Can The #2 Porsche Take the Drivers' World Championship in Fuji?
The Japanese track may host a title deciding race for Porsche but Toyota has one target: victory.
This weekend the World Endurance Championship returns to the Fuji International Speedway for the 7th round. Situated at the foot of Japan’s highest mountain, the track may host a title deciding race.
The #2 Porsche, driven by Earl Bamber, Timo Bernhard, and Brendon Hartley, has scored 159 points throughout the season, while the competing #8 Toyota drivers Kazuki Nakajima and Sébastien Buemi have 108 points to their names, and Anthony Davidson has 93 points. Hence should the #2 Porsche finish above the highest placed Toyota, they’re going to take the drivers’ world championship home.
Taking it one step further, should Porsche win the race with a 1-2 victory, the factory is going to take the manufacturers’ world championship for the third time. While it is mathematically possible for Porsche to take both the drivers’ and manufacturers’ title nothing is set in stone just yet.
In the past Toyota had always been strong in Japan. They have dominated the Fuji International Speedway by winning four out of five times since 2012. After the close call in Austin this year, the Japanese team has made it a clear target to score another victory in front of their home crowd. The weather always plays a big part. In the past a race had to be terminated due to the bad conditions.
In a six-hour race almost anything can happen. This does not stop at sudden mechanical failures, or mishap while lapping traffic. Frith Enzinger, Porsche’s Vice President LMP1, stated that the track is going to challenge the Porsches’ engines. For him the key is to get over the distance, and keeping their heads down.
Meanwhile for Toyota this is the most important event after Le Mans. They are fighting for a strong result and are willing to challenge Porsche. Everything suggest that they’re going to be aggressive this race. They want victory! Anything else seems almost unacceptable.
It remains to be seen which team is going to bring victory home. Or even if the German team is going to leave the country with a title in their bags.
In the end this promises an exciting race on Sunday.