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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Linus Lundqvist set for oval debut as Indy Lights resumes
To many, American motorsport is synonymous with ovals – and when Indy Lights returns this weekend following a lengthy summer break, it does so with Linus Lundqvist finally about to experience the spills and thrills of this inimitable form of racing for the very first time…
Swedish racer poised for all-new, all-left challenge
Speeds rise at World Wide Technology Raceway
Extra points up for grabs on championship’s only oval
To many, American motorsport is synonymous with ovals – and when Indy Lights returns this weekend following a lengthy summer break, it does so with Linus Lundqvist finally about to experience the spills and thrills of this inimitable form of racing for the very first time.
Round seven of ten on this year’s Indy Lights schedule is, without exaggeration, unique. In focus this time around will be the sole oval on the calendar – World Wide Technology Raceway in Madison, Illinois – putting teams and drivers alike to a distinctive test.
For Sweden’s Linus Lundqvist, the weekend ahead will mark a career-first taste of oval racing, despite competing on U.S. soil for nearly two complete seasons.
“First and foremost, I’m just looking very much forward to getting back to racing after the summer break,” says Linus Lundqvist. “Almost two months on the side is a bit too long in my opinion. I’m extremely motivated for my first oval! It will be great fun and something completely different to anything I’ve ever done before.”
For safety reasons ahead of the only oval event of the year – with average speeds expected to reach 160 mph (250 km/h) this weekend – a mandatory group test took place at World Wide Technology Raceway last week. The test saw Lundqvist turn the very first oval laps of his life, and he took to the challenge convincingly by going second fastest – just fractions off P1.
“It was a very good test, and I left with the overwhelming feeling of just pure joy,” tells Lundqvist. “It was so much fun. I didn’t know at all what to expect, but I felt at home in the car from the off. You overcome quite a psychological step once you’re able to go flat out in some places. I feel like I couldn’t have had a better introduction, to be honest.”
Entering this weekend, Lundqvist sits third in the overall standings, in close pursuit of U.S. duo Kyle Kirkwood and David Malukas. The Swede, however, knows well enough that he is facing a challenge which – unlike his title rivals – he has never taken on before.
“Although the test last week exceeded expectations, I know it’s one thing to do a few good laps and a different beast to actually go racing around an oval,” Linus Lundqvist concludes. “That’s an area where I’m still lacking basically all the experience. The car will feel very different in the dirty air following others, so the main challenge will be to handle that – and preferably run out in front!”
Beside the driving itself, the up-coming weekend also carries two other unconventional aspects relating to the points structure and qualifying format. On the oval, additional championship points are at stake, with 45 points for a win instead of the regular 30.
As for qualifying, there will be just a single session rather than the usual two, with drivers heading out one by one in single-car attempts for two consecutive flying laps each. The first lap will set the grid for Race 1, with lap two forming the grid for Race 2.
With lap times of around 28 seconds, that means Lundqvist and his rivals will face roughly a minute of high-level pressure in which their entire weekend could be promptly won or lost.
Linus Lundqvist’s oval debut can be experienced via live streaming at www.linuslundqvistracing.se throughout the weekend. Race 1 takes place on Friday evening local time, with Race 2 following suit exactly 24 hours later on Saturday.
World Wide Technology Raceway
TIME TABLE All times local (U.S. Central)
Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires Rd. 7 | World Wide Technology Raceway (USA)
Thursday 19 August Test 1: 12.30-1.30 pm Test 2: 6.25-7.25 pm