Sweden’s Linus Lundqvist is a quadruple single-seater champion, clinching the 2022 INDY NXT championship, the 2020 Formula Regional Americas title, the 2018 BRDC British Formula 3 Championship and the 2016 Formula STCC Nordic crown. In 2024, he will race the #8 American Legion Honda for Chip Ganassi Racing in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES.
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Linus Lundqvist stars with fastest lap on striking INDYCAR debut
Linus Lundqvist unleashed an emphatic display of speed on his NTT INDYCAR SERIES debut on the streets of Nashville, setting the fastest lap of the Big Machine Music City Grand Prix and qualifying an attention-grabbing 11th on the 27-car grid…
Linus Lundqvist unleashed an emphatic display of speed on his NTT INDYCAR SERIES debut on the streets of Nashville, setting the fastest lap of the Big Machine Music City Grand Prix and qualifying an attention-grabbing 11th on the 27-car grid.
Having sat on the sidelines since winning the 2022 Indy NXT championship, Lundqvist grabbed the opportunity with both hands when he was finally called up to race in the top tier of American single-seater competition aboard Meyer Shank Racing’s #60 Honda.
Immediately up to speed on the treacherous Nashville street course, Lundqvist impressed from the outset by going 11th fastest in his very first session in the car in Friday practice.
The Swedish newcomer then shocked the establishment by sensationally advancing from the opening group stages of qualifying – the sole rookie to do so – and into the subsequent Fast 12 segment.
It marked only the second time all season that the Meyer Shank Racing squad have made the Fast 12 cut.
Storming to 11th on the grid, the effort was made all the more remarkable by second practice having effectively been rained out, and the final practice session being cancelled altogether.
“I’m very proud of this debut,” says Linus Lundqvist. “It hasn’t been the easiest of conditions, with rain and a cancelled practice session, so I have really had to learn a lot in a very limited amount of time. Breaking through into the Fast 12 on my first weekend in INDYCAR is just amazing.”
In the race itself, Lundqvist continued to punch above his weight. Running in the upper midfield for much of the 80-lap encounter, he remarkably put pressure on runaway points leader Alex Palou deep into the race while adapting on the go, executing his first INDYCAR pit stops without drama.
In hot and humid conditions – and despite his helmet air intake detaching itself early in the race – Lundqvist kept his cool and appeared set to come home as the top rookie.
Underlining his pace, the 24-year-old set the outright fastest lap of the race.
With just 11 laps to go, however, the promising debut came to a premature end as Lundqvist ran wide on the marbles at Turn 11 and crashed out.
“It’s a shame the way it ended, and right now I’m obviously very disappointed,” Linus Lundqvist continues. “It was actually a small mistake, but it had big consequences. I ran slightly wide and got onto the marbles, and from there I was just a passenger. It’s a hard pill to swallow after such a strong weekend, but I’ll learn from it and move on.”
Despite his ultimate DNF, Lundqvist can look back on a hugely promising arrival on the INDYCAR scene with the Meyer Shank Racing operation.
“The team has been incredibly supportive and helpful,” Linus Lundqvist concludes. “A big, big thank you to Meyer Shank Racing for giving me this fantastic opportunity. I think we are all more than pleased with our performance this weekend. We’ve shown that we’ve got some proper pace and can take the fight. I’m so grateful and proud of what we’ve achieved together here in Nashville. It’s been a weekend I will never forget.”
The Big Machine Music City Grand Prix was won by Lundqvist’s previous Indy NXT title rival, Kyle Kirkwood.
NTT INDYCAR SERIES Big Machine Music City Grand Prix Nashville (USA)