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The 1999 Le Mans Fuji 1000 km was an endurance race backed by the Automobile Club de l'Ouest (ACO), who ran the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and the Japan Automobile Federation (JAF), who ran the JGTC race series. It was run on November 7, 1999.

Pre-raceEdit

Since the mid-1990s, a large number of Japanese automobile manufacturers had begun to compete at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, including Honda, Toyota, and Nissan. Japanese constructors and engine builders were also competing as well, such as Dome, Tom's, and Mugen Motorsports. The ACO therefore was interested in the idea of creating a new sportscar series in Japan similar to the one that had recently been created in the United States, the American Le Mans Series. Thus, the Fuji 1000 km would serve as a one-off experiment to see how well a series would perform in Japan in the future, similar to the one-off 1998 Petit Le Mans for the ALMS.

With an agreement between the ACO and JAF, the race was agreed to take place at Fuji Speedway, and to combine the ACO's LMP, LMGTP, GTS, and GT class with the JAF's JGTC series GT500 and GT300 classes. The addition of JGTC machinery was done not only to entice Japanese teams into possibly moving into the ACO's sportscars, but also to help fill the field and to bring a crowd. However, the race did not count as part of the JGTC season, thus a full JGTC field was not expected since the race was optional. For the ACO classes, an incentive to bring competitors not only from Japan but also internationally was added in that, like Petit Le Mans, the winners in each class would earn automatic entry to the 2000 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Official resultsEdit

Class winners in bold. Cars failing to complete 70% of winner's distance marked as Not Classified (NC).

Pos Class No Team Drivers Chassis Tyres Laps
Engine
1 LMP 23 Flag-of-japansmall Nissan Motorsports 22px-Flag of France Érik Comas
Flag-of-japansmall Satoshi Motoyama
Flag-of-japansmall Masami Kageyama
Nissan R391 B 228
Nissan VRH50A 5.0 L V8
2 LMGTP 1 Flag-of-japansmall Toyota Motorsport
Flag of Germany Toyota Team Europe
Flag-of-japansmall Ukyo Katayama
Flag-of-japansmall Toshio Suzuki
Flag-of-japansmall Keiichi Tsuchiya
Toyota TS020 M 227
Toyota R36V 3.6 L Turbo V8
3 LMP 61 Flag-of-japansmall Team Goh
Flag-of-japansmall Dome Co. Ltd.
Flag-of-japansmall Hiroki Katou
Flag-of-japansmall Juichi Wakisaka
Dome-BMW V12 LM M 222
BMW S70 6.0 L V12
4 GT500 35 Flag-of-japansmall Matsumoto-Kiyoshi
Team Tom's
22px-Flag of France Pierre-Henri Raphanel
Flag-of-japansmall Shinichi Yamaji
Flag-of-japansmall Takeshi Tsuchiya
Toyota Supra M 211
Toyota 3S-GTE 2.1 L Turbo I4
5 GT500 6 Flag-of-japansmall Team Le Mans Flag-of-japansmall Hideki Noda
25px-AustraliaFLAG Wayne Gardner
Toyota Supra B 209
Toyota 3S-GTE 2.1 L Turbo I4
6 GT500 32 Flag-of-japansmall cmda One Toyota
Team Cerumo
Flag-of-japansmall Takayuki Kinoshita
Flag-of-japansmall Masahiko Kondo
Flag-of-japansmall Hironori Takeuchi
Toyota Supra B 208
Toyota 3S-GTE 2.1 L Turbo I4
7 GTS 60 Flag-of-japansmall Team Goh
22px-Flag of the United Kingdom Chamberlain Engineering
Flag-of-japansmall Seiji Ara
Flag-of-japansmall Hideki Okada
Chrysler Viper GTS-R M 203
Chrysler 8.0 L V10
8 GT500 11 Flag-of-japansmall Endless Sports Flag-of-japansmall Takao Wada
Flag-of-japansmall Mitsuhiro Kinoshita
Flag-of-japansmall Yasushi Kikuchi
Nissan Skyline GT-R Y 200
Nissan RB26DETT 2.8 L Turbo I6
9 GTS 16 Flag of Germany Freisinger
Motorsport
Flag of Germany Ernst Palmberger
Flag-of-japansmall Yukihiro Hane
Porsche 911 GT2 D 198
Porsche 3.6 L Turbo Flat-6
10 GT 81 Flag-of-japansmall Team Taisan Advan Flag-of-japansmall Hideshi Matsuda
Flag of Germany Dominik Schwager
Porsche 911 GT3-R Y 197
Porsche 3.6 L Flat-6
11 GTS 69 Flag of Germany Proton Competition Flag of Germany Gerold Ried
Flag of Germany Christian Ried
22px-Flag of Austria Manfred Jurasz
Porsche 911 GT2 Y 185
Porsche 3.6 L Turbo Flat-6
12 GTS 15 Flag of Germany Freisinger
Motorsport
Flag of Germany Wolfgang Kaufmann
22px-Flag of France Bob Wollek
Porsche 911 GT2 D 180
Porsche 3.6 L Turbo Flat-6
13 GT300 91 Flag-of-japansmall 910 Racing Flag-of-japansmall Masamitsu Ishihara
Flag-of-japansmall Keiichi Takahashi
Flag-of-japansmall Tomohiko Sunako
Porsche 911 3.8 RSR Y 178
Porsche 3.8 L Flat-6
14 GT 65 Flag-of-japansmall Roock Sport
System Japan
Flag-of-japansmall Manabu Orido
Flag-of-japansmall Takashi Suzuki
Flag-of-japansmall Tomiko Yoshikawa
Porsche 911 3.8 RSR Y 176
Porsche 3.8 L Flat-6
15 GT 17 Flag of Germany Freisinger
Motorsport
Flag-of-japansmall Katsunori Iketani
Flag-of-japansmall Hiroyuki Nodi
Porsche 911 GT2 D 167
Porsche 3.6 L Turbo Flat-6
16
NC
GT300 70 Flag-of-japansmall Team Gaikokuya Flag-of-japansmall Yoshimi Ishibashi
22px-Flag of Belgium (civil) Patrick van Schoote
Flag-of-japansmall Jun Harada
Porsche 911 GT2 Y 157
Porsche 3.6 L Turbo Flat-6
17
NC
GT 80 Flag-of-japansmall Team Taisan Advan Flag-of-japansmall Eiichi Tajima
Flag-of-japansmall Hiroaki Suga
Flag-of-japansmall Morio Nitta
Porsche 911 3.8 RSR Y 155
Porsche 3.8 L Flat-6
18
NC
GT500 28 Flag-of-japansmall Tomei Sport Flag-of-japansmall Kazuyuki Nishizawa
Flag-of-japansmall Takuya Kurosawa
22px-Flag of the United Kingdom Peter Dumbreck
Porsche 911 3.8 RSR Y 115
Porsche 3.8 L Flat-6
19
DNF
LMP 24 Flag-of-japansmall Autoexe
Motorsports
Flag-of-japansmall Yojiro Terada
Flag-of-japansmall Keichi Satou
22px-Flag of France Franck Fréon
Autoexe LMP99 Y 158
Ford (Roush) 6.0 L V8
20
DNF
LMGTP 21 Flag-of-japansmall Hitotsuyama
Racing
Flag-of-japansmall Akira Iida
Flag-of-japansmall Yasushi Hitotsuyama
Flag-of-japansmall Mikio Hitotsuyama
McLaren F1 GTR D 147
BMW S70 6.0 L V12
21
DNF
GTS 10 Flag-of-japansmall Ability Motorsports Flag-of-japansmall Hidehiko Asou
Flag-of-japansmall Yasutaka Hinoi
Flag-of-japansmall Atsushi Yogou
Porsche 911 GT2 Y 74
Porsche 3.6 L Turbo Flat-6
22
DNF
GTS 56 22px-Flag of the United Kingdom Chamberlain
Engineering
22px-Flag of Belgium (civil) Vincent Vosse
22px-Flag of France Xavier Pompidou
Chrysler Viper GTS-R M 40
Chrysler 8.0 L V10
23
DNF
GTS 64 Flag-of-japansmall Roock Racing
System Japan
Flag-of-japansmall Hisashi Wada
22px-Flag of France Stéphane Ortelli
Porsche 911 GT2 Y 40
Porsche 3.6 L Turbo Flat-6

