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Old 10 Oct 2013, 05:48   #1
Beetle
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2013 FIA WEC - Round 6 - 6 Hours of Fuji



The FIA World Endurance Championship is headed off to Asia for the 6th round of the 2013 season. Nestled in the foothills of the magnificent Mount Fuji, Fuji Speedway is as much of a geological wonder as a breathtaking race circuit. In very much a rural setting, Fuji is a nice change of pace from the hectic city hustle and bustle São Paulo and Austin have brought the drivers and teams, yet Tokyo, one of the biggest (and coolest!) cities in the world, is just a short 1 1/2 hours away! The weekend of October 18-20 will not be as packed as the International Sports Car Weekend at Circuit of the Americas, where the last round of the WEC was held in September, but nonetheless the FIA WEC and Japan Formula 3 always put on a great spectacle. Also, a potential spoiler is in the making, with Japan's own Toyota Racing continuing to make development progress in the fight against the perennial favorites, Audi Sport Team Joest. As well as being Toyota's home race, Fuji will see the return of the Japanese team's second car, the #7 Toyota TS030 Hybrid, which was retired from the season prematurely for financial savings for the 2014 season. Toyota also comes off a strong finish from the USA's Circuit of the Americas, where the #8 car split the two Audi R18s on the podium. The return of the classic LMP1 dogfight may just kick off here at Fuji. Additionally, LMP2 has acquired two new Asian entries for this round and GTE should be as lively as ever. Tickets are still available, hotels rooms still at your disposal, and the excitement is bubbling up once again! On October 20th, the sportscars of the FIA WEC will roar through the Japanese peaks - are you ready?

In LMP1, Toyota is poised to finally strike back at Audi after a dominant year by the German team. The return of the sister car, a 2nd place in Austin, a 2012 win at the circuit, and a home race for the team all point to a very close battle between Toyota Racing and Audi Sport Team Joest at Fuji. Momentum is building and emotions will be running high, and there will definitely be no shortage of Toyota support in the grandstands come Sunday. The driver lineup for the revived #7 car stays the same as it was in Le Mans: Alexander Wurz, Nicolas Lapierre, and Kazuki Nakajima.

LMP2 will see the absence of Greaves Motorsport as they fulfill their duties at Petit Le Mans. However, the ambitious (and successful) Japanese team GAINER, which runs in the GT300 class in Super GT, will be fielding a Nissan-powered Zytek LMP2 car. As far as we know it, they are in a cooperation with the very same Greaves Motorsport (someone I know around here may be able to confirm that... JB?) . Also, Chinese-based racing team KCMG will return after mixed success at Silverstone and Le Mans with a radically different driver lineup. The rapid young British open-wheel racing star, Richard Bradley, will join Japanese drivers Kazuhiro Koizumi and Tsugio Matsuda. But, as usual, the real action will be between the main championship protagonists, Pecom Racing and OAK Racing. The trio of Martin Plowman, Ricardo Gonzalez, and Bertrand Baguette lead Pecom's Pierre Kaffer, Nicolas Minassian, and Luis Pérez Companc by only three points. Russia's G-Drive Racing should also be in the mix after two wins in the row, but they are still recovering from a rough start to the season which included an exclusion from Le Mans because of a technical infringement!

GTE-Pro will remain competitive and riveting as usual, but it will be losing one of the three pro Aston Martin Vantages, dropping the entry count to a rather disappointing six cars. Despite this, the racing should still be very intense. After a rather serious injury while racing in Barcelona that took the German out for the CoTA round, Aston Martin factory driver Stefan Mücke will make a rapid return to the series, driving alongside the usual Darren Turner and Frederic Makowiecki. Makowiecki will be swapping roles from the #99 to #97 car to make room for the Lamy/Dalla Lana/Stanaway trio in the #99. AF Corse is looking to continue their streak of solid finishes in the #51 car, where Gianmaria "Gimmi" Bruni and Giancarlo Fisichella will be driving once again. After winning in Brazil, they came a close second to Aston Martin in the USA and surely want desperately to topple their British rivals off their perch. After a 1-2 for Porsche at Le Mans, the German outfit has had a very quiet and unsuccessful midseason with the best result of only 3rd (out of 7) at São Paulo (that includes both the #91 and #92 cars). However, because of a massively successful 24 Hours of Le Mans, Porsche is still in the championship hunt and can't afford to lose site of it now.

