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Toyota Wins 1-2 at Chaotic 6 Hours of Fuji

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2017 6 Hours of Fuji

Given its location on home soil, it is perhaps understandable that Toyota has always done well at the 6 Hours of Fuji endurance race—and after losing the last four World Endurance Championship (WEC) events to Porsche, it was keen on getting back to its winning ways. It ultimately did just that, but not before Fuji decided to establish itself as one of the weirdest races of the year so far.

As ever in Fuji, the weather was torrential. The rain was heavy enough to bring out two red flags, which signal the drivers to stop racing and return to the pits until the track is deemed safe enough to race again. The second flag came after four and a half hours had elapsed, in which time the two Toyota TS050 Hybrid LMP1 cars had done a commanding job staying ahead of the competing Porsche 919 Hybrids.

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Then, over an hour later—when everyone had believed the race would not be restarted and the current positions would be final—officials announced the race would resume. Only ten minutes would be left in the six-hour session, so it would be a mad dash to the finish line. The Porsche drivers were keen to get behind the wheel and have a go at the Toyotas, but before they could another period of heavy rain made conditions too hazardous again and officials decided the race would not be restarted after all.

As a result Sebastian Buemi and Kazuki Nakajima, who drive the No. 8 Toyota, were named the victors of the 6 Hours of Fuji; and because the race had been run for at least 70% of its targeted duration, Anthony Davidson—the other entered driver for the No. 8—was able to get full points without ever getting behind the wheel, as per FIA rules.

Thanks to its 1-2 finish, Toyota was also able to prevent Porsche from taking the 2017 WEC trophy. The TS050 Hybrid had looked particularly strong in Fuji and will look to the last two remaining races in Shanghai and Bahrain to come back at its rival.

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