Sweden’s Linus Lundqvist is a triple single-seater champion, clinching the 2020 Formula Regional Americas title, the 2018 BRDC British Formula 3 Championship and the 2016 Formula STCC Nordic crown. He finished third overall as a rookie in the Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires championship in 2021 and returns to the INDYCAR support series again in 2022, racing for HMD Motorsports.
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Gateway – Race 1: Linus loses podium to tyre issue
Linus appeared set for a convincing second place at the very least in the first Indy Lights race of the weekend at World Wide Technology Raceway, only for an emphatic oval debut to be brutally cut off when a delaminated tyre sent him crashing into the barriers…
Linus appeared set for a convincing second place at the very least in the first Indy Lights race of the weekend at World Wide Technology Raceway, only for an emphatic oval debut to be brutally cut off when a delaminated tyre sent him crashing into the barriers.
Having qualified fourth, Linus snatched the opportunity straight away at the start, overtaking team-mate Benjamin Pedersen for third on the first lap and then pouncing successfully on Kyle Kirkwood for P2 on the second tour.
When the race settled in, Linus and leader David Malukas were able to pull away from the opposition, with Linus slowly sneaking up on his GRG/HMD team-mate ahead of a first caution on lap 28 when Toby Sowery parked up trackside.
At the restart, Linus was forced to fend off some sturdy attacks from Kirkwood – the duo even making contact as the American bumped into the back of Linus’ car coming off Turn 2.
Once that affair was finally settled, Linus managed to again break free from the multiple Road to Indy champion, while constantly keeping the gap to leader Malukas within a second.
Disaster struck in frustrating fashion on lap 59 of 75, however, when the likely podium charge was brutally derailed.
Suffering a right-front blow-out on the run towards Turn 3, Linus was sent hard into outside wall, retiring on the spot but escaping any bodily injury.
With several other drivers having suffered similar incidents earlier in the race, the decision was eventually made by race control to call off the race prematurely on lap 66 after a few laps behind the safety car.
Linus’ retirement thus promoted Kirkwood to second, while Malukas went on to win, dealing a substantial blow to Linus’ title hopes.
LINUS: “Wow… what can I say? That’s a tough one. I’m all OK, but it was probably the hardest hit of my career. The speeds are high out there. I felt like I was doing a really, really good race, looking set for the podium and following David relatively easily. It would have been such an important result.
“I came down the back straight into Turn 3 and the tyre just went. There was nothing I could do. It’s frustrating to be the last guy to fall before they call off the race for exactly the reason that took me out. We all need to have a good look at what happened today. It’s a disappointing end, but in terms of execution of my first oval race, at least I couldn’t have done more.”
Race 2, which concludes the Indy Lights weekend, takes place on Saturday. The Global Racing Group with HMD Motorsports mechanics now face hours of repairs to get the car back on track tomorrow.
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