News & Topics

Aston Martin Racing won both GTE classes of the FIA WEC Six Hours of Fuji


The FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) Six Hours of Fuji was held on 18-20 of October, 2013 and Aston Martin Racing, which Osato Research Institute has been supporting as technical partner, won both GTE classes despite the race being marred by terrible weather conditions. The weekend started superbly with AMR qualifying on pole in both classes, especially with #97 taking pole.

2013_WEC_Fuji_2 (500x333).jpg
#97car and Driver Darren Turner

2013_WEC_Fuji_1 (500x333).jpg
GTE Pro race winners of #97, from Fred Makowiecki (in left), Darren Turner (in center) and Stefan Mücke (in light)

AMR participated in this race with 4 machines of V8 Vantage and a team of 80 people in total in their centenary year and 10 people from Osato Research Institute including president, Mr. Hayashi participated as well as their technical partner.

2013_WEC_Fuji_3 (260x173).jpgV8 Vantage2013_WEC_Fuji_4 (260x173).jpgMr. Hayashi's family and ORI members

This race was the 6th round of FIA WEC and held for three days at the FUJI International Speedway admiring the view of Mr. Fuji, which was registered on the World Cultural Heritage List.
The FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) is one of the most exciting tracks in the world and features eight races including the legendary Le Mans 24 Hours and it was re-started in 2012 and this year is the second season. The four categories are used in the WEC: LMP1 and LMP2 prototypes and the GTE category, divided into GTE Pro for teams with professional driver line-ups, and GTE Am for teams featuring a mixture of amateur drivers.  World champion titles will be awarded to the top scoring manufacturers and drivers over the season. AMR's entries were #97 and #99 for LMGTE Pro class and #96 and #99 for LMGTE Am class in Fuji.
2013_WEC_Fuji_5 (260x173).jpgFlags of WEC 2013_WEC_Fuji_6 (260x173).jpg view of Mt. Fuji behind the course

On the day of qualifying session, beautiful Mt. Fuji welcomed us being covered by snow for the first time this year.

Before qualifying, there was an event called "Media & VIP Guest Hot Laps in Aston Martin Vanquish and Rapide - Driven by Darren Turner and Stuart Hall" as well as a media interview with Aston Martin drivers held by Mr. Hayashi, president of Osato Research Institute, in the pit and paddock.  Later, final check-ups of the machines was made and there was a practice session and pit-walk for the fans.

2013_WEC_Fuji_7 (260x173).jpg beautiful Mr. Fuji covered with snow 2013_WEC_Fuji_8 (260x173).jpgCircuit experience in Aston
2013_WEC_Fuji_9 (260x173).jpgDrivers and Mr. Hayashi in the pit 2013_WEC_Fuji_10 (260x173).jpg D. Turner taking Immun'Age
2013_WEC_Fuji_11 (260x195).jpgLogo of Aston Martin in the pit 2013_WEC_Fuji_12 (260x173).jpgWhite-themed Aston's pit is bright and elegant.
2013_WEC_Fuji_13 (260x195).jpgInterview with drivers 2013_WEC_Fuji_14 (260x146).jpgInterview with #95 driver, Bruno Senna
2013_WEC_Fuji_15 (146x260).jpgHelmet displayed in the pit 2013_WEC_Fuji_16 (146x260).jpgMaintenance in the pit
2013_WEC_Fuji_17 (260x173).jpgLong queue of Aston fans for the drivers' autograph 2013_WEC_Fuji_18 (260x173).jpgDrivers responding with smiles to requests
from fans for their autograph

The GTE class qualifying session started at 13:20. 
In the qualifying session, two drivers make time attack and the starting grid will decided depending on the average of their best lap time.
Frederic Makowiecki in the #97 Aston showed super attack, and Stefan Mücke also made good time. As a result, in the GTE Pro class, #97 took pole on 1'39"114 and #99 took second on 1'39"591. In the GTE Am class, it was the #95 Vantage that took pole position on 1'40"649, with the #96 taking the third place on 1'40"824.

2013_WEC_Fuji_19 (173x260).jpg
Driver getting in the machine
2013_WEC_Fuji_20 (260x173).jpg #97 Aston in the qualifying session
2013_WEC_Fuji_21 (260x146).jpgMonitor showing the Aston team in the pit 2013_WEC_Fuji_22-2 (260x173).jpg#95 Aston

On race day, it was a terrible weather since morning with torrential rain occasionally.

Even in rain, there were some events such as pit walk, demo-run, and grid walk. However, the rain was falling more heavily when warm-up session started, some machines suffered spins and crash and had to start from the pit lane for repair.

2013_WEC_Fuji_23 (260x173).jpgPit walk in rain2013_WEC_Fuji_24 (260x146).jpgMachines are ready for grid in line.
2013_WEC_Fuji_25 (260x173).jpgGrid walk with Bibendum 2013_WEC_Fuji_26 (260x173).jpgGrid girl in Japanese Kimono costume
2013_WEC_Fuji_27 (260x146).jpgBeing able to watch cars and drivers so close2013_WEC_Fuji_28 (260x146).jpgOverwhelming view of machines on the grid

The race started at 11:00 and the safety car led the competitors out onto the Fuji International Speedway. However, since the rain was getting even harder and the wet road became so dangerous, after eight laps the race director made the decision to put halt to the race for safety.

2013_WEC_Fuji_29 (260x146).jpgthe race started with blue signals.2013_WEC_Fuji_30 (260x173).jpgStarting the race under heavy rain

The race director restarted the six-hour race at 13:30. However, after another eight laps behind the safety car, the race was red flagged once more. All the machines waited for second restart in a line on the main straight. 
The fans were also waiting for the restart of the race under rain for a long time and drivers made comments considering the fans. 

2013_WEC_Fuji_31 (260x146).jpgCars in a line waiting for restart2013_WEC_Fuji_32 (260x146).jpgF. Makowiecki being interviewed

The second restart of the race was announced at 15:35, and all the machines started warm-up. Usually the safety car run is supposed to be continued at least 10 minutes, and the safety cars comes back to the pit for actual restart of the race.  However, despite the second restart attempt, it was red flagged and ended up to be stopped leaving the #97 Vantage GTE with the GTE Pro race win and the #95 Vantage GTE finishing in first place in the GTE Am class, the positions in which they had qualified.

2013_WEC_Fuji_33 (260x146).jpgGTE Pro class winners' podium2013_WEC_Fuji_34 (260x173).jpgGTE Am class winners' podium
2013_WEC_Fuji_36 (260x195).jpgCelebrating in the pit2013_WEC_Fuji_35 (195x260).jpgWinner's trophy and Immun'Age

In accordance with the WEC regulations, half points will be awarded to each of the teams, as less than 70 per cent of the race was completed. These points left Aston hope to be a series champion.

The last two WEC rounds will be held at Shanghai on November 8-9 and at Bahrain on November 30. Aston made entry of 6 machines for GTE Pro class for Shanghai. Winning the titles is the sole focus for Aston Martin. 

Page Top