Super Formula returns to action this weekend with Liam Lawson in the mix to take the championship lead at the single-race event at Mobility Resort Motegi.
Lawson sits just one point behind championship leader Ritomo Miyata ahead of the round, but the champion leader’s TOMs team admit they are bracing for the lead to swing in favour of the Kiwi.
“I would say that rather than being a bad track for Miyata, it’s a bad track for Toyota,” TOM’s boss Jun Yamada told publishers Motorsport.com earlier in the week. “It looks like Liam will be strong there.
“The Honda-powered cars will be strong at Motegi, so it’s probably going to come down to Suzuka. We can be confident the car is working well… but thinking about the points situation, it’s like Motegi is the opening race, so it’s all about what we do from now on.”
Miyata has never finished higher than eighth in four races at Motegi.
Lawson, meanwhile, brings a good run of form into the event, having won the last round at Fuji. The Kiwi Red Bull Reserve driver has won three of this year’s six races.
Lawson’s Team Mugen teammate, defending champion Tomoki Nojiri, remains third in the standings despite missing the round at Autopolis with a punctured lung following a crash the round prior at Suzuka. Nojiri is 24 points behind Lawson and 11 ahead of fourth-placed Sho Tsuboi.
Just three races remain in the 2023 Super Formula season, with a double-header at Suzuka over October 27-29 closing out the season following this weekend’s penultimate race meeting of the campaign.
Qualifying for this weekend’s race begins at 5.40 pm on Saturday, with the race starting at 5.45 pm on Sunday.
The round will be streamed live with a paid subscription on motorsport.tv.
Header Image: Dutch Photo Agency/ Red Bull Content Pool