Toyota Gazoo Racing swept to a dominant one-two finish in Sunday’s 6 Hours of Fuji as Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi and Jose Maria Lopez claimed their first FIA World Endurance Championship victory as a trio.

Having finished second at both Spa and Le Mans earlier this year, the #7 Toyota TS050 Hybrid finally got the better of the sister #8 entry after fighting back from a qualifying penalty to score victory.

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Starting in wet conditions, Kobayashi was able to fight from the rear of the LMP1 field to sit second after just two laps behind Kazuki Nakjima in the #8 Toyota.

Kobayashi got the jump on Nakajima inside a frantic opening hour that saw GTE-Am driver Motoaki Ishikawa suffer a tyre failure that left debris all over the main straight, resulting in the Safety Car being deployed.

A number of drivers risked a switch to slicks while the race was neutralised, only for the move to backfire for Gustavo Menezes in the #3 Rebellion R13 Gibson, who crashed out in the slippery conditions.

2009 Formula 1 world champion Jenson Button led briefly after SMP Racing opted to keep the Briton out under the Safety Car, but the Toyotas were quick to re-estabish their advantage.

Kobayashi held firm at the front of the pack despite coming under pressure from Sebastien Buemi nearing halfway before the gap swelled after he handed over to Mike Conway.

McLaren F1 driver Fernando Alonso took over from Buemi with a 20-second gap to the #7 car at the start of the third stint, then at the hands of Jose Maria Lopez, but was unable to close the gap.

The Toyotas were taken over by Kobayashi and Nakajima once again for the final stint, who duly crossed the line P1 and P2 to record Toyota’s third maximum score of the season.

It marked Lopez’s maiden victory in the WEC, and was the first for Conway and Kobayashi since the Fuji WEC round in 2016.

Despite finishing second, Alonso, Buemi and Kobayashi managed to extend their lead in the drivers’ championship to 13 points over the sister Toyota trio, who overhauled Menezes, Thomas Laurent and Mathias Beche following their non-score. 

Rebellion Racing completed the podium with its sole remaining R13 shared by Andre Lotterer, Bruno Senna and Neel Jani, who finished four laps down on the Toyotas.

Button managed to recover from a stint in the pits for repairs to cross the line fourth in the #11 SMP Racing BR Engineering BR1, passing the #4 ByKolles entry in the final 30 minutes of the race.

Jackie Chan DC Racing took a dominant one-two finish in the LMP2 class, led by the all-Malaysian line up of Weiron Tan, Nabil Jeffri and Jazeman Jaafar in the #37 Oreca 07 Gibson. It marked their first WEC victory as they finished ahead of Ho-Pin Tung, Gabriel Aubry and Stephane Richelmi. Le Mans winners Signatech Alpine completed the class podium in third place.

Porsche continued its strong start to the WEC season in GTE-Pro as Kevin Estre and Michael Christensen claimed their second win of the year in the #92 Porsche 911 RSR.

Despite starting at the rear of the class field, the duo managed to rise through the field, ultimately taking the lead in the fourth hour after the first half of the race was dominated by BMW.

BMW managed to take second in class with early leaders Antonio Felix da Costa and Tom Blomqvist in the #82 BMW M8 GTE ahead of the #66 Ford GT shared by Andy Priaulx and Harry Tincknell.

Porsche also won the GTE-Am class as the Project 1 Racing customer team took victory with the #56 Porsche 911 RSR shared by Jörg Bergmeister, Egidio Perfetti and Patrick Lindsey. The trio finished 20 seconds clear of the #88 Dempsey-Proton Racing entry, while TF Sport completed the podium with the #90 Aston Martin Vantage.

The WEC season continues with the 6 Hours of Shanghai on November 18.

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