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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As the winter holiday season approaches, we are taking a trip down memory lane this December to highlight four of Linus’ strongest recollections from the year gone by. In part three: a special lap around Detroit’s Belle Isle circuit, netting Linus his first-ever street course pole position…
As the winter holiday season approaches, we are taking a trip down memory lane this December to highlight four of Linus’ strongest recollections from the year gone by.
In part three: a special lap around Detroit’s Belle Isle circuit, netting Linus his first-ever street course pole position…
What? Indy Lights, Rd. 4, Qualifying for Race 2 Where? Belle Isle, Detroit, Michigan When? 12 June
Street tracks are something else. You really must build up to it, as in many areas you won’t get away with even the slightest mistake. The wall is always there to catch you, so finding the limit without overstepping it is a major challenge.
For me, Detroit was a breakthrough weekend. I hadn’t driven at many street tracks before – only St. Petersburg earlier in the season, and Pau in 2019 – and I’d never really had the time to properly find my feet. I did score a podium at St. Pete, which was nice, but I was still lacking that final tenth in my driving. Sure, it was my first time at the track while the other frontrunners had been there several times before, but it still bugged me a little.
Detroit was the moment I overcame that. I was second fastest in first qualifying, but it wasn’t the perfect lap and I felt there was more in it. In second qualifying, there was a red flag – as often happens at street tracks – and I knew we’d only be getting one or two laps to get the time in as the session resumed. The tyres were still a bit cold and you really had to anticipate the grip, but I put everything on the line for an all-or-nothing lap. It proved enough for pole; my first at a street track, and one of the most rewarding I’ve ever had.
I later finished second in both races – so my first street track victory is yet to come. Honestly, though, the main thing that weekend in Detroit was getting that ultimate pace confirmation, and I rate that as one of the key moments of my year.