 42 +1.546 0.192 180.377
8
PEUGEOT TOTALENERGIES HYPERCAR
94 France L. Duval United States G. Menezes Belgium S. Vandoorne Peugeot 9X8 48 +1.693 0.147 180.086
9
PORSCHE PENSKE MOTORSPORT HYPERCAR
6 France K. Estre Germany A. Lotterer Belgium L. Vanthoor Porsche 963 39 +1.713 0.020 180.047
10
Proton Competition HYPERCAR
99 Switzerland N. Jani Italy G. Bruni United Kingdom H. Tincknell Porsche 963 29 +1.880 0.167 179.718
11
FLOYD VANWALL RACING TEAM HYPERCAR
4 Argentina E. Guerrieri France T. Vautier
J. De
Vanwall Vandervell 680 32 +1.902 0.022 179.675
12
CADILLAC RACING HYPERCAR
2 New Zealand E. Bamber United Kingdom A. Lynn United Kingdom R. Westbrook Cadillac V-Series.R 48 +2.068 0.166 179.349
13
TEAM WRT LMP2
41 Portugal R. Andrade Poland R. Kubica Switzerland L. Deletraz Oreca 07 48 +3.608 1.540 176.383
14
Jota Sport LMP2
28 Denmark D. Heinemeier Hansson Brazil P. Fittipaldi Denmark O. Rasmussen Oreca 07 43 +4.097 0.489 175.462
15
United Autosports LMP2
23 United States J. Pierson United Kingdom B. Hanley United Kingdom O. Jarvis Oreca 07 46 +4.102 0.005 175.453
16
TEAM WRT LMP2
31 Indonesia S. Gelael Austria F. Habsburg Netherlands R. Frijns Oreca 07 48 +4.188 0.086 175.292
17
INTER EUROPOL COMPETITION LMP2
34 Poland J. Smiechowski Switzerland F. Scherer Spain A. Costa Oreca 07 43 +4.463 0.275 174.779
18
United Autosports LMP2
22 United Kingdom F. Lubin United Kingdom P. Hanson Portugal F. Albuquerque Oreca 07 45 +4.684 0.221 174.369
19
PREMA RACING LMP2
9 Romania F. Ugran Netherlands B. Viscaal United States J. Correa Oreca 07 48 +4.915 0.231 173.942
20
VECTOR SPORT LMP2
10 Ireland R. Cullen Liechtenstein M. Kaiser France G. Aubry Oreca 07 47 +4.968 0.053 173.845
21
ALPINE ELF TEAM LMP2
36 France M. Vaxiviere France J. Canal France C. Milesi Oreca 07 40 +5.125 0.157 173.556
22
PREMA RACING LMP2
63 France D. Pin Italy A. Caldarelli Russian Federation D. Kvyat Oreca 07 46 +5.136 0.011 173.536
23
ALPINE ELF TEAM LMP2
35 Brazil A. Negrao Mexico M. Rojas United Kingdom O. Caldwell Oreca 07 43 +5.290 0.154 173.254
24
AF Corse LMGTE AM
54 Switzerland T. Flohr Italy F. Castellacci Italy D. Rigon Ferrari 488 GTE EVO 48 +8.716 3.426 167.212
25
AF Corse LMGTE AM
21 Japan H. Koizumi France S. Mann Japan K. Cozzolino Ferrari 488 GTE EVO 47 +9.195 0.479 166.401
26
RICHARD MILLE AF CORSE LMGTE AM
83 Argentina L. Perez Companc France L. Wadoux Italy A. Rovera Ferrari 488 GTE EVO 48 +9.201 0.006 166.391
27
Proton Competition LMGTE AM
77 Germany C. Ried
M. Pedersen
France J. Andlauer
Porsche 911 RSR - 19 47 +9.341 0.140 166.155
28
PROJECT 1 - AO LMGTE AM
56 United States P. Hyett United States G. Jeannette Italy M. Cairoli Porsche 911 RSR - 19 44 +9.343 0.002 166.152
29
D'Station Racing LMGTE AM
777 Japan S. Hoshino United Kingdom C. Stevenson Japan T. Fujii Aston Martin Vantage AMR 45 +9.378 0.035 166.093
30
GR RACING LMGTE AM
86 United Kingdom M. Wainwright Italy R. Pera United Kingdom B. Barker Porsche 911 RSR - 19 45 +9.488 0.110 165.908
31
NORTHWEST AMR LMGTE AM
98 United Kingdom I. James Italy D. Mancinelli Spain A. Riberas Aston Martin Vantage AMR 48 +9.612 0.124 165.701
32
IRON DAMES LMGTE AM
85 Belgium S. Bovy Denmark M. Gatting Switzerland R. Frey Porsche 911 RSR - 19 43 +9.730 0.118 165.504
33
Corvette Racing LMGTE AM
33 United States B. Keating
N. Varrone
Netherlands N. Catsburg
Chevrolet Corvette C8.R 46 +9.748 0.018 165.474
34
IRON LYNX LMGTE AM
60 Italy C. Schiavoni Italy M. Cressoni Belgium A. Picariello Porsche 911 RSR - 19 42 +9.821 0.073 165.352
35
Kessel Racing LMGTE AM
57 Japan T. Kimura United States S. Huffaker Japan R. Miyata Ferrari 488 GTE EVO 48 +9.974 0.153 165.098
36
ORT BY TF LMGTE AM
25 United Kingdom A. Al Harthy United States M. Dinan Ireland C. Eastwood Aston Martin Vantage AMR 45 +10.392 0.418 164.407

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