Liam Lawson has won his first Super Formula victory on his debut in the championship.
The New Zealand driver is part of the Red Bull Junior Team, and was the reserve driver for the Formula 1 outfit while racing in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.
After qualifying third on the grid, Lawson managed to overtake Toshiba Oyu for second in the opening stages of the race. He later made use of an undercut pit strategy to overtake Tomoki Nojiri for the victory.
He becomes the first Red Bull Junior Team driver to take victory in the Japanese championship since Pierre Gasly in 2017.
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Lawson eyes AlphaTauri seat
Lawson last tested with Red Bull at the post-season Abu Dhabi test in 2022, while he also looks set to take part in Friday practice sessions with AlphaTauri this year.
The New Zealander is currently in line for a drive at AlphaTauri should he win the championship, potentially replacing either Nyck de Vries or Yuki Tsunoda if they produce unsatisfactory results at the team.
De Vries has yet to score points for the squad after struggling in his first few races with the tough AT04, while Yuki Tsunoda took his first point at the recent Australian Grand Prix by finishing 10th.
However, this could be taken away from the team depending on the outcome of Ferrari's right to review for Carlos Sainz's late race penalty for hitting Fernando Alonso.
Balve Baines is joined by RacingNews365.com Editorial Director Dieter Rencken and Asia Correspondent Michael Butterworth to dissect the key talking points from the Australian Grand Prix.