- Euroformula Open championship gets underway
- Season-opener staged at idyllic French F1 venue
Nine rounds, 18 races, eight countries and eight F1 tracks: Linus Lundqvist is moving into an exciting new challenge in the pan-European Euroformula Open championship this season. With the series getting underway among the idyllic hills of Le Castellet this weekend, the reigning BRDC British Formula 3 champion is keen for a flying start – and bidding to launch a fresh title attack.
“It is just great to finally be getting back to racing,” says Linus Lundqvist. “I’m extremely motivated to take on this new challenge in Euroformula Open. It will be my first season on the big circuits of central Europe, and they’re quite different to what I’m used to from my time in Sweden and the UK. I’m excited to take this step and privileged to drive such a fast single-seater at some of the world’s best circuits.”
For the third year in a row, Lundqvist is once again racing for British outfit Double R Racing this season following successful campaigns in Britain in 2017 (Formula 4) and 2018 (Formula 3). A productive winter of testing has boosted the Swede’s pre-season hopes, although he remains well aware that competition is going to be tough in a field spanning more than 20 hungry rivals.
Among the most notable entries are a trio of Red Bull Junior drivers, featuring Toyota Racing Series champion Liam Lawson (New Zealand), Yuki Tsunoda (Japan) and Jack Doohan (Australia). The first two are representing Formula 3 world champions Team Motopark, while Doohan slots in alongside Lundqvist at Double R Racing.
Single-seater powerhouse Carlin, meanwhile, have entered four cars in the championship this season. Its line-up includes Billy Monger (Great Britain) and Denmark’s Nicolai Kjaergaard, who have both duplicated Lundqvist’s move in making the transition from British F3. Kjaergaard was Lundqvist’s main rival in the fight for last year’s BF3 title.
“It’s going to be fun to reunite with Nicolai and Billy and resume where we left off last year,” Lundqvist continues. “They are both great drivers and I’m sure they want to beat me just as badly as I want to beat them! The first race of the season is always extra special and I can’t wait to find out where we stand this weekend.”
The Euroformula Open series has picked up considerable momentum over the winter, bolstering its position within the European single-seater landscape. The Dallara-built one-make cars are similar in appearance to those used in British F3, but more technologically advanced and several seconds per lap faster than their UK counterparts.
The championship offers a choice of three engine manufacturers: Spiess, Piedrafita or HWA (the latter being used by Lundqvist and Double R Racing).
Hosting this weekend’s curtain-raiser is the striking Circuit Paul Ricard, located in the vicinity of Marseille in southern France. The Provence venue is one of a full eight tracks on the Euroformula Open calendar to feature in the Formula 1 World Championship.
Lundqvist raced at Paul Ricard back in February, simultaneously getting his first taste of the Euroformula Open concept by winning on a “winter series” guest start.
“It was my first visit to Paul Ricard and it was obviously nice to win, but it was just sort of a friendly practice race and I don’t really think it makes any difference,” Linus Lundqvist concludes. “It was good to get a feel for the track itself, however. Let’s see how we fare now that we’re back for the real deal. It will be competitive out there, but my aim is to win races and fight for the championship.”
The Euroformula Open event structure features a number of practice sessions followed by two qualifying showdowns and two races; one on Saturday and one on Sunday.
On-track action at Paul Ricard gets underway already tomorrow with a day of pre-event testing.
Round 1/9 | Circuit Paul Ricard (FRA)
All times local (GMT+02:00)
Thursday 25 April (test day)
Test 1: 09.00-12.00
Test 2: 15.00-15.55
Friday 26 April
Free Practice 1: 09.35-10.05
Free Practice 2: 13.15-13.45
Free Practice 3: 16.40-17.10
Saturday 27 April
Qualifying 1: 09.55-10.20
Race 1 (15 laps): 14.30
Sunday 28 April
Qualifying 2: 09.50-10.15
Race 2 (15 laps): 14.00
Euroformula Open – www.euroformulaopen.net