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Six Hours of Fuji becomes Sixteen Laps of Safety Car

This topic contains 14 replies, has 10 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of MazdaChris MazdaChris 1 year ago.

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  • #133783
    Profile photo of Keith Collantine
    Keith Collantine
    Keymaster

    Anyone who joined F1 Fanatic Live to watch the World Endurance Championship’s Six Hours of Fuji today was in for a disappointment. The race was red-flagged three times and only 16 laps were completed, all behind the Safety Car.

    This tends to happen rather a lot at Fuji, to the point where you have to wonder if they’re just chosen a poor part of the country to build a track in. Two of F1’s four races there were badly affected by rain in 1976 and 2007 – almost half of the latter was spent behind the Safety Car.

    A swathe of entrants retired from the 1985 World Sportscar Championship (fore-runner of WEC) round after a typhoon hit the track. Formula Nippon abandoned races there in 1998 and 2006.

    After the latest rain-hit race you have to ask whether they need to change the time of year they race there or whether the weather is just too unreliable to hold on a race in that part of the world. This could easily have been a title-deciding race ruined by yet another Fuji rainstorm.

    Toyota, Fuji, 2013

    #243569
    Profile photo of Tomsk
    Tomsk
    Participant

    They could at least move the race to the Saturday next year (as they’re doing with Spa, COTA and one or two other races), and keep Sunday as a “reserve” day.
    The current 2014 calendar still has Fuji on Sunday 5 October, though.

    #243570
    Profile photo of Keith Collantine
    Keith Collantine
    Keymaster

    They could at least move the race to the Saturday next year (as they’re doing with Spa, COTA and one or two other races), and keep Sunday as a “reserve” day.

    That’s a great idea.

    #243571
    Profile photo of Calum
    Calum
    Participant

    It was really disappointing to not even get a single lap of chaotic green-flag racing in the wet just to prove that it wasn’t raceable. You have to admit the right call was made to abort the race, however.

    The Indycar finale and the interesting bike-swap aspect of today’s MotoGP sort of made up for the WEC non-event. Bring on Shanghai!

    #243572
    Profile photo of JackySteeg
    JackySteeg
    Participant

    It’s a bizarre decision to award points and trophies for a race in which there was literally zero competitive racing. As happy as I am to finally see Toyota win this year, it’s scarcely fair to award 12.5 points to a car which hadn’t turned a wheel in anger once. In my view it would have been preferable to cancel the race all together (ie, award no points) or postpone the race. Hopefully next year they will move the race to Saturday, as suggested above, to make postponement possible.

    Incidentally, is there some sort of strict curfew at Fuji? It seems rather strange to abandon the race in the late afternoon when the cars are more than capable of running through the night.

    #243573
    Profile photo of MazdaChris
    MazdaChris
    Participant

    I haven’t fully read up on what happened so this could be a silly question but how did Toyota win when Audi were on pole if every lap was behind the safety car?

    #243574
    Profile photo of JackySteeg
    JackySteeg
    Participant

    #1 Audi had to pit for mechanical problems, I believe. They ended up around 26th.

    #243575
    Profile photo of Keith Collantine
    Keith Collantine
    Keymaster

    it’s scarcely fair to award 12.5 points to a car which hadn’t turned a wheel in anger once

    Quite. It’s time the FIA added something to the International Sporting Code about races being void if too little of the race distance is completely in green flag conditions.

    #243576
    Profile photo of Dave
    Dave
    Participant

    Good thing I didn’t pull an all-nighter for this. I was going to find a highlights video tomorrow, but it seems more productive to stare blankly into space instead.

    #243577
    Profile photo of Prisoner Monkeys
    Prisoner Monkeys
    Participant

    @keithcollantine – It’s definitely a geography thing. The circuit is right in the rain shadow of Mount Fuji, and the prevailing winds mean that most storm clouds are blown out over the circuit. And it’s not a recent phenomenon, either – after all, the 1976 Japanese Grand Prix was run in appalling conditions, too. There are countless videos of SuperGT and All-Japan Sports Prototypes racing in monsoonal conditions as well.

    #243578
    Profile photo of ajokay
    ajokay
    Participant

    Very strange to have classified this as a race with championship points considering a 6 hour race was just 16 laps of non-racing long. As others have suggested, postpone or cancel it or declare the result entirely void, but don’t go awarding championship points for it.

    Is there not a better time of year for the weather at Fuji?

    #243579
    Profile photo of MazdaChris
    MazdaChris
    Participant

    Dropping from first to 26th in a race in which were was not a single lap of green flag running is about as poor as luck gets really. That’s got to be one for the big book of unusual stats.

    #243580
    Profile photo of Force Maikel
    Force Maikel
    Participant

    The power of something primitive like water… ;-)

    I feel kinda bad for the drivers but imagine if you actually are a WEC fanatic who bought a ticket to go see that.

    #243581
    Profile photo of R.J. O'Connell
    R.J. O’Connell
    Participant

    They’re not gonna shut down Fuji. Yes, the weather there can be atrocious, but it’s way too important to Japanese motorsport to just say “hey, it rains here too much, we’re gonna have to shut it all down.”

    #243582
    Profile photo of MazdaChris
    MazdaChris
    Participant

    Stupid thing is that being on the side of a mountain there should be literally no problems with drainage. It won’t help that Tilke came and tarmacced the whole area in the early noughties, but the fact remains that of all top flight race tracks, it should be the best prepared to cope with large downpours.

    Anyway, it’s a horrible track since Tilke ruined it with his abominable hairpins and chicanes. So I don’t much care if it passes from use.

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