November 28, 2023

JAPAN: Toyota clinched the 2023 producers’ title with a triumphant 1-2 end on their dwelling observe at Fuji Speedway. The workforce’s technical director, Pascal Vasselon, recommended their achievement, particularly within the face of fierce competitors from Porsche.

Nonetheless, the Prancing Horse of Ferrari confronted a difficult day, with their two 499Ps ending a lap behind in fourth and fifth place, respectively. This marked Ferrari’s least aggressive efficiency since becoming a member of the highest class of the WEC this 12 months.

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Vasselon attributed a part of Ferrari’s battle to the spectacular efficiency of Antonio Fuoco within the #50 Ferrari LMH throughout the ultimate leg of the race. Fuoco displayed distinctive ability, overtaking Alessandro Pier Guidi within the sister #51 automotive and securing a 21-second result in safe fourth place.

The end result places Ferrari’s hopes of clinching the drivers’ title in jeopardy, with the #51 crew now trailing the main #8 Toyota trio by 31 factors and solely 39 factors up for grabs within the Bahrain season finale.

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Toyota’s driver and workforce principal, Kamui Kobayashi, echoed Vasselon’s sentiments, emphasizing the significance of adapting to altering observe situations at Fuji. Kobayashi emphasised the important thing to their victory was the drivers’ skill to shortly modify their driving kinds to go well with the difficult situations.

Whereas Vasselon highlighted the constant efficiency of Toyota’s drivers all through the season, he acknowledged that Kobayashi and Ryo Hirakawa had an edge at Fuji resulting from their in depth familiarity with the observe.

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In a spectacular show of ability, Kobayashi secured pole place by six-tenths and propelled the #7 Toyota to victory with a 39-second lead. Hirakawa’s strategic strikes additionally proved pivotal, permitting Toyota to overhaul Porsche and safe a powerful end.

Vasselon concluded, “It’s the particular ‘Kamui impact’… The fellows who’re used to racing right here have one thing on high of the others.” Toyota’s dominance on dwelling turf sends a strong message because the WEC season approaches its climax in Bahrain.

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