In GTE-Am, it seems like no one can stop Aston Martin as they snagged a sheerly dominant 1-2 finish in class at CoTA. With the beneficial addition of ex-F1-ace-turned-GT-driver Bruno Senna and the young, promising Brit Jonathan Adam joining the team in Fuji, Aston Martin looks as strong as ever and hopes to continue their winning ways. However, the legendary French team IMSA Performance Matmut may be looking to put an end to all of that. They were the only team able to keep up with Aston Martin throughout the 6 Hours of CoTA, and the speedy Markus Paltalla will be replacing the somewhat sluggish Christophe Bourret this round. Additionally, ambitions will be set sky high as they currently run 2nd in the GTE-Am championship, only four points behind the two leading Aston Martin drivers Stuart Hall and Jamie Campbell-Walter.

HELPFUL LINKS

CIRCUIT WEBSITE
...and race weekend page link here: http://www.fsw.tv/freepage/713/

TICKETS

WEEKEND SCHEDULE

ENTRY LIST
Notable absences: #41 Greaves Motorsport LMP2; #98 Aston Martin Racing GTE-Pro
Notable additions: #7 Toyota Racing LMP1; #27 Gainer International LMP2; #47 KCMG LMP2

EXTENDED WEATHER FORECAST
(as of October 10, 2013)

NEARBY HOTELS AND ACCOMMODATIONS
Gotemba*
Odawara*
Fuji*
Yokohama
Tokyo
* Denotes that this city's hotels are all booked or nearly all booked.

ROUTES FROM CENTRAL TOKYO
From Shinjuku Station, near Tokyo CBD
From Tokyo CBD by car

TRACK MAP

LAP OF FUJI SPEEDWAY

ANDY BLACKMORE'S SPOTTER GUIDES!

FRC PREDICTIONS COMPETITION

COUNTDOWN AND TIME CONVERSION PAGES
FP1
FP2
FP3
Qualifying
Race

Bring on Fuji!!!









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Old 10 Oct 2013, 06:55   #2
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TF110 should be qualifying in the top 5 on the gridTF110 should be qualifying in the top 5 on the grid
Probably the best poster this year. The samurai armor is a nice touch with the background of Mount Fuji.
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Old 10 Oct 2013, 10:24   #3
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The posters are getting a bit better, but still too much cut & pasted random stuff. Without too much effort to do that properly (see the road under the Audi). I liked the COTA poster, and since it was so different from this usual WEC style, I think it might have been done by the ALMS or COTA people...
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Old 10 Oct 2013, 11:22   #4
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Really looking forward to this.

The big question for me is - is anyone on the forum doing the entire 16 hours of Petit Le Fujimans?

Timezones are NOT my forte but from the schedule I'm looking at it looks like they essentially back onto each other. But please correct me if I'm wrong.

Obviously it will be huge to see Toyota back on a level playing field with the Audis and the four car fight for the win.

Still trying to get my head around Jamie Campbell-Walter, Stuart Hall and Jonny Adam as an 'Am' line-up. Barring issues they should drive off into the sunset.
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Old 10 Oct 2013, 12:23   #5
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Really looking forward to this.

The big question for me is - is anyone on the forum doing the entire 16 hours of Petit Le Fujimans?

Timezones are NOT my forte but from the schedule I'm looking at it looks like they essentially back onto each other. But please correct me if I'm wrong.

Obviously it will be huge to see Toyota back on a level playing field with the Audis and the four car fight for the win.

Still trying to get my head around Jamie Campbell-Walter, Stuart Hall and Jonny Adam as an 'Am' line-up. Barring issues they should drive off into the sunset.
Up until the release of the PLM entry list I was pretty sure I was keen on doing the 16 Hours of Petit Le Fujimans (which I wholeheartedly like as a name), but now I suspect I may find other things to occupy my attention for at least some of the PLM period.

