The 6 Hours of Fuji started at 11:00 am local time. As per the rest of the weekend, the weather conditions were poor and the race started under the Safety Car. Nelson Piquet Jr and Bruno Senna started the race in positions 1 and 2.
As soon as the safety car pulled off the track, Nelson Piquet Jr had a problem in the first turn and the Oreca 07 #13 made a spin that relegated the car to 18th position overall. The Brazilian driver then had to start a big charge back up the classification of his category while Senna took the lead of the LMP2 pack.
After 25 minutes, Piquet Jr was back in eighth position in LMP2. His momentum was interrupted because of a first yellow flag due to heavy rain in the 40th minute of the race.
Shortly after the first hour of racing, due to poor visibility, the race was suspended and the cars all stopped at the finish line. After 30 minutes of complete stop under the red flag, the race was resumed. At that point Bruno Senna was still the class leader and Nelson Piquet Jr was P5.
Midway through the race, Mathias Beche and Nicolas Prost were at the wheels of their respective cars. Prost in car #31 took P4 out of the pits and then had to fight to go back to the top of the class. Unfortunately for the crew of car #13, after a contact with the LMP2 #24 CEFC Manor, Mathias Beche was pushed off the track and crashed into the barrier forcing the car to retire on the spot. Fortunately, the Swiss driver was unharmed in the accident.
Shortly before the fourth hour of the race, Nicolas Prost brought the Oreca 07 #31 back to the top of the LMP2 class in a very complicated race where the safety car was on track for much of the time due to bad weather conditions and increasing contacts between cars.
At 4H30 into the race, another red flag was announced due to thick fog that made it impossible to continue the race as it was. The race was not restarted after this red flag.
Vaillante REBELLION #31 thus wins the 6 Hours of Fuji in the LMP2 category. Signatech Alpine Matmut #36 and Jackie Chan DC Racing #38 were classified in positions 2 and 3, keeping the championship alive. Everything is still possible until the end of the season. The next WEC meeting in Shanghai on November 5th.
Bart HAYDEN, Team Manager:
“The 6 hours of Fuji race was run in really treacherous conditions, it was the right decision to red flag the race at the 4H30 mark. We are very happy that car #31 took the win as it keeps the LMP2 Championship interesting for the next race. Sadly, car #13 crashed and couldn’t make the finish. We will do our best to repair that car and be back to full strength for the next round in Shanghai.”
Bruno Senna, #31 driver:
“It was a tough race today. The weather made the race very stressful. In many times we could’nt see enough on track. But it was tough for everybody and very tense. The team did a good job. We really pushed the strategy as much as we could. We are happy today and we hope to continue our momentum for the next race in China.”
Nicolas Prost, #31driver:
“This victory is very important for the team. It makes no difference to me compared to another race. It was a very difficult and strange race for everyone. We had good pace, we made no mistake and in this conditions it makes the difference.”
Julien Canal, #31 driver:
“For me this race was less stressful compared to my teammates because I did not drive. But I have to admit that sometimes I was a bit anxious because Thomas Laurent (Signatech Alpine Matmut #36) is a very good driver and was in a good pace today. I’m very proud of all the team today. They did a great job and they bet on a strategy different from the other teams and it worked. This result is very good for the rest of the season.”
David Heinemeier Hansson, #13 driver:
“Sad end to a strong run. We had the car and pace to fight for podium and win. But that’s racing!”
Source. Rebellion Racing