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Rain Shortens World Endurance Championship at Fuji Speedway

Oct. 20 – Oyama-cho, Japan – Heavy rain at the sixth round of the FIA World Endurance Championship at Fuji Speedway turned Sunday’s long drive into a red flag-shortened finale.

Three red flags curtailed the endurance race with only 16 laps completed behind the Safety Car, with Toyota winning the LMP1 title, and OAK Racing Morgan-Nissan of Bertrand Baguette, Ricardo Gonzalez and Martin Plowman taking the LMP2 crown before an estimated 23,700 fans Sunday.

The Global Media Center spoke with a few drivers of Nissan LMP2 teams after the race for their reaction on the day’s outcome.

Tsugio Matsuda, No.47 KCMG Morgan Nissan – LMP2

I heard that the Michelin tires were running strong in the rain. There was a car with Michelin tires behind me and I anticipated a fight. However, the rain became stronger on the straight, and a river of run-off appeared, making the tires hydroplane. I think the red flag was an inevitable decision, but I’m disappointed because I wanted to race at WEC.

Lots of fans gave me encouragement after hearing that I was driving at WEC, and many came to see me here at Fuji. In the autograph session they lined up as if this was a Super GT race. I’m sorry that I couldn’t show you my driving today, but please take good care of your health with these rainy conditions. I will keep on trying to be a part of WEC and Le Mans next year, and appreciate your continued support.

Shinji Nakano, No.25 Delta-ADR ORECA 03 Nissan – LMP2

We as a team and all the drivers wished strongly that the race would have resumed to show our driving. I really want to thank all the people who came out to Fuji, waited patiently until the end. I feel bad, but think the fans are more disappointed. I hope that next year it will be successful, and that many fans can watch the race here. Thank you so much for today.

Keiko Ihara, No.45 OAK Racing Morgan Nissan – LMP2

I really regret that I couldn’t drive much in the race. I was greatly looking forward to it this year. Among many fans who waited for six hours for the race to restart, I was really impressed to see the Nissan supporters group. They waived flags each time when Nissan cars passed in front of the grandstand, led by the Safety Car. I was strongly hoping to be on the podium this weekend, but will try my best to finish there in the coming Shanghai and Bahrain WEC rounds.

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