The FR Americas drivers delivered two action packed races at Mid-Ohio, with exciting battles from the front to the back of the 17-car field, but it was Global Racing Group rookie Linus Lundqvist who controlled the weekend with a dominate debut.
Behind the No. 26 Paytrim machine, the 2018 BRDC British F3 champion swept the weekend, qualifying on pole by setting a new track qualifying lap record (1:19.273-seconds) then driving lights to checkers in both 30-minute features. The outstanding drive earned Lundqvist the Omologato Perfectly Timed Move of the Race.
“Two wins, two pole positions and setting the fastest lap, it’s very hard to beat an opening weekend like that,” Lundqvist said. “Obviously it wasn’t easy, especially when you look at how large and competitive the field is. I’m a very small part in this operation, the team gave me a great car and I went out there and did my part.”
While HMD Motorsports driver David Malukas’ race craft shone through on the technical 15-turn, 2.4-mile circuit, he played second fiddle to Lundqvist all weekend. Topping the charts early in qualifying, Malukas of Chicago was edged out of pole-position in the final laps by 0.001-seconds, the closest qualifying margin in the series history.
In Race 1, Malukas, staring second, bobbled the F1-style standing start, dropping back to fifth before Turn 1. Malukas worked his way back to third by the final lap and clinched second after an unforced error made by Santiago Urrutia, sent the Uraguyan pilot flying off course, forfeiting his podium position to his teammate. Newman Wachs Racing driver Victor Franzoni crossed the line in third.
Malukas challenged Lundqvist for the top in Race 2, but his focus quickly changed from challenging for first to defending his second-place position which allowed Lundqvist to pull a gap. Malukas completed his FR Americas debut weekend with a pair of second-place finishes.
Urrutia recovered in Race 2 to claim the podium finish he missed out on earlier in the weekend.