Conway, Kobayashi And Lopez Lead A Toyota 1-2 At Home In Fuji
Toyota Gazoo Racing’s Mike Conway Kamui Kobayashi and Jose Maria Lopez took victory in at the Six Hours of Fuji in the No.7 TS050 Hybrid coming from the back of the LMP1 grid to win the race ahead of their team mates Fernando Alonso, Sebastien Buemi and Kazuki Nakajima in the No.8 TS050 Hybrid.
Speaking following the race, Mike Conway commented by saying:
I am really pleased with this result; to get a one-two in TOYOTA’s home race is a nice feeling. It was not an easy race, especially starting from eighth but our car performed really well and my team-mates did a fantastic job as usual; they were solid and consistent which was exactly what we needed. It’s great to get another win after coming so close for the last two years and to get it now at the home race is obviously great.
Kamui Kobayashi commented by saying:
It’s amazing to win my home race for the second time. The team has done a great job all weekend and they really deserve this. We were disappointed after qualifying but we came back in the best way possible with a victory. We have waited a long time on car #7 for this; finally we are in the centre of the podium again. I think this can be a turning point for us for the rest of the season but now we need to celebrate this moment.
Jose Maria Lopez commented by saying:
After the disappointment from qualifying it feels so good to achieve the first win with TOYOTA. It’s also a fantastic feeling to win for the first time in WEC. The most important thing is to thank everyone in Higashi-Fuji and Cologne who make it all possible as well as Mike and Kamui; it is a privilege to share a car with these guys. Together we have bounced back in a very important race for us and I cannot describe how happy I am.
Fernando Alonso in the No.8 TS050 Hybrid extended his lead in the World Endurance Championship drivers standings coming home in second place and speaking following the race the Spaniard commented by saying:
It was a good race. We were a bit unlucky with the safety car – we were one minute 20 seconds in front and all that advantage was neutralised, but these things happen in motorsport. We were not quite quick enough to battle the #7 today; congratulations to them. They deserved it because they have been very fast all weekend. It has been a positive day for the championship; we have extended the lead in both so overall it’s a very good weekend.
Sebastien Buemi commented on the race result by saying:
Congratulations to the #7 guys, they did a great job and deserve this victory. On our car we were strong but the #7 was just a tiny bit quicker than us most of the race. Congratulations as well to the team for a perfect result in our home event; I’m happy we could achieve a one-two and I hope everyone enjoyed the race.
Kazuki Nakajima commented on his second place finish by saying:
It was a great result for the team to get a one-two here at Fuji Speedway; it is a special moment. For our car it was a difficult race today because the #7 had better pace in the dry conditions and we were a bit unlucky with the safety car. But no complaints; that’s racing. Today we finished second but we did a great job as a team for both World Championships.
Toyota Team President Hisatake Murata commented on the result saying:
I’m really happy with this perfect result and I am also pleased we could put on such a great spectacle for the fans here at Fuji Speedway. All week they have given us fantastic support so I hope they enjoyed watching this exciting race. As our home race, Fuji is a very important event for us and the target was always to earn another one-two victory in front of our fans and colleagues. We could achieve that because the team worked hard and performed well, even when faced with difficult weather conditions early in the race, so I am proud of their effort.
President of the Toyota Motor Company, Akio Toyoda commented on the fantastic result for the company by saying:
We have achieved an excellent result of finishing the FIA World Endurance Championship 6 Hours of Fuji with a one-two finish. I would like to express our appreciation to all the fans supported us. The 6 Hours of Fuji this year meant a lot to us; a triumphant home return following the Le Mans 24 Hours, a chance to race again after the disappointment of the previous race and the home race of TOYOTA GAZOO Racing. Many fans, partners and suppliers who support our activities came to Fuji. In order to convey gratitude to them, I really wanted to be there but unfortunately I could not make it. I believe the best way to show them our gratitude as TOYOTA GAZOO Racing is to have a great race and I especially really wanted them to see a one-two finish like at Le Mans on our home circuit. What I could do for this purpose was to send a message to the drivers before the race: “Please drive out and enjoy the battle to the finish line!” And prior to the race, they replied to me: “We are going to race hard!” They really drove six hours like that. I think such a race could show TOYOTA GAZOO Racing’s passion to those who supported us and I would like to thank all the drivers for this. Although I could not be on site, I felt the feelings of everyone in the team from the TV screen and I was able to fight with them as one team. Thank you very much to the all team members for this one-two finish, and congratulations on the long-awaited win for all on car #7! And for the fans who always support us, thank you very much. We appreciate your continued support.”
The next race of the 2018/19 FIA World Endurance Championship takes place at the Shanghai International Circuit from November 16-18th.