Nakajima puts Toyota clear in Fuji FP2

Nakajima puts Toyota clear in Fuji FP2

Le Mans/WEC

Nakajima puts Toyota clear in Fuji FP2


Kazuki Nakajima built on Toyota’s strong start to the Six Hours of Fuji weekend in Free Practice 2, with a 1m25.623s to put the No. 8 TS050 HYBRID at the top of the timing screens.

As was the case in FP1, though, it wasn’t a 1-2 for the Japanese marque on the screens, the sister No. 7 ending up last in the class, 2.5 seconds off the ultimate pace.

The top time from the Japanese driver was over a second clear of the trio of privateer non-hybrids, with the No. 1 Rebellion Racing R-13 proving to be the best of the bunch once again. Norman Nato set the Swiss team’s time, a 1m27.042s.

Close behind though, was the pair of Team LNT Ginettas, with the No. 5 leading the No. 6, the two cars 1.9 and 2.4 seconds off Nakajima’s benchmark respectively. Crucially, during the session Team LNT’s G60s accumulated far more mileage, with over 50 laps completed rather than the 15 in FP1 when it the cars suffered with brake cooling issues.

The No. 7 Toyota — the heavier of the two cars due to its success penalty for winning at Silverstone — lost out on running due to floor damage. As a result, the car didn’t do a qualifying sim in the session.

In LMP2 it was a Goodyear 1-2 in tire terms, with the Goodyear-branded Jota Sport ORECA topping the class times with a 1m29.633s from Anthony Davidson.

FP1 pace-setter High Class Racing slotted in second with its ORECA, Kenta Yamashita, the team’s new Japanese (Toyota affiliated) ace setting a 1m30.163s. It’s been a very encouraging first day for the Danish team, in what is its first race weekend outside of Europe. Yamashita’s FP1 time (1m29.624s) still stood as the fastest LMP2 time of the day.

Best of the Michelin runners on this occasion was United Autosports’ 07 Gibson, Phil Hanson setting a 1m30.205s, which put the British-flagged team third.

GTE Pro was led by Porsche GT Team once again, though it wasn’t a 1-2 for the new 911 RSR 19 as it was in FP1. This time the No. 51 AF Corse Ferrari ended up second, with a time from James Calado of 1m38.252s, which was less than a tenth off Michael Christensen in the No. 92 which finished top with a 1m38.214s.

Aston Martin Racing’s fastest Vantage, the No. 97, finished up fourth. Once again, though, it was an Aston Martin at the head of the times in GTE Am. TF Sport’s Vantage AMR ran fastest in the class and faster than the GTE Pro No. 95 Aston Martin and No. 71 AF Corse Ferrari with a 1m38.719s courtesy of Charlie Eastwood.

Closest to Eastwood in TF’s challenger was Matteo Cairoli in the No. 56 Team Project 1 Porsche. The No. 98 Aston Martin Racing Vantage finished up the day’s running third.


UP NEXT: Track action continues at 9:30 a.m. local time Saturday with Free Practice 3.