The Toyota Gazoo Racing team took their second race win of the 2019/20 FIA World Endurance Championship season on Sunday as they finished 1-2 at home in Japan.

Sebastien Buemi, Kazuki Nakajima and Brendon Hartley took victory from pole position giving the team their seventh win in eight years at Fuji Raceway.

For Hartley it was his first victory as a Toyota Gazoo Racing driver after taking over the No.8 TS050 Hybrid from Fernando Alonso.

Speaking following the race, Hartley said:

It’s a really nice feeling to take my first victory with TOYOTA GAZOO Racing, especially to do it on home soil as well. It’s the last time we get to race the TS050 HYBRID at Fuji so to win was great; I’m going to enjoy this moment. We had a pretty clean race and Kazuki did an amazing job on the intermediate tyres. We had the advantage over the #7 car with success handicap today but that will not be the case in Shanghai when we can expect a very close race.”

Sebastien Buemi commented saying:

I am really pleased with the race and the result today. It’s never easy but we executed a clean race and managed the conditions well, so thanks a lot to the team for their hard work. Of course, it’s even more important to win this race because we have a lot of Japanese fans supporting us and some very important guests, so everyone is very happy. Now we’re equal on points in the championship with the #7 guys so Shanghai is going to be an interesting weekend.”

Kazuki Nakajima commented saying:

“It’s great to win again here in Fuji in front of our home fans; congratulations to everyone in the team. It was important to us to get a one-two in the last Japanese race for the TS050 HYBRID because we have experienced so many emotions with this car. It’s like an old friend so we had to give it a last win at home. It was a tough race in changing conditions but we kept strong pace and were quick on the intermediate tyres. We controlled the race and managed the traffic well so I am very happy.

The win came despite the new time penalties that have come into force for this season.

Mike Conway in the #7 TS050 Hybrid commented saying:

“A one-two finish was the goal so I’m happy to achieve that; it’s great for the team to win our home race. We would have loved to win the race with the #7 but it was always going to be difficult. We gave it our all and kept the sister car on its toes all the way through; that was the most we could do. With the changing conditions we had to stay sensible and avoid mistakes, and now we move on to the next one when we will be looking to fight for the win.”

Jose Maria Lopez commented saying:

“It was a good race and we did what we had to do; we made no mistakes and got the maximum out of our car. Considering the handicap we had a very strong pace and didn’t finish too far behind the #8, but the most important thing was to get another one-two at our home race. The whole team did a fantastic job and we had great support from our Japanese colleagues so thanks to everyone. I am also happy to be part of a one-two in the TS050 HYBRID’s last race in Japan; that is pretty special.”

Kamui Kobayashi said:

Congratulations to the #8 guys and also the team for this one-two win. It was the target for this weekend. I think second place was the maximum we could achieve today in the #7 because we had more handicap than our sister car, but we kept pushing and never gave up hope. In the end, we did everything we could and had a clean race, so I am pleased for the team to get this result and now I can’t wait to have a closer fight in Shanghai.”

Toyota Gazoo Racing Team President Hisatake Murata commented saying:

The whole team is delighted to achieve another one-two victory in our home race. After Le Mans, Fuji is the next most important race of the season for TOYOTA GAZOO Racing so a one-two victory was a big target for us; thanks to everyone in the team who made this possible. Thank you particularly to all the fans who again made the 6 Hours of Fuji such a special race with their passion; all of us appreciate their support. I hope they enjoyed seeing the TS050 HYBRIDs competing for the final time in Japan. Now we go to Shanghai with additional success handicap which should make for a more difficult race but we are looking forward to the challenge.”

 

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