Motorsport: Kiwi Liam Lawson takes third victory of Japan's Super Formula, closes in on championship lead

Kiwi Liam Lawson has notched his third win of Japan's Super Formula championship, taking the chequered flag at Fuji Speedway.

Of the six completed races this year, Lawson, 21, has won half of them, as he bids to impress his Red Bull seniors to contend for a seat in Formula One in 2024.

More importantly, the win is also another statement for Red Bull-backed Lawson, after he was overlooked to break into Formula One this season, when AlphaTauri axed Nyck de Vries in favour of Daniel Ricciardo.

Starting second on the grid, Lawson overcame polesitter Tadasuke Makino in the pits and never relinquished his lead to drive home for another victory in Japan.

The win is Lawson's second at Fuji so far this season, after also taking first place in the championship opener in April.

Lawson, 21, also won at Autopolis in round four of the championship, at the time, taking the outright lead in the series.

So far this season, Lawson has finished no lower than fifth, although his only podium appearances are victories. 

Winning at Autopolis also came the same week he was mentioned as a contender for Formula One by Red Bull head of development Dr Helmut Marko.

Victory takes Lawson within a point of the outright championship lead, sitting second behind Ritomo Miyata of Vantelin Team TOM's.

Meanwhile, in tandem with defending champion Tomoki Nojiri, Lawson's Team Mugen lead the Team's championship by 50 points, clear of TOM's.

Three races remain in this season's Super Formula championship, with one in Motegi and two more at Suzuka left for contenders to claim the title. 

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