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2017 FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC)

Round 7: 6 Hours of Fuji

Michelin tyres take Fuji Speedway’s torrential rain in their stride

- One-two success for Toyota Gazoo Racing on home soil

- Ferrari tops LM GTE Pro and LM GTE Am orders

-Michelin tyres deliver assertive display in Japan

Alessandro Barlozzi – alessandro.barlozzi@fr.michelin.com – Phone: +33.6.42.23.55.93 MEDIA INFORMATION 2017 FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) Round 7: 6 Hours of Fuji Michelin tyres take Fuji Speedway’s torrential rain in their stride - One-two success for Toyota Gazoo Racing on home soil - Ferrari tops LM GTE Pro and LM GTE Am orders - Michelin tyres deliver assertive display in Japan The teams and drivers taking part in this year’s 6 Hours of Fuji (Sunday, October 15) were greeted by three days of torrential rain, a first in the history of the FIA World Endurance Championship. Given the conditions, Michelin’s partners chose tyres from their respective allocations of WETs and Full WETs from Friday’s free practice sessions all the way through to the end of the race itself which was brought to an early halt by Race Control due to poor visibility.

 

Forty of the 100 covers per car that Michelin takes to every round of the FIA WEC are wet-weather tyres and this allocation is sufficient to cater for the sort of all-wet meetings that competitors faced in Japan.

 

“We are extremely pleased with the way our tyres performed in this weekend’s appalling conditions,” notes Jérôme Mondain, the manager of Michelin’s endurance racing programmes. “From Friday to Sunday, our partner teams used our complete spectrum of rain tyres which gave us an opportunity to validate the value of our development work, especially in the LM GTE Pro class which benefited from significant evolutions to the Michelin range this season. This year’s 6 Hours of Fuji saw our tyres produce an assertive display, especially in the classes where there is open competition and where our partners dominated the final leaderboard.”

 

Toyota Gazoo Racing celebrated the season’s trip to the circuit it has owned since 2000 with a one-two finish, led by the N°8 Toyota TS050-Hybrid of Buemi/Davidson/Nakajima which topped the order when Race Control took the decision to bring hostilities to an end after four-and-a-half hours, with much of the race spent at slow speed behind the safety car. The N°7 Toyota TS050-Hybrid (Conway/Kobayashi/Lopez) was second over the line, ahead of the N°1 Porsche 919 Hybrid (Jani/Lotterer/Tandy). Today’s result means the Japanese make is still in contention for the 2017 Manufacturers’ and Drivers’ titles.

Despite suffering in qualifying, Ferrari won the LM GTE Pro class with its N°51 488 GTE (Calado/Pier Guidi). After several successful passing attempts during the early part of the race, the Italian carmaker’s two cars took over from Porsche at the front of the field for a period of several laps.

 

Pole-winners Frédéric Makowiecki and Richard Lietz (N°91 Porsche 911 RSR) ended up second in the class, ahead of team-mates Michael Christensen and Kevin Estre (N°92 Porsche 911 RSR. The fight for the LM GTE Pro division’s 2017 titles will consequently continue until the next round in China at least.

 

The LM GTE Am battle was dominated from lights out to the chequered flag by the Spirit of Race and ClearWater Racing Michelin-equipped Ferrari 488 GTEs.

 

The next round of the 2017 FIA World Endurance Championship will take teams to Shanghai, China, on November 3-5.