United Autosports are making a long awaited return to the Land of the Rising Sun for the penultimate round of the 2022 FIA World Endurance Championship.
Fuji, Japan has not been a location on the WEC calendar since 2019, with the team racing there for the first time and coming away with third place. Filipe Albuquerque, Phil Hanson and Olly Jarvis raced in the #22 LMP2 for the team and will be returning once again three years later but this time with Jarvis co-piloting the sister #23 car.
With two rounds remaining to fight for the championship title, and with 63 points on the table, the #23 crew of Josh Pierson, Olly Jarvis and Alex Lynn, who are only 19 points behind the championship leaders, will be looking to extract the full potential of the car, and the experience and knowledge that Olly has from racing in Japan in his early career years.
The #22 crew of Filipe Albuquerque, Phil Hanson and Will Owen, despite not being able to fight for the championship anymore, have the skill and car to still fight for race wins and after a long summer break are all still hungry to stand on the podium.
For Richard Dean, returning to Fuji will be a walk down memory lane, as he raced and lived out in Japan during the 1990s competing in the Japanese Formula 3 Championship (1993/1994), All-Japan GT Championship (1994), Japanese Formula 3000 Championship (1994) and Japanese Touring Car Championship (1995).
Fuji Team Achievements
2019 WEC- third place for Albuquerque, Hanson and Jarvis
2018 Asian Le Mans Series- second place for Hanson and Di Resta
Thursday 8th September: 14.30-16.30 Track Walk
Friday 9th September: 11.00-12.30 FP1; 15.30-17.00 FP2
Saturday 10th September: 10.00-10.12 Circuit Safari; 10.20-11.20 FP3; 13.15-14.15 Pit Walk; 13.20-13.50 Autograph Session; 15.00-15.10 Qualifying
Sunday 11th September: 10.15-10.35 Grid Walk; 11.00-17.00 6 Hours of Fuji
(Timings are local UK +8 Hours)
Race Info & TV Viewing
Live timings for all sessions can be followed on live.fiawec.com
Qualifying and the Race, including build up, will be live streamed on the FIA WEC App, Eurosport TV and Motorsport Live.
A WEC ‘Fuji Race’ streaming pack can be purchased on the FIA WEC website.
“It's been a long wait since the last race in Monza so going to Japan will be a nice change to the European circuits we visit. The idea is to aim for the win, we have a team and a car capable of it but we've been a bit unlucky this year. We will keep persisting and hopefully break the spell in Fuji."
"I am really excited to be going back to Fuji, it is one of my favourite circuits. I have raced there three times; twice in the Asian Le Mans Series and most recently in the 2019 WEC. It's been a track where I've had mixed success, I've won there in the Asian LMS, secured pole there but we also struggled there last time round. I think that's why I'm so excited to be heading back because I think we can build on what we have learnt in the last few years and perfect what went wrong in 2019. Our aim is to win the last two races of the season, especially given how the year has panned out so it's all or nothing."
“I’m excited to be heading to Japan for the first time and am glad to be getting back on track after two months away. We have had an awful year so far. We would love to end this year with some good results. I feel confident in our teams pace though, and the most important thing for me is to learn the track as quickly as possible.”
"Fuji is a really cool place with an awesome track. I'm looking forward to returning to Japan, a country I have loved visiting and racing in. The car is second with two rounds to go and two big opportunities to outscore JOTA to take the championship lead."
"It's great to be going back to Japan, one of my favourite countries in the world. I raced Japanese F3 there so have lots of fond memories. It's been a long WEC break so it's great to be heading to another race. We were a little bit unfortunate at Monza so we're going to Fuji aiming to put a solid weekend together. We should be fighting for a podium, if not the win. Second in the championship but in some respects we have nothing to lose, as the gap to first is quite big, but still attainable. I have no doubt that my two teammates will be well prepared and so it falls to us as a team to execute a perfect weekend."
“Really looking forward to Fuji, and my first trip to Japan. I’ve heard really good things and I’m excited to experience the atmosphere for myself. While we haven’t had the strongest results in the last handful of events, we’ve bounced back in each of these races from unlikely setbacks. I’m confident that the 23 crew is more motivated than ever to fight for another win. With Oliver and Alex, I’m sure the goal is obtainable.”
Richard Dean, Team Principal
“It's great that Japan has made a reappearance on the WEC calendar as it's a great country with amazing people. Fuji Speedway is a great circuit to be returning to and after a third place finish last time round in 2019, we are looking to have another successful weekend for both cars here."