TOYOTA Racing take pole position at Fuji
TOYOTA Racing took a popular pole position for its home race following a close qualifying session at Fuji Speedway in Japan, venue for the penultimate round of the FIA World Endurance Championship, the Six Hours of Fuji.
Kazuki Nakajima, who returned to the #7 TS030 HYBRID this week alongside Alex Wurz and Nicolas Lapierre, set the fastest lap of the afternoon, 0.140secs faster than the nearest challenger.
That result delivered the second pole position for TOYOTA Racing in its first five races and comes just a few kilometres away from the Higashi-Fuji Technical Centre where the TOYOTA HYBRID System - Racing is developed.
TOYOTA Racing's home race saw a large and enthusiastic crowd cheering on the #7 TS030 HYBRID, and Kazuki answered the challenge with a brilliant second flying lap, having encountered traffic on his first effort.
After warm-up at 07.55 tomorrow morning, TOYOTA Racing will therefore be at the front of the pack for the rolling start, at 11.00 tomorrow.
TS030 HYBRID #7 (Alex Wurz, Nicolas Lapierre, Kazuki Nakajima)
Free practice 3: 1st (1min 27.567secs), 29 laps
Qualifying: 1st (1min 27.499secs), 6 laps
Kazuki Nakajima: "I am really happy to get this pole position at Fuji Speedway it means a lot to me and the team. It was cool to see the reaction of everyone in the garage at the end of the session because we had big support and also big expectations as this is our home country, our home track. We saw this morning that the car was quick enough to fight for pole position and, even though I had a bit of traffic at the start of qualifying, I managed to get a clean lap. It is a good achievement but it is still Saturday the race means a lot more than qualifying. It will be a tricky race, particularly because it is difficult to cope with traffic in the last sector. So we will have to be careful and make no mistakes. Our aim is to win the race we will push hard."
Yoshiaki Kinoshita, Team President: "This is a fantastic result we are so happy to be on pole position for our home race. Our TOYOTA HYBRID System - Racing was born very close to Fuji Speedway so we are delighted to deliver this result in front of our colleagues from Higashi-Fuji Technical Centre and under the shadow of beautiful Mount Fuji. We are all happy to see Kazuki back in the team and he did an incredible job it was a really quick lap and he thoroughly deserves this pole position. I am very proud we could deliver such a strong result but we must remember this is only qualifying our main target is to win the race tomorrow. We have made the best possible start and now we have to complete the job."
A technical explanation of the TOYOTA HYBRID System - Racing is attached to this press release.
About TOYOTA Racing in the FIA World Endurance Championship:
TOYOTA first competed in the FIA World Endurance Championship in 1983, marking the start of a long period of participation in endurance racing which included several editions of the Le Mans 24 Hours. TOYOTA cars have raced in 14 Le Mans 24 Hours races, with a total of 38 vehicles taking part. For 2012, TOYOTA returns to endurance racing and the FIA World Endurance Championship as a full-time entrant with a hybrid LMP1 car, the TS030 HYBRID. This car won for the first time at the Six Hours of Sao Paulo in September, just its third race. The chassis has been designed and built by TOYOTA Motorsport GmbH (TMG), where the race team is based. TMG is the former home of TOYOTA's World Rally and Formula 1 works teams, and was responsible for design and operation of TOYOTA's TS020 (GT-One) Le Mans car in 1998-99. TMG now combines works motorsport participation with a new direction as a high-performance engineering services provider to third party companies, as well as the TOYOTA family. www.toyotahybridracing.com
Official merchandise at www.toyotahybridracing.com/shop