TOYOTA GAZOO Racing competes on home ground this weekend when the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) makes its annual trip to Japan for the 6 Hours of Fuji.
The seventh round of the 2016 season is held at the TOYOTA-owned Fuji Speedway, located just a few kilometres from the Higashi-Fuji Technical Centre, where the 1,000hp TOYOTA HYBRID System - Racing is developed and built.
TOYOTA approaches its home race in positive mood following another podium finish and close fight for victory in the last race, at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas.
Stéphane Sarrazin, Mike Conway and Kamui Kobayashi in the #6 TS050 HYBRID were part of a three-way fight for victory that day, and will be looking to reclaim second place in the drivers’ World Championship at Fuji.
Anthony Davidson, Sébastien Buemi and Kazuki Nakajima have endured an unfortunate season so far, but travel to Fuji aiming to challenge for victory in their #5 TS050 HYBRID.
TOYOTA has a very strong record on home ground, having won three consecutive races at Fuji Speedway from 2012-2014 making it the team’s most successful circuit on the WEC calendar. After podium finishes in four of the six races so far this season, a return to winning ways in Japan is top of the agenda this weekend.
Although the current WEC series has raced at Fuji since 2012, the circuit is legendary in sportscar circles, having held the first 1000km of Fuji in 1967. Iconic TOYOTA cars, such as the 2000GT and TOYOTA 7, proved their performance by winning on the famed circuit close to Mount Fuji.
Fuji Speedway itself, located around 110km from central Tokyo, has evolved significantly since its opening in 1965, when a banked oval-style section began at the first corner and made up half of the track length until a redesign in the mid-1970s.
Nowadays, the circuit’s most striking characteristic is the long main straight which, at 1,475m, is the second longest on the WEC calendar after the Mulsanne Straight at Le Mans. Combined with a particularly tight and twisty final sector of the lap, this gives engineers and drivers a challenge to find the best compromise on car set-up.
Preparations for the race will begin on Friday with two 90-minute practice sessions, while the grid order is determined on Saturday with a short qualifying. The race will be held entirely in daylight, beginning at 11am local time.