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IndyCar Road America

Lundqvist: “Crazy” maiden IndyCar pole sparks British F3 memories

Linus Lundqvist's maiden IndyCar Series pole position came in “one of the craziest qualifying sessions I've had” in mixed weather conditions at Road America on Saturday.

Linus Lundqvist, Chip Ganassi Racing Honda

The 25-year-old Chip Ganassi Racing rookie scored the first pole position of his IndyCar career after twice narrowly escaping through the knockout phases to make the Fast Six shootout.

Starting in soaking wet conditions, it was only in the Fast Six when a dry line developed, with drivers braving slick tyres - Lundqvist pushing himself to the top of the leaderboard with a 1m45.1519s moments before Josef Newgarden's heavy crash caused the red flags to fly.

“It was hectic,” said Lundqvist, who scored his first IndyCar podium at Barber Motorsports Park in April. “It was crazy. I say one of the craziest qualifying sessions I've had.”

Lundqvist went on to note how the session felt similar to his time in British Formula 3, where he captured the championship in 2018 on the back of seven wins, 13 podiums and three poles.

“This feels like an average British F3 qualifying back in the day type of style, where started off torrential rain, then the last part it dried up, we threw on the slicks,” he said.

“It was kind of fun going back to that, a little bit back to my roots. Even growing up back in Sweden, half the races we did was in the rain. I'm pretty comfortable there.

“Obviously towards the end, it was staying on-line, not touching the wet. That's basically what I had in my mind. It happened to be good enough for pole.”

Linus Lundqvist, Double R,  leads BRDC British F3 race at Oulton Park

Linus Lundqvist, Double R, leads BRDC British F3 race at Oulton Park

Photo by: JEP / