D'Station Racing reflect on Epic Home Showing
From back of the grid to podium for home heroes...
Racing in the FIA World Endurance Championship since 2021, it was very much a home event in the LMGTE Am category for the #777 D’Station Racing Aston Martin Vantage AMR.
With their racing team workshop located just minutes away from the Fuji International Speedway venue of the 6 Hours of Fuji, it turned out to be all to do for the home squad as they had to start the race from right at the back of the 36-car field.
Excluded times in qualifying meant the #777 car with the driving force of Satoshi Hoshino, Tomonobu Fujii and Charles Fagg were allocated the grid final spot, but from there it was an epic effort from the #777 car which finished in third spot in the class, their best result of 2022 and equal best-ever result in WEC.
“It was a magnificent moment to be on the podium at our home circuit,” said Hoshino, who is the team owner as well as driving the car.
“Just as in life, there are peaks and valleys in racing. We had been troubled by poor luck for the last couple rounds of the WEC, but it is amazing that our efforts paid off at Fuji. It was amazing to share the excitement with so many of our supporters.
“To be honest, starting from the back of the grid, I had expected maybe a P5 or P6 finish. I couldn’t have imagined having a P3 podium finish. Personally, completing a double-stint, driving about 2 hours 10 minutes and my average lap time being in the top amongst the bronze drivers gave me the best sense of accomplishment this year.”
Racing alongside Hoshino, driver and team Managing Director Fujii, echoed his sentiments.
“I am very happy to get our first podium finish this season, especially in our home country of Japan,” said Fujii. “Last year we had a great race in Monza and had a podium finish, but we had some difficult races at Le Mans and Monza this year, so to achieve a podium finish at our home track was an exceptional result for our team.
“Fuji Speedway is a circuit that I have raced many times over the years in Super GT and other series. However, to compete against teams and drivers from the WEC in my home country of Japan was highly motivating for me. Also, there are many motorsport fans in Japan, so I was very happy to be able to race in front of them."
Driving with his two Japanese colleagues, it was the first time racing at Fuji for 22-year-old Brit, Charlie Fagg, who could only call upon experience of the circuit through iracing on his sim.
“It was one of the best races of my life - a real dream come true to come from last on the grid after a penalty in qualifying all the way to P3 - it felt like a win for us, and what a race it was,” said Fagg. “It came down to the wire and the final 30 minutes was the longest half an hour of my life trying to keep the Ferrari behind, but what a feeling to do it in front of all our guests and home crowd."