Toyota has snatched its first win in the FIA World Endurance Championship since in almost two years with a pit stop gamble to see Kamui Kobayashi reach the chequered flag 1.4s ahead of the #8 Audi.

Despite dominating proceedings for the first five hours the #8 Audi of Lucas di Grassi, Oliver Jarvis and Loic Duval were elbowed into second by the #6 Toyota of Kobayashi, Mike Conwy and Stephane Sarrazin as the Japanese squad opted not to take on fresh tyres for its final stint to gain track position in the final hours.

Kobayashi pulled off a masterful stint to win his first WEC having joined Toyota at the start of the year by managing the gap to the charging #8 Audi to take the win without giving its rivals a sniff of passing in the final laps.

The #1 Porsche of Mark Webber, Brendon Hartley and Timo Bernhard had to settle for third having been off the pace at Fuji despite finishing less than 20 seconds behind the front two.

The #5 Toyota of Anthony Davidson, Sebastien Buemi and Kazuki Nakajima - who were cruelly denied victory at this year's Le Mans 24 Hours - rarely challenged the front runners in fourth but comfortably ahead of championship leaders #2 Porsche of Neel Jani, Romain Dumas and Marc Lieb.

The #7 Audi of Andre Lotterer, Marcel Fassler and Benoit Treluyer suffered more frustration when its hybrid power unit failed in the opening hour rendering the car out of the race.

In LMP2 G-Drive triumphed over RGR Sport by Morand in a thrilling race-long battle to take its maiden win of 2016.

The trio of Will Stevens, Roman Rusinov and Alex Brundle required outright pace to keep ahead of the #43 driven by Filipe Albuquerque, Ricardo Gonzalez and Bruno Senna as the Mexican entry could go longer on its stints before needing fresh tyres.

After the final pit stop Stevens came out just behind Senna and despite an overtaking infringement, by exceeding track limits on the home straight, the British driver eventually got the job done in the final five minutes to take top spot honours.

In GTE-Pro Ford finally clinched its maiden regular season win to back up its Le Mans success as Harry Tincknell and Andy Priaulx produced a masterclass to ease to victory over Ford team-mate Olivier Pla and Stefan Mucke in the sister Ford GT.

In GTE-AM the #98 Aston Martin of Pedro Lamy, Mathias Lauda and Paul Dalla Lana stormed to their fourth win of the year to close the gap on the AF Corse Ferrari of Emmanuel Collard, Francois Perrodo and Rui Aguas who finished second in Fuji.

 

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