Liam Lawson will start from sixth on the grid in Sunday’s Super Formula race at Sportsland Sugo, upstaged by a spirited fight for pole between local hopes Toshiki Oyu, Ritomo Miyata and Tomoki Nojiri.
It was Oyu who took out top spot in qualifying, setting a 1:05.468 in the final moments of qualifying to pip provisional pole-sitter Miyata by 0.031 seconds. Nojiri had also held top spot heading into the closing stages, but was topped by his rivals as the chequered flag flew and will start from third.
The defending champion admits he is still not at 100 per cent after missing the last round due to a collapsed lung.
Sho Tsuboi and Ryo Hirakawa were the other two to out-qualify Lawson, leaving the Kiwi to start off the third row for tomorrow’s race.
The starting position may have implications in the title battle, with Miyata now only two points off the Kiwi in the championship standings.
Sunday’s Super Formula race begins at 5.15 pm NZ time, and will be shown live as a paid subscription service on motorsport.tv.
Header Image: Team Mugen