Toyota Gazoo Racing

Toyota takes 1-2 in rain-shortened WEC 6 Hours of Fuji

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Toyota ended Porsche’s winning streak in the FIA World Endurance Championship by taking a one-two finish in a rain-shortened 6 Hours of Fuji on Sunday.

Having not won a WEC race since the beginning of May, Toyota’s chances of ending its drought on home soil took a hit after qualifying on Saturday as Porsche locked out the front row with its pair of Porsche 919 Hybrids.

The No. 2 Porsche of Brendon Hartley, Timo Bernhard and Earl Bamber forged an early lead, only for repeated safety car periods to wipe it away and bring Toyota into contention.

Early contact left the No. 1 Porsche with damage, while struggles for Bernhard in the rain allowed Toyota to vault its cars into top two positions amid a litany of safety car periods.

The race was red flagged twice due to the weather conditions, stopping for the final time with a quarter of the race to run and not resuming.

Victory for Sebastien Buemi, Kazuki Nakajima and Anthony Davidson keeps their title hopes alive heading to the penultimate race of the season in Shanghai in three weeks’ time, trailing the No. 2 Porsche crew by 39 points with 50 available.

Vaillante Rebellion swept to its second win of the season in LMP2 with Bruno Senna, Nicolas Prost and Julien Canal in the No. 31 Oreca 07 Gibson, cutting the gap to the class-leading No. 38 Jackie Chan DC Racing squad in the championship.

AF Corse drivers James Calado and Alessandro Pier Guidi moved into the lead of the GTE-Pro standings with their second straight victory in the No. 51 Ferrari 488 GTE, leading home the two factory Porsche 911 RSRs, while Spirit of Race took class honors in GTE-Am with its No. 54 Ferrari.

Supercross points leader Eli Tomac finds silver linings in interruption

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Though his Monster Energy AMA Supercross championship charge was put on hold, the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic had a silver lining for Eli Tomac.

Off the road while the season was postponed for nearly three months, the points leader was able to be present as his girlfriend, Jessica, gave birth to their daughter, Lev, on April 26

“A huge blessing for us there,” Tomac told host Mike Tirico during a “Lunch Talk Live” interview (click on the video above) in which he also joked about becoming a pro at busting off diaper changes. “That was one good blessing for us as we had our daughter on a Sunday, that would have been on a travel day coming back from the race in Las Vegas.

NBCSN

“That was probably the only positive out of all this mess was being able to be there for the birth.”

But there also could be more good fortune for Tomac as the series resumes Sunday at Salt Lake City, Utah (3-4 p.m. ET on NBCSN, 4-6 p.m. on NBC).

The final seven events will be held over 22 days in Rice-Eccles Stadium, which sits at just over 4,000 feet.

The elevation could favor Tomac, who was born and lives in Colorado and is accustomed to riding and training at altitude, which is a departure for many Supercross riders (many of whom hail from California and Florida).

COVID-19 TESTING REQUIRED: Supercross outlines protocols for last seven races

“That’s going to be the test for us,” said the Kawasaki rider, who five of the first 10 races this season. “We’re at elevation in Salt Lake, so when you’re on a motorcycle, you have a little bit of a loss of power. That’s just what happens when you come up in elevation. And a lot of guys train at sea level, and we’re at 4,000 to 5,000 feet, so cardio-wise, we’ll be pushed to the limit.

“Most of our races are Saturday nights and back to back weeks, but this go around it’s Sunday and Wednesday, so recovery is going to be key.”

Supercross will race Sunday and Wednesday for the next three weeks, capping the season with the June 21 finale, which also will be shown on NBCSN from 3-4:30 p.m. ET and NBC from 4:30-6 p.m. ET.

Tomac, who holds a three-point lead over Ken Roczen (who also recently visited “Lunch Talk Live”), told Tirico he had been riding for 90 minutes Thursday morning on a track outside Salt Lake City.

“Most of us we can rely on our past riding pretty well,” Tomac said. “The question is if you can go the distance. That’s what a lot of guys have to train on is going the distance. We go 20 minutes plus a lap. That’s what you’ve got to keep sharp is your general muscles. Within two to three days, your brain starts warming up more if you take a few weeks off the motorcycle.”

Here is the schedule and TV information for the rest of the season:

  • Sunday, May 31 (3-4 p.m. ET, NBCSN; 4-6 p.m. ET, NBC);
  • Wednesday, June 3 ( 10:00 pm – 1:00 am ET, NBCSN);
  • Sunday, June 7 (5-8:00 p.m. ET, NBCSN);
  • Wednesday, June 10 (7–10 p.m. ET, NBCSN);
  • Sunday, June 14 (7-10 p.m. ET, NBCSN);
  • Wednesday, June 17 (7-10 p.m. ET, NBCSN);
  • Sunday, June 21 (3-4:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN; 4:30 – 6:00 p.m. ET, NBC).
Eli Tomac rides his No. 3 Kawasaki in the Feb. 29 race at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia (Charles Mitchell/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images).