Liam Lawson has taken the Super Formula Championship lead by qualifying third at Mobility Resort Motegi this evening. The result gives him a sole point and sees him draw level on points with Ritomo Miyata but lead the championship, having won more races.
Furthermore, Miyata could only manage to qualify eighth, meaning Lawson has a clear gap between his main championship rival on the grid.
The Kiwi’s Team Mugen teammate Tomoki Nojiri kept his title hopes alive by claiming pole for the race, being the only driver to break the 1min 32sec barrier in stage two of qualifying. Kakunoshin Ohta lines up on the front row next to Nojiri, while Lawson has Toshiki Oyu for company on the second row.
Lawson kept his 100 per cent record of progressing from Q1 to Q2 alive, having qualified from third in the group. His best time of 1:33.339 was 0.356 seconds off the group’s best set by Tadasuke Makino.
Rapid track evolution was apparent when Group 2 hit the track, with all six qualifiers bettering Miyata’s Group 1-topping time. Amoung those to progress were championship-leading Miyata and Lawson’s teammate Nojiri.
Fresh off his NASCAR outing, it was Kobayashi who set the benchmark to claim the provisional pole with a 1:32.370 as qualifying wound to a close.
Miyata then clocked a 1:31.955, which was enough for the pole ahead of Ohta, Lawson and Oyu.
Tomorrow’s Super Formula race begins at 5.45 pm and is available to watch with a paid subscription on motorsport.tv.
Header Image: Dutch Photo Agency/ Red Bull Content Pool.