Bearing this in mind I think I'm a degree more excited about Fuji than Road Atlanta and might try and keep powder dry for that one.

It's a shame, in years gone by PLM has been a real favourite for occupying a whole day when I could monopolise the TV, do something elaborate in the kitchen, and be assured there was something interesting happening in the background.
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Old 10 Oct 2013, 14:19   #6
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Up until the release of the PLM entry list I was pretty sure I was keen on doing the 16 Hours of Petit Le Fujimans (which I wholeheartedly like as a name), but now I suspect I may find other things to occupy my attention for at least some of the PLM period.

Bearing this in mind I think I'm a degree more excited about Fuji than Road Atlanta and might try and keep powder dry for that one.

It's a shame, in years gone by PLM has been a real favourite for occupying a whole day when I could monopolise the TV, do something elaborate in the kitchen, and be assured there was something interesting happening in the background.
Now that you mention it, the PLM entry list does look a bit uninspiring this year, especially when compared to previous years, whereas Fuji will be bringing a few extra entries and undoubtedly stiffer competition. Overall, I think Petit Le Mans will play second fiddle in my October 18-20th weekend racing orchestra.
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Old 10 Oct 2013, 14:43   #7
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I am one of the lucky/unlucky 50,000 who will be at Road Atlanta and not have much chance to watch Fuji.

I guess I ought not to complain, but I would really like to see Toyota's one-two-punch knock Audi down for at least one race this season.
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Old 10 Oct 2013, 16:09   #8
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I guess I ought not to complain, but I would really like to see Toyota's one-two-punch knock Audi down for at least one race this season.
Don't we all...
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Old 10 Oct 2013, 20:57   #9
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TF110 should be qualifying in the top 5 on the gridTF110 should be qualifying in the top 5 on the grid
If they can get on top of their fuel usage (which they seemed to have in Austin) they may go 3 laps further than Audi. With two cars I wonder if theyll experiment with downforce levels to take advantage of that monster straight with one of their entries.
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Old 10 Oct 2013, 22:06   #10
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If they can get on top of their fuel usage (which they seemed to have in Austin) they may go 3 laps further than Audi. With two cars I wonder if theyll experiment with downforce levels to take advantage of that monster straight with one of their entries.
That's a good point - perhaps a Toyota TS030 longtail?
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Old 10 Oct 2013, 22:30   #11
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I don't see either Audi or Toyota pulling anything different with areo for Fuji. All 4 of their cars will probably be in sprint race spec.

I did question that, since Fuji is very similar in many respects to Paul Ricard, and Audi and Toyota almost always run their LM areo there in testing. Yet at Fuji, last year (and I suspect this year) they'll/they did run the sprint bodywork.
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Old 10 Oct 2013, 22:33   #12
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Yes, surely the Sprint package has to be the one for Fuji. With the exception of Monza I can't think of another potential circuit that would require the LM package.
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Old 10 Oct 2013, 22:40   #13
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The only reason I wonder about that is that Fuji has that almost 1 mile long front straight, and the track's layout is overall very similar to Paul Ricard. Both tracks have a long straight and low-medium speed corners as their defining features now, even with Fuji's couple of high speed sweepers that were left largely unaltered by TMC's/Tilke's facelift.

But at this stage, I don't think that Audi and Toyota would bother with a LM or a LM/sprint hybrid package for Fuji. They ran the sprint race stuff last year and it worked out fine, and all the teams in LMP and GT ran their regular sprint aero packages. I don't think that'll change this year.
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Old 10 Oct 2013, 22:46   #14
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I don't think the straight is enough, too twiddly at the end of the lap and all corners in the middle. I also don't recall the F1 lot skimping on wing when they were there a few years back.
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Old 10 Oct 2013, 23:36   #15
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That's a good point - perhaps a Toyota TS030 longtail?
Oh no, I did not mean a different package in terms of bodywork, just the amount of downforce each car runs. Besides, their rear bodywork is already the maximum allowed overhang.
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