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Liam Lawson

Scary Super Formula crash ends Suzuka race early; Lawson title hopes fade

Liam Lawson's championship hopes are dwindling after Saturday's first Super Formula race at Suzuka was halted early following a horrific crash at the 130R.

Lawson Italy
To news overview © Red Bull Content Pool

Liam Lawson's Super Formula championship hopes took a dent in the first race of a Suzuka season-ending double-header after a frightening incident brought an early end to proceedings.

Hiroki Otsu attempted to pass Ukyo Sasahara for 17th in lap four when the duo collided at the fearsome 130R, both spearing heavily into the outside retaining barriers.

Otsu's car was heavily damaged but it was Sasahara who endured the scariest ride, with his TOM'S car appearing to project into the catch fencing before images after the incident indicated at least part of his car eventually ended up underneath the figure-of-eight crossover at Degner Curve.

Whilst Otsu was able to walk away under his own power, Sasahara was reported as remaining conscious and taken to the medical centre for precautionary checks.

Lawson slips backwards

With marshals unable to repair the barriers in swift fashion, such was the scale of the crash site, the race was called complete with half points awarded.

That meant the race was finished after just three or 31 laps, with championship-hopeful Tomoki Nojiri declared the winner.

Top of the standings Ritomo Miyata, who is Sasahara's teammate, finished second ahead of Kakunoshin Ota.

Lawson had finished fifth on the road but with results taken back to the end of lap three, his start-of-lap-four move on Sho Tsuboi was chalked off.

Miyata holds a 6.5-point lead over Nojiri with one race to run, whilst Lawson now finds himself 15 points adrift in third.

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