The traditional Fuji Speedway has been fundamentally modernised in the past decade and is famous for its long main straight. It stretches a good 1,500 metres and should allow the Porsche 919 Hybrids to reach top speeds of around 300 km/h. But as desirable as low drag might appear for this long straight, a high price would be paid for it on the remainder of the lap.
The fast corners in the middle sector require high downforce, while the last sector is narrow and winding. The race car has to be an all-rounder. In year one especially of Porsche’s return this is not an easy task for the Porsche Team, which enters the most innovative and complex prototype in the WEC field, and in which every circuit means a journey of discovery into unknown territory.
In the GT-class, Porsche Team Manthey fields a two-car entry with the Porsche 911 RSR. In 2012, Porsche won on the demanding circuit at the foot of Mount Fuji. Last year, however, torrential rain saw the race stopped early after several attempts to restart behind the safety car.
The works-entry at round five of the Sports Car World Endurance Championship WEC is the first outing with the new Porsche Motorsport boss Dr. Frank-Steffen Walliser at the helm: “I’m looking forward to the first race in my new role. At Austin recently, the team put in a strong showing and I hope we can turn that good performance into a top result in Fuji. In any case we’ll do our very best to keep improving our position in this exciting fight for the title.”
With a lap time of 1:29.021 minutes on the 4.563 km long circuit car number 14 was fourth after the first session and finished third in the second session (1:28.441). Car number 20 came sixth in both free practice sessions (1:29.829 and 1:29.672). In total the two Porsche 919 Hybrids covered 170 laps on the first day in Fuji.
In the cockpit of the #91 Porsche 911 RSR, Joerg Bergmeister (Germany) and Richard Lietz (Austria) join forces for the first time in the hotly-contested GTE-Pro class. Frenchmen Frédéric Makowiecki and Patrick Pilet share driving duties in the number 92 cockpit. In the GTE-Am class, two customer teams run the Porsche 911 RSR, with Porsche junior Klaus Bachler (Austria) competing for Proton Competition.
For comments on the free practice sessions and the race in Fuji, please have a look at the press relase ("Download" on the left).
A lap on Fuji Speedway is 4.563 kilometres and with 16 turns – ten right handers and 6 left handers.
On the 1,500 metre long straight the Porsche 919 Hybrids should reach a top speed of around 300 km/h.
In accordance with the regulations, the Porsche 919 Hybrid can produce and use 3.11 mega joule of electrical energy per lap. At the same time fuel consumption is limited to 1.8 litres of fuel per lap. In normal race conditions (with no safety car being deployed) and with a restricted fuel load of 68.3 litres, the Porsche 919 Hybrid is expected to stop for refuelling after every 38 laps.
According to simulations, the race distance covered during the six hours might be up to 248 laps (1,132 kilometres).
Mount Fuji is an active stratovolcano that last erupted in 1707. It is the highest mountain in Japan at 3,776.24 metres and is regarded as a holy mountain.
The circuit is located about 100 kilometres southwest of the capital of Tokyo on the Japanese main island of Honshu.
In 2005 the circuit was rebuilt for safety reasons and became, once again, the venue for the Japanese Formula One Grand Prix in 2007 and 2008.
The weather in the Japanese Alps can be very changeable in October. In 2013 heavy rain made it impossible to run the WEC race.