Toyota back on top in FP3 ahead of Qualifying

Toyota Racing’s Kazuki Nakajima showed his intent to claim pole position by setting the fastest lap in the third and final Free Practice session for the 6 Hours of Fuji.

The Japanese star set the fastest time of the weekend so far, 1:27.117, and was 0.14 seconds ahead of Benoit Tréluyer’s No.1 Audi R18 e-tron quattro. The No.2 Audi, in the hands of Allan McNish was just in third by just a tiny margin, 0.035 seconds, with the No.8 Toyota Racing entry in fourth. 

The top three places in the LMP2 category were numerically ordered in Free Practice 3, with the No.24 OAK Racing Morgan Nissan of Olivier Pla leading the way with a fastest lap of 1:32.282.  The battle for the top was as tight in this class as in LMP1, and just two hundredths of a second separated the No.25 Delta-ADR of James Walker and the No.26 G-Drive Racing entries, with the British driver a whisker ahead of his compatriot, Mike Conway, in the Russian car.

Porsche AG Team Manthey’s two 911 RSRs were either side of the No.97 Aston Martin Racing Vantage V8 in LMGTE Pro, with Patrick Pilet setting the fastest time of the session in the No.91 (1:39.989) ahead of Stefan Mücke in the Aston and the No.92 Porsche. The No.71 AF Corse Ferrari 458 of local hero Kamui Kobayashi and his team mate Toni Vilander did not run in the practice session; a fuel system issue requires a new part which is being flown from Italy before the car can take to the track again.

The manufacturers were well represented in the LMGTE Am, Proton Competition’s No.88 Porsche 911 GT3 RSR leading the No.81 8Star Motorsports Ferrari 458 Italia and the No.96 Aston Martin Vantage V8. Paulo Ruberti’s time in the Porsche of 1:40.571 was half a second faster than Davide Rigon’s in the Ferrari, with Jamie Campbell-Walter less than a tenth of a second behind in the Aston Martin.