At the Fuji International Speedway on Sunday October 16, 2016 Porsche came third and fifth with its two 919 Hybrids in a thrilling six-hour race. Porsche thus defended its lead in both, the manufacturers’ and drivers’ classifications, at the seventh out of nine rounds of the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC). Toyota achieved a victory on home soil. After 244 laps all three manufacturers engaged in the top category LMP1 were within 18 seconds.
For quite a while Timo Bernhard (DE), Brendon Hartley (NZ) and Mark Webber (AU) had chances to win the race; in the end they finished third. This year’s Le Mans winners and current championship leaders, Romain Dumas (FR), Neel Jani (CH) and Marc Lieb (DE), had started from sixth position. They were unhappy with the car’s balance for some of the time and came fifth. Because their closest rivals in the drivers’ championship took more points than them, their advantage has shrunk to 23 points.
In the manufacturers’ standings, Porsche (263 points) has increased its lead over Audi (204). Toyota follows with 174 points and there are two more six-hour races to come.
Fritz Enzinger, Vice President LMP1: “Since Le Mans we have won all the WEC races. Today it is a podium finish, but after an exciting race. In the end only seconds decided the first three places. Congratulations to Toyota for their win on home soil. Respect to Audi for a strong performance as well. We were able to improve our position in the manufacturers’ standings. Now we head to the final stages of the season, we are looking forward to the last two races of the season.”
The race at the foot of Mount Fuji was held in constantly dry conditions at ambient temperatures of around 20 degrees Celsius. The Speedway at the foot of the picturesque stratovolcano is very demanding when it comes to set-up work. On the 1.5-kilometre long straight minimum drag is required. But through the 16 corners, that are partly very tight, of the 4.549 kilometre short track downforce is needed.