Linus Lundqvist kept leading the way as the Formula Regional Americas campaign resumed beneath the boiling Florida sun, storming to a fresh double win at Sebring International Raceway.
The effort means Lundqvist has now won ten out of 11 races so far in 2020, the Swede backing up his Sebring double with two pole positions and one fastest lap to further underline his pace.
It takes Lundqvist a significant step closer to the FR Americas title, and the Indy Lights prize drive that comes with it.
“It’s been a great weekend on the whole, super happy to win twice here at Sebring,” says Linus Lundqvist. “It’s very nice to resume the season like this and prove that we’re still the fastest. I had to work quite hard for it this time, but that’s the way it should be and I’m thrilled to have scored these two important victories. Thanks to my team for giving me a fast car.”
Lundqvist showed no signs of slowing down following the two-month break that preceded this weekend’s races, immediately topping Friday practice and snatching pole in qualifying.
The 21-year-old Swede duly controlled the first race of the triple-header meeting from the lead – but ultimately failed to win a race for the first time this season following a dramatic twist of fate in the early stages.
The engine cover on Lundqvist’s Global Racing Group car worked itself loose, flew off and caused a substantial loss of rear downforce, leaving the championship leader to drop down the order.
Salvaging sixth and some crucial points, Lundqvist still led home the four-car Global Racing Group charge.
A broken screw was later identified to have caused the incident.
“It was obviously disappointing to have my victory streak come to an end, but these things can happen in motorsport,” Linus Lundqvist comments. “It was looking so good, leading from pole and controlling the race, and we really should have won it. I came out of the Turn 7 hairpin on lap four and felt something coming off the car. As I approached the next corner, I nearly crashed: there was just no grip. The team was able to tell me that my engine cover had come off, and in the end I’m really happy to even make it home in P6.”
In the remaining two races of the meeting, however, the order was restored, with Lundqvist winning both.
Thanks to his double win this weekend, Lundqvist extends his championship lead to 84 points with just two rounds remaining.
He will be given a first opportunity to seal the title early in just one week’s time, when the Formula Regional Americas fraternity heads further south in Florida to Homestead-Miami Speedway for the penultimate round of the season (October 2-4).
“I am aware I could technically seal the championship next weekend, but I don’t like to think like that,” Linus Lundqvist concludes. “I will continue to take it one race at a time, and if we keep winning then the championship will follow. I won’t change my approach at all and hopefully we will be just as strong when we load off at Homestead.”
Lundqvist’s pair of Sebring victories coincided with the first official appearance of new sponsor Jula, the Swedish hardware retailer who recently came aboard to support Lundqvist’s championship bid.
Formula Regional Americas | Rd. 4 Sebring International Raceway (USA)
1: David Malukas (USA), 16 laps
2: Danial Frost (SGP), +0.809s
3: Victor Franzoni (BRA), +4.412s
4: Joshua Car (AUS), +5.351s
5: Jacob Abel (USA), +9.510s
6: Linus Lundqvist (SWE), +10.686s
1: Linus Lundqvist (SWE), 18 laps
2: Victor Franzoni (BRA), +3.392s
3: Jacob Abel (USA), +9.640s
4: Logan Cusson (CAN), +15.705s
5: David Malukas (USA), +18.636s
1: Linus Lundqvist (SWE), 16 laps
2: Victor Franzoni (BRA), +2.515s
3: David Malukas (USA), +7.203s
4: James Roe (IRE), +14.347s
5: Jacob Abel (USA), +15.639s
Formula Regional Americas | Top 5 After 11/17 races
1: Linus Lundqvist (SWE), 258 p.
2: David Malukas (USA), 174 p.
3: Victor Franzoni (BRA), 144 p.
4: Joshua Car (AUS), 95 p.
5: Nicky Hays (USA), 86 p.
FORMULA REGIONAL AMERICAS
June 25-28: Mid-Ohio (OH, USA)
July 17-19: Virginia Intl. Raceway (VA, USA)
Aug 1-2: Barber Motorsports Park (AL, USA)
September 25-27: Sebring (FL, USA)
October 2-4: Homestead-Miami (FL, USA)
October 23-25: COTA (TX, USA)