StatisticsEdit

  • Pole Position – #1 Toyota Motorsport – 1:16.349
  • Fastest Lap – #1 Toyota Motorsport – 1:18.806
  • Average Speed – 180.792 km/h

Post-raceEdit

Although the race was very competitive for Japanese manufacturer's Nissan and Toyota, the event was not considered a major success. Only twenty three entrants showed in total, with just sixteen being in the ACO's classes. Although Nissan and Toyota both had more cars they could have entered, each chose only to compete with a single car. A large number of European teams which had been on the entry list also failed to show up, most notably BMW Motorsport with their V12 LMR prototypes.

Toyota and Nissan had both decided to abandon their sportscar efforts after 1999, meaning neither team took their automatic entries for Le Mans in 2000. European interest in the series was also lacking, especially since teams like BMW and Audi seemed more interested in competing in the American Le Mans Series. This left the proposed series with no major manufacturer involvement to help bring in fans as well as other competition.

Consideration for a Japanese series was revived once again in late 2000 when Don Panoz and the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) announced their intentions to expand upon their American Le Mans Series, a series endorsed by the ACO. Panoz would plan an Asian-Pacific Le Mans Series (APLMS), competing throughout the entire Pacific rim. An exhibition event was held in Australia at the end of 2000 with mixed success, with another event played for Malaysia in 2001. However Panoz's other expansion outside the United States, the European Le Mans Series, would suffer from small fields and lack of competition throughout 2001. With a continued lack of interest from major manufacturers in teams in the ELMS as well as the APLMS, both series would be cancelled.

In 2006, the ACO was finally able to create a new sports car series in Japan with the launch of the Japan Le Mans Challenge. The series has already announced that for 2007 they will return to Fuji for another 1000 km event.

External links Edit

Template:Asian Le Mans Series

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