Audi is ruing bad fortune and missed opportunities after losing out to Porsche in the Fuji 6 Hours as Marcel Fassler, Andre Lotterer and Benoit Treluyer were displaced from the top of the drivers' standings.

In mixed conditions Audi's gamble with its #7 car backfired as its switch to dry tyres was made too early and lost valuable time to the leading Porsche machines, while a foggy windscreen hampered the sister car's progress.

The race started behind the safety car in the wet before gradually drying out and Audi were able to show strong pace in fits and spurts but unable to match the consistency of Porsche at Fuji.

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As a result, Porsche's Mark Webber, Brendon Hartley and Timo Bernhard win in Japan has snatched top spot in the drivers' championship by a single point with two rounds remaining.

Audi's head of motorsport Dr Wolfgang Ullrich feels his squad had the package to challenge Porsche but conditions worked against them in Japan.

"We had the best pace at the beginning and at the end of the race," Ullrich said. "Unfortunately, halfway through the race, in the transition stage between a wet and dry track, we weren't as fast as the competition.

"By switching to dry tyres early, we took a risk with car number 7 that didn't pay off. But you could see that we made a major step in terms of performance. Now, we're going to try to convert the performance capability of the car into a perfect result in the next race at Shanghai."

Fassler has supported his team boss's comments and felt he had the pace to run with Porsche if it hadn't been for the mistimed tyre switch, but is confident the team has made significant gains ahead of the penultimate round of the season in China.

"The car was very good to drive in the rain and I was able to build an advantage. That was a great feeling," Fassler said. "However, it was hard to keep the tire performance at consistent levels across the distance.

"Further into the race, we were lacking fortune to some extent, but basically we're in a position of putting Porsche under pressure at the moment. We continue to have good chances of clinching the title."