After two red flags and seven safety car periods, organisers were forced to bring the 6 Hours of Fuji to an early end
Although not quite as bad as the 2013 race, which saw just 16 laps being completed (all of which were behind the safety car), this year’s 6 Hours of Fuji was blighted by terrible weather which caused a number of stoppages.
After a safety car start things eventually got going.
The racing was good too - especially this LMP2 battle between Nico Lapierre and James Rossiter.
Visibility continued to get worse however, and eventually the safety car was deployed just before the end of the first hour.
Soon afterwards the race was red-flagged because fog descended over the circuit, and things couldn’t get going again for another half an hour. With visibility like this, can you blame them?!
The stop-start nature of the race continued from then on, with a the safety car having to be deployed a couple more times due to the weather.
It did have to come out once for a non-weather related issue. With two-and-a-half hours to go, there was a strange situation in LMP2 where Rebellion’s Mathias Beche was alongside Manor’s Jean-Eric Vergne in a slow zone. Vergne wasn’t happy, so he deliberately bumped into Beche’s car a couple of times, because that’s obviously the sensible thing to do in those conditions.
Then as the two battled for position later in the lap there was more contact, and Beche was set spinning into the wall and out of the race.
Eventually things got foggy again. Really foggy. The race was stopped again with just over 90 minutes to go, and it wasn’t until there were 10 minutes left that the call was made to restart.
At least, that was the plan. The drivers rushed back to their cars and prepared to get underway for a sprint to the flag, but in the time between the restart being announced and the drivers getting set to go, the fog set in again, and the race was ended.
Despite Porsche having pretty much dominated this season, Toyota reigned supreme in the tricky conditions of its home event and scored a 1-2.
Best of all for the team, it was the No.8 car of Sebastien Buemi/Kazuki Nakajima/Anthony Davidson which won (although Davidson didn’t even get to drive in the race!), giving them hope for the driver’s championship as the championship-leading Porsche of Brendon Hartley/Timo Bernhard/Earl Bamber could only finish fourth.
The gap in the championship is still 39 points though, and with only two races left to go this season odds are Porsche will take both LMP1 titles again in their final year in the championship.