Nick Cassidy executed two late overtakes in the latest Super Formula in Sugo round to claim his first win of the 2020 season.
The defending series champion pounced on a midrace safety car to chase down and pass Ryo Hirakawa and Naoki Yamamoto on successive laps to claim only his third career win in the single-seater category.
The safety car was a result of a crash for polesitter and series debutant Sergio Sette Camara who crashed out at Turn 4 while leaving the pits.
The Brazilian had lost the lead to Hirakawa and was running fourth when he made his compulsory pitstop on Lap 19. Exiting the lane, Sette Camara was then spied to be nursing a rear suspension issue that became evident during his lengthy stop in the lane.
The problem ultimately resulted in Sette Camara running straight off the road and entombing himself in the barrier.
By this stage, Cassidy was in third and right behind the front running duo of Hirakawa and Yamamoto.
The safety car controlled the field for almost ten laps and when racing did resume Cassidy utilised his overtaking aid to out drag himself past Yamamoto into Turn 1.
The New Zealander then decimated a one-second advantage for Hirakawa, sailing by his Super GT teammate for the lead on Lap 30.
Once in the lead, Cassidy was never challenged and eventually eased home 3.9-seconds clear of Hirakawa for his first victory in over a year.
His second-place finish still has Hirakawa comfortably commanding the points race with four races to go. The Japanese racer has a 15-point lead over Cassidy whose win had him rise three spots in the championship battle.
The next round of the Super Formula season will be at Autopolis raceway on November 15.