Formula 2 frontrunner Artem Markelov is close to a deal to race in Super Formula next season, Motorsport.com understands.
Markelov, 24, has spent the last five seasons at GP2/F2 level with the Russian Time outfit, peaking with the runner-up spot in the championship behind Charles Leclerc in 2017.
However, the Russian made it clear that the 2018 campaign, in which he finished fifth with three race wins, would be his last in the Formula 1 feeder category.
Having lost out on the chance of a graduation to F1 with Williams, Markelov is now set for a switch over to the Japanese Super Formula category.
He will take part in the Suzuka rookie test, which takes place on December 5-6, with Team LeMans, and a final decision on whether he will race for the Toyota-powered squad will be made after the test.
It's not clear whether Markelov will retain his link to the Renault F1 team next season.
Team LeMans ran Kazuya Oshima and Tom Dillmann for the majority of the 2018 season, with the latter standing in for the injured Pietro Fittipaldi for all bar the opening round.
Dillmann has indicated it is unlikely he will race again in Super Formula next year owing to the number of clashes with his Formula E campaign with NIO.
Also set to take part in the Super Formula rookie test is Harrison Newey, son of F1 design legend Adrian.
Newey Jr switched his focus to sportscar racing in 2018 after spending two seasons in European Formula 3 with Van Amersfoort Racing.
Pairing up with Algarve Pro Racing for an assault on the European Le Mans Series, he also joined SMP Racing for the Le Mans 24 Hours, partnering Viktor Shaytar and Norman Nato in a Dallara LMP2.
Newey Jr is expected to test for the B-Max/Motopark team alongside Mercedes DTM driver Lucas Auer in Suzuka.
#35 SMP Racing Dallara P217 Gibson: Harrison Newey
Photo by: Nikolaz Godet