LMGTE teams news round up after 6 Hours of Fuji
Ferrari, Bruni-Vilander, AF Corse win and extend the leadership (Pro and Am)
It was a 1-2 for the AF Corse Ferrari 458 Italias in the “6 Hours of Fuji”, round five of the FIA World Endurance Championship. Gianmaria Bruni and Toni Vilander, in their #51 AF Corse Ferrari 458 Italia, took the chequered flag in first position of the GTE Pro category and increased their lead in the Drivers’ Championship to 131 points, 50 ahead of Makowiecki, in second place in the standings.
At the end of the six-hour race, in second position among the GTE cars was the #71 Ferrari 458 Italia driven by Davide Rigon and James Calado. The duo’s performance was great, and they led several times, alternating with the #51 during the race.
In the GTE Am category, it was an excellent performance in the Japanese round for Steve Wyatt, Michele Rugolo and Andrea Bertolini in the #81 Ferrari 458 Italia. Only a driveshaft failure in the last part of the race, took away a podium finish from the trio. Fifth position was for Bret Curtis, Jeroen Bleekemolen and Mike Skeen in the #61 458 Italia, and it was retirement due to a transmission problem for the #90 8 Star Motorsport Ferrari 458 (managed by AF Corse).
Returning to the rankings of the championship, Ferrari is leading in the GTE Manufactures with 200 points (Porsche is second, 171). AF Corse is leader in the GTE Pro Team standing with 131 points with Aston Martin Racing in second place with 95.
Aston Martin Wins in Japan (Pro and Am)
Aston Martin Racing has won the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) Six Hours of Fuji with its #95 V8 Vantage GTE Am class car. The #98 sister-car finished close behind in second place and the #99 took third place in the GTE Pro class in a race that was action-packed from the start.
At 1100hrs local time, the green flag waved and the #99 and #97 Vantage GTEs started side-by-side on the front row, following a successful qualifying session on Saturday afternoon. However, a chaotic start damaged the #97 and it was forced to return to the pits for an eight-minute stop it could never recover from.
The #99 – piloted by Fernando Rees (BR), Alex MacDowall (GB) and Darryl O’Young (HK) – continued on and spent the next six hours in a wheel-to-wheel battle with the two AF Corse Ferraris. A clever pit strategy, consistently quick lap times and a reliable car all contributed to the #99 Craft-Bamboo Racing team taking its first WEC podium in only its fifth Championship race.
For the full report on the team’s 6 Hours of Fuji, click HERE
Porsche Team Manthey victim of first corner shunt at Fuji
Bad luck for the Porsche Team Manthey at the six-hour race in Fuji: The No. 92 Porsche 911 RSR, which won the season opener at Silverstone, lost all its chances for clinching a top spot in the GTE-Pro class shortly after the start on the challenging Grand Prix circuit at the foot of Mount Fuji. Heading into the race from a promising second grid row position, Patrick Pilet (France) became tangled in a collision caused by another competitor, which resulted in major damages to his 911 RSR.
Repairs on the 470 hp GT racer from Weissach, which is based on the seventh generation of the iconic 911 sports car, took a total of seven laps to complete. Re-entering the race at the back of the GT field, Patrick Pilet took up the chase, and in front of over 40,000 fans, he and his compatriot Frédéric Makowiecki saw the flag in sixth place. Jörg Bergmeister (Germany) and Richard Lietz (Austria), competing together for the first time for Porsche Team Manthey in Fuji, planted the sister 911 RSR two positions in front.
For more details and driver quotes on Porsche's difficult Fuji race, click HERE
ProSpeed celebrates first WEC podium in Fuji
The World Endurance Championship is without a doubt the world’s most high ranking motorsport competition. Since this year ProSpeed Competition is competing in this championship and following the brilliant pole-position during the American round held in Austin, this Belgian team manned by the French trio Emmanuel Collard, François Perrodo and Matthieu Vaxivière have now clinched their first podium in the LM GTE Am category.
The brand new Porsche 911 RSR, in the capable hands of these ProSpeed Competition drivers, has proved its debut worthiness. There are still three rounds to be held in the WEC, namely in China, Bahrain with the final in Brazil, three new challenges for ProSpeed Competition to continue improving their performance curve which started in the USA and Japan.
All of ProSpeed Competition's news and race facts can be found HERE