Audi, subject to the official publication of the results by the FIA, has won the title in the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC). After the sixth round of the series at Fuji the brand is on the top spot, out of reach. It is certain as well that the title in the drivers’ classification will be decided between the two driver squads of the R18 e-tron quattro. The circumstances of the title success in Japan were odd. Heavy rain at Fuji prevented that even a single regular race lap was driven. Loïc Duval/Tom Kristensen/Allan McNish (F/DK/GB) as the best Audi driver team achieved second place overall in the land of the rising sun.
|Circuit length||4.563 km|
|Lap record (race)
||Kazuki Nakajima, Toyota (2012, 1m 2.,088s, 186.482 km/h)|
|Pole position 2013||André Lotterer/Benoît Tréluyer, Audi (Average time: 1m 26.577s)|
|Fastest lap 2013||André Lotterer/Benoît Tréluyer/Marcel Fässler, Audi (2m 04,095s, 132.4 km/h)|
||Alexander Wurz, Nicolas Lapierre, Kazuki Nakajima, Toyota
Marcel Fässler/André Lotterer/Benoît Tréluyer are starting the sixth round of the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) in Japan from the pole position. Thus, they secured the fifth best time in qualifying for Audi in the current season. André Lotterer in the Audi R18 e-tron quattro managed to set a new lap record as well. The Audi factory driver who lives in Tokyo on his best outing was 1.264 seconds faster than Toyota driver Kazuki Nakajima a year ago. The R18 e-tron quattro designated as car number 2 with Loïc Duval/Tom Kristensen/Allan McNish qualified for position four. The driver trio is leading the WEC Championship standings with a 32-point advantage. The Fuji 6 Hours starts on Sunday at 11:00 local time (4:00 CEST).
Five races, five victories – there is no way to get past Audi Sport Team Joest and the Audi R18 e-tron quattro in the World Endurance Championship. And better yet: In the upcoming WEC round at Fuji Audi, currently with a 49-point advantage to its tally, can defend the World Championship title in the manufacturers’ classification early. After barely having missed victory on the foothills of Mount Fuji in 2012 this is Audi’s declared aim.
As leaders of the standings in the Audi R18 e-tron quattro designated as car number 2 Loïc Duval, Tom Kristensen and Allan McNish are travelling to the event. Their immediate rivals are their team-mates Marcel Fässler, André Lotterer and Benoît Tréluyer in the sister car designated as number 1. McNish knows, “Some of the sections suit Audi while the rear part of the track should be more favourable for our challenger Toyota. We’re expecting a thrilling battle. And the fans are a very important part of this race."
Hardly any other Audi driver knows the circuit better than André Lotterer, who has competed in the Japanese GT series and Formula 3000 for years and who lives in Tokyo. “At first glance Fuji looks quite easy, but it is actually quite difficult to drive. You need low drag for the highest possible top speed along the 1.5 kilometer long straight. On the other hand you need lots of downforce for the quick corners." It’s a big challenge for the drivers and teams to find the right compromise here.