Toyota's #8 crew of Brendon Hartley, Kazuki Nakajima and Sebastien Buemi dominated Sunday's 6 Hours of Fuji to open their account for the 2019-20 FIA World Endurance Championship season despite a penalty threatening to derail their bid.

In the first race using the WEC's new handicap system in the LMP1 class, the trio were able to ease clear of the sister #7 Toyota that was pegged back following its win at Silverstone last month.

The #8 Toyota TS050 Hybrid led away from pole position and, with the exception of a drive-through penalty for speeding in the pit lane at mid-distance, always looked in control of the race, ultimately crossing the line over half a minute clear.

Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi and Jose Maria Lopez struggled to keep up with the #8's lap times given their pace disadvantage, leaving them to settle for second place.

Rebellion Racing completed the podium as Bruno Senna, Gustavo Menezes and Norman Nato finished two laps down in the #1 R13 Gibson, while both of the Team LNT Ginettas hit trouble through the race, leaving them P10 and P12 in the overall classification.

Racing Team Nederland scored victory in LMP2 after a stellar final stint from Formula 2 champion Nyck de Vries that saw him make a late pit stop and emerge six seconds clear of the field before pulling out a 25-second gap at the chequered flag.

It marked a first WEC win for the Dutch squad in the #29 Oreca 07 Gibson shared by de Vries, Giedo van der Garde and Frits van Eerd, with JOTA's crew of Anthony Davidson, Antonio Felix da Costa and Roberto Gonzalez taking second in class ahead of Jackie Chan DC Racing's Ho-Pin Tung, Gabriel Aubry and Will Stevens.

Aston Martin Racing swept to its first win in almost a year in GTE-Pro as Marco Sorensen and Nicki Thiim grabbed victory in the #95 Aston Martin Vantage. Michael Christensen and Kevin Estre finished second in the #92 Porsche 911 RSR, while Alex Lynn and Maxime Martin completed a double-podium finish for Aston Martin in P3.

Aston Martin also took top honours in GTE-Am through its customer TF Sport team, which scooped its maiden victory in the WEC with Salih Yoluc, Jonny Adam and Charlie Eastwood in the #90 entry.

The WEC season continues with the 4 Hours of Shanghai on November 10.

 

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