Linus put in a battling drive on used tyres to score his seventh Indy Lights podium of the season in an eventful first race at Portland.
Deploying an opposite strategy to his front-running rivals, Linus was the only driver inside the top five to start the race on a used set of Cooper Tires, opting instead to save his remaining fresh set for Sunday’s Race 2.
That decision was inevitably going to compromise his chances in Race 1, but Linus put up a stern defense from second on the grid in a busy opening half of the 30-lap encounter.
There was immediate drama at the start when the entire leading group – featuring pole-sitter David Malukas, Linus, Benjamin Pedersen and Kyle Kirkwood – careered into the run-off area at the opening Festival Curves, with oil spill from a previous INDYCAR session causing initial trouble.
After a brief safety car period to sort things out, Linus came under heavy pressure from Pedersen and Kirkwood as the race resumed, allowing Malukas to open up a lead.
Linus did his best to cling on to second, repeatedly staving off attacks while managing his older tyres, but eventually Kirkwood found a way through and Linus settled for P3.
It marks his first podium since Detroit back in June, and his seventh overall this season.
LINUS: “It’s great to be back on the podium. We knew that this was going to be a tough race since we started on used tyres, while all the others in the top five were on new. There was a big grip difference, especially in the beginning, but I did my best to defend and in the end it was enough for P3. It will be the reversed scenario tomorrow, when we’re on new and the others on used, so we should be well placed for that. I’m really looking forward to that one and I’m extremely motivated to end the weekend on a high!”
Race 2 takes place at 10.30 am / 19.30 on Sunday. Linus will start from second on the grid once again, joining Malukas on the front row.