Brendon Hartley took his first WEC with Toyota in this past weekend’s 6 Hours of Fuji, and is very happy with the accomplishment.
Hartley, Sebastien Buemi and Kazuki Nakajima started the race from pole in their #8 Toyota TS050 Hybrid, and resisted a challenge from Rebellion and Team LNT at the start to take a lights-to-flag win ahead of the #7 sister car.
“It’s a really nice feeling to take my first victory with Toyota Gazoo Racing, especially to do it on home soil as well,” Hartley said. “It’s the last time we get to race the TS050 Hybrid at Fuji so to win was great; I’m going to enjoy this moment.
We had a pretty clean race and Kazuki did an amazing job on the intermediate tyres. We had the advantage over the #7 car with success handicap today but that will not be the case in Shanghai when we can expect a very close race.”
Toyota has been dominant at Fuji since the WEC’s inception in 2012, winning every race on home soil except for 2015, when Hartley took victory with Porsche.
It was the final home race for the successful TS050, which will be phased out in favor of the GR Super Sport hypercar for the 2020/21 season. Hartley’s team-mate Kazuki Nakajima says that this adds to the significance of the victory.
It was important to us to get a one-two in the last Japanese race for the TS050 Hybrid because we have experienced so many emotions with this car,” Nakajima explained. It’s like an old friend so we had to give it a last win at home.”