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6H Fuji: Thursday Paddock Notes

News and notes from DSC's first tour of the WEC paddock at Fuji

New colours for Proton

The #77 Dempsey Proton Porsche has an adapted livery this weekend, the regular blue, black and grey replaced by pink, black and grey to reflect the team’s backing for the Pink Ribbon Breast Cancer Awareness campaign, a hugely worthy cause, and very happily it makes the already eye-catching Porsche stand out even more.

Rao heads back to university

CEFC Manor TRS Racing’s Matt Rao tells DSC that he’s set to complete a Master’s course at the University of London over the next two years, in Data Science.

This comes after Rao graduated from Oxford Brookes earlier this year, in Motorsport Engineering, while competing in the FIA WEC with Manor and Signatech Alpine.

DSC wishes him well in his continued quest for knowledge.

Mok’s fanbase arrives

Clearwater Racing owner Weng Sun Mok was greeted today in the paddock by a group of fans, who avidly follow the Singaporean team’s efforts racing with GTs across the globe.

It made for quite a picture!

As do AF Corse’s

As well as Mok’s fans, Ferrari team AF Corse also had dedicated fans visit the paddock, with a fully liveried Alfa Romeo as a tribute to the Italian outfit.

The now traditional set-up day visits from a substantial number of local school groups has been underway all day too. Art, science and media curricular work is all on the agenda – together with not a little excitement as the youngsters get up close and personal with the WEC machines.

Further details on ‘circuit safari’

The ‘Circuit Safari’ takes place tomorrow with three coaches for fans and a fourth for media circulating for a 10 minute session ahead of FP3, every team must put at least one car on track for the session with the cars set to pass the buses at speed.

Calado’s newborn

Congratulations to James Calado whose new daughter Aurelia arrived on Tuesday. Mother and Daughter are doing well, father has made the trip with hopes of crowning a fantastic week with a good result in the #51 Ferrari.

(pic from James’ twitter feed)

Weather forecast looking bleak

While the teams aren’t expecting to see the rain produce a repeat of the 2013 ‘ race that never was’ when the cars only managed 15 laps under the Safety Car in the 6 hours, there is a general consensus that it will be a predominantly wet meeting at Fuji for the WEC this year.

Today it’s been hot and humid trackside, with ambient temperatures around 30 degrees, though it’s set to dip to 20 tomorrow, before the rain arrives.

It will be a real test for the teams and drivers if there is a lot of wet running this weekend, as most of the teams have yet to run their cars in wet conditions extensively in either testing pre-season or during race weekends this year.

WEC management has though been looking carefully at contingency plans which could include a slightly earlier start for qualifying if the weather looks threatening.