The 2016 FIA World Endurance Championship pays it annual visit to the 4.549 kms Fuji International Speedway at Oyama in the Shizuoka Prefecture for Round Seven on October 16..
In the FIA World Endurance Manufacturers Championship Porsche Team now holds a 53-point advantage over Audi Sport team Joest after victory at the 6 Hours of Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas for the #1 Porsche Team 919 Hybrid driven by Timo Bernhard, Mark Webber and Brendon Hartley. Having qualified in pole and second on the grid for the 2015 race followed by a win for Bernard, Hartley and Webber, Porsche Team are confident going into the latest round.
“We go to Japan with good momentum after three wins on the trot for car number 1,”said driver of the #1 car Brendon Harley. “Fuji is a track I enjoy and it’s a track that has produced great racing over the last years in the WEC. I expect another tough fight, and our goal and focus is to continue our winning streak.”
“I’ve always enjoyed racing there with Mount Fuji providing such a spectacular backdrop. In the last two years we received a very warm welcome from the fans,” said fellow driver Mark Webber. “Fuji is a unique circuit. It’s a short lap and technical with a mix of slow and quick corners, and a very long straight. It’s a challenge and not easy to get everything together. The last sector is tight and twisty, which I actually really like and it suits our 919 very well with the four-wheel drive. We want to keep the run going with car number 1.”
In LMP2 the #36 Signatech Alpine Nissan-powered A460, driven by Gustavo, Nicolas Lapierre and Stéphane Richelmi now holds a lead of 38 points in the FIA Endurance Trophy for LMP2 teams over the #43 RGR Sport by Morand Ligier JS P2 piloted by Ricardo Gonzalez, Filipe Albuquerque and Bruno Senna. The #26 G-Drive Racing ORECA 05 now sits in third place 30 points RGR Sport by Morand. Nothing less than the win at Fuji Speedway will satisfy the Kent-based team this weekend.
In The LMGTE Pro class the #95 Aston Martin Racing Vantage V8 holds a 12-point lead in the Endurance Trophy for LMGTE Pro Teams over the #71 AF Corse Ferrari F488 GTE driven by Davide Rigon and Sam Bird. In the LMGTE Am class AF Corsa with its #83 Ferrari F458 Italia lead the way on 137 points, 33 points ahead of the #88 Abu-Dhabi Proton racing Porsche 911 RSR piloted by Khaled Al Qubaisi, David Heinemeier Hansson and Patrick Long.
Racing at the Japanese circuit can always be unpredictable given the speed at which the weather can change. The forecast for this weekend, though, is for settled and dry conditions for race day.
FP1 for the 6-hour race gets under way at 10:45 local time on Friday October 14 with qualifying beginning at 14:00 local time on Saturday October 15.
The lights go out for the start of the 6 Hours of Fuji at 11:00 local time (03:00 UK time) on Sunday October 16.