With three hours remaining in the 2017 6 Hours of Fuji, the #8 Toyota now leads, with Kazuki Nakajima at the wheel. The Toyota gained the place after the red flag period in hour 2 ended, when the leading #2 Porsche was forced to make its first pit stop of the race under green flag conditions. The Toyotas and #1 Porsche had previously pitted under the pre-red flag safety car.
Completing the top three was the #1 Porsche, which slipped to third but climbed to second halfway through the third hour, after the #7 Toyota – which is now third – had to change its steering wheel and dashboard in its second pit stop.
The #2 Porsche meanwhile, is struggling for pace, and in the second and third hours during the green flag running, fell off the lead lap, Timo Bernhard having issues with rear-end grip.
So far the race has had a red flag period and three safety car periods, breaking up the action as the rain comes and goes and the fog sweeps in and out of the local area. It’s currently green though, the race’s third safety car period ending with 14 minutes left in the third hour.
In LMP2, the #26 G-Drive Racing ORECA has the lead, as the class is in the midst of a pit cycle, it inherited the top spot as the cars in front made their second stops.
Behind, the delayed #28 TDS Racing ORECA – also yet to pit in the current cycle – is second, with the #38 Jackie Chan DC Racing ORECA up to third.
Two LMP2 cars have had issues in the third hour, the #37 Jackie Chan DC Racing 07 suffering with voltage issues in the battery due to a suspected alternator issue. The car is still in the garage being repaired.
CEFC Manor TRS Racing’s #25 ORECA meanwhile, has also been delayed after Simon Trummer went into the barriers at Turn 15 head on, forcing the team to make a nose change just before the third safety car period with three hours and 40 minutes to go.
In GTE Pro, the #51 AF Corse Ferrari has taken the lead, with the sister #71 Ferrari 488 making it a 1-2 for the Italian team in second.
There was a big change at the head of the field, as the top three in the class didn’t pit before the red flag in hour 2, meaning like the #2 Porsche, they had to stop under green, losing them a lot of time. The #91 Porsche is down to fifth after leading early on, the #66 is fourth after fighting back at the recent restart and the #67 is a lowly seventh after pitting under green and serving a one minute stop and hold penalty for exiting the pits under a red light.
In GTE Am, the order has been restored, Clearwater Racing retaking the lead, and building a comfortable margin of over 13 seconds after the Aston Martin Vantage pitted under green. The Spirit of Race Ferrari is therefore back up to second, with the Dempsey Proton Porsche now third. Aston Martin Racing’s #98 Vantage ids down to fourth.