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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St. Petersburg street challenge next up for Linus Lundqvist
He arrived on the scene and won at the first time of asking – but there’s no time for contemplation for Linus Lundqvist. This weekend sees the Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires field spring straight back into action, with the barrier-lined streets of St. Petersburg marking an all-new challenge for the early championship-leading rookie…
Picturesque Florida city hosts round two of Indy Lights
Lundqvist braced for first street race on U.S. soil
Championship leader cautiously optimistic in wake of debut win
He arrived on the scene and won at the first time of asking – but there’s no time for contemplation for Linus Lundqvist. This weekend sees the Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires field spring straight back into action, with the barrier-lined streets of St. Petersburg marking an all-new challenge for the early championship-leading rookie.
Lundqvist delivered what can only be described as a remarkable start to his Indy Lights adventure by immediately winning on debut at Barber Motorsports Park last Saturday.
That win, combined with P2 in the subsequent second race on Sunday, has placed the Stockholm resident atop the early points table – and in pursuit of the esteemed INDYCAR scholarship that awaits the title-winner.
Never one to sit back, however, Lundqvist is braced for a completely different task in round two of the campaign in St. Petersburg, with the coastal Florida city providing a picturesque backdrop for the first street race on the calendar.
“We had a fantastic opening round at Barber, but now is the time to move on and try to do the job again,” says Linus Lundqvist. “I know that St. Pete will be a completely different challenge. The track has pretty much nothing in common with Barber, and my experience of street courses is limited. In fact, I have never even been to one in the USA before.”
Lundqvist, whose first and so far only taste of a street track came in France’s Grand Prix de Pau back in Euroformula Open in 2019, still feels confident moving into St. Petersburg, supported by a professional group of people at Global Racing Group with HMD Motorsports.
“This is one of the events I’ve been looking forward to the most this season,” Lundqvist continues. “Pau remains the coolest track I’ve ever driven at, and I can’t wait to feel that adrenaline rush again. It’s something else pushing a race car like this to its maximum a few centimeters from the walls. Also, St. Pete is actually quite a good place for overtaking, so I think we’ll see some entertaining racing this weekend.”
Normally the opening round of both Indy Lights and INDYCAR, but shuffled back on the schedule in recent times due to the COVID-19 pandemic, St. Petersburg boosts a 2.9 km city-centre layout combining tight 90-degree corners with relatively extensive straightaways.
“It will be critical to do as many laps as possible and try to learn the track,” Linus Lundqvist concludes. “We only have one practice session, so I need to be out there and build my confidence and speed. I will be slightly on the back foot compared to the more experienced guys, but I’m up for the challenge. This will be a lot, a lot of fun.”
Practice and qualifying takes place on Friday, with the weekend’s two races then staged on Saturday and Sunday respectively.
All of the on-track action will be available for international fans through live streaming at www.linuslundqvistracing.se, throughout the year.
Indy Lights organisers have confirmed that the push-to-pass overtaking aid, which was disabled at Barber Motorsports Park, will be operational starting this weekend.
TIME TABLE ALL TIMES LOCAL (U.S. EASTERN)
Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires Rd. 2 | St. Petersburg (USA)
Friday 23 April Free Practice: 10.25-11.05 am Qualifying 1: 1.25-1.55 pm Qualifying 2: 5.25-5.55 pm