Race updates from the 6 Hours of Fuji
A three-way fight between Audi, Porsche and Toyota has developed with two hour to go in the FIA WEC Six Hours of Fuji.
The No. 8 Audi R18 of Loic Duval holds a five-second lead over defending FIA World Endurance Champion Timo Bernhard in the No. 1 Porsche 919 Hybrid, with Stephane Sarrazin running in a close third in the No 6 Toyota TS050 Hybrid.
Sarrazin lost second to Bernhard through traffic at the end of the fourth hour, after previously challenging for the lead in the hard-fought race.
LMP2 continues to be led by the No. 26 G-Drive Racing Oreca 05 Nissan, which is searching for its breakthrough first class win of the season.
Alex Brundle holds a seven-second lead over the No. 36 Signatech Alpine A460 Nissan of Gustavo Menezes, with the No. 44 Manor Oreca Nissan running third in class.
Ford continues to control GTE-Pro, despite an accident by the No. 67 car of Harry Tincknell, who collided with Wolf Henzler's No. 78 KCMG Porsche 911 RSR that briefly knocked the Englishman out of the class lead.
Tincknell's co-driver, Andy Priaulx, is three seconds ahead of the No. 66 Ford, driven by Stefan Muecke.
The No. 98 Aston Martin Vantage GTE of Paul Dalla Lana, meanwhile, is out front in GTE-Am with two hours to go.
The No. 8 Audi R18 Hybrid continues to lead the FIA WEC Six Hours of Fuji in the hands of Lucas Di Grassi, as the sister No. 7 entry was retired following a failure of the hybrid system.
The gap between the leading Audi and No. 6 Toyota TS050 Hybrid, now in the hands of Stéphane Sarrazin, remained consistent at around five seconds throughout the last couple of hours.
Porsche remains within striking distance with the No. 1 919 Hybrid in third, although the championship leading No. 2 Porsche has been struggling with balance issues so far.
Marc Lieb currently lies in fifth, more than a minute behind the leaders, with the team opting to change the front end bodywork in an attempt to sort out the issue.
Following a pitstop of more than one hour the No. 7 Audi rejoined the track with its hybrid system disabled, but the car was retired before the halfway mark after the FIA informed the team that the car is no longer running conform to the homologation file.
G-Drive Racing was out front in LMP2 until it was the first in class to make its third pitstop right, temporarily handing over the lead to the No. 42 Strakka Racing Gibson 015S of Lewis Williamson.
Richard Bradley in the No. 44 Manor Oreca Nissan and Gustavo Menezes in the No. 36 Signatech Alpine A460 Nissan were battling heavily for third in the LMP2 class.
In GTE Pro the Ford GT remained in a class of its own, with the No. 67 and No. 66 driving away from the rest of the field and holding more than a half a minute lead on the No. 51 AF Corse Ferrari 488 GTE of Gianmaria Bruni.
Mathias Lauda’s No. 98 Aston Martin Racing Vantage GTE now enjoys a healthy lead over the No. 83 AF Corse Ferrari 458 Italia in GTE Am, after Rui Aguas got a 35-second stop and go penalty for speeding in the pitlane.
The No. 8 Audi R18 of Oliver Jarvis is out front after the opening hour of the FIA WEC Six Hours of Fuji, while the sister diesel-powered LMP1 car has hit trouble.
Jarvis holds a narrow one-second gap over the No. 6 Toyota TS050 Hybrid of Mike Conway, following the first round of pit stops that saw the Toyota gain considerable ground.
Timo Bernhard runs in third in the No. 1 Porsche 919 Hybrid, less than 10 seconds behind in a hard-fought start to the seventh round of the FIA World Endurance Championship.
Audi's chances of victory has been halved, with hybrid failure forcing the No. 7 car of Benoit Treluyer into the garage with just 20 minutes complete.
“The motor generator unit is broken,” Head of Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich said. “What we're trying to just run the combustion engine so we can collect some points. We can't repair the hybrid system anymore.”
G-Drive Racing is out front in LMP2, with the No. 26 Oreca 05 Nissan of Will Stevens holding a four-second gap over Roberto Merhi's No. 44 Manor Oreca Nissan in second.
An intense three-way fight for second developed in the opening hour between Filipe Albuquerque, Nicolas Lapierre and WEC debutant Antonio Giovinazzi.
The pair of Ford GTs have dominated the proceedings in GTE-Pro, with the No. 67 car of Harry Tincknell ahead of class pole-sitter Olivier Pla.
The No. 83 AF Corse Ferrari 458 Italia, meanwhile, paces GTE-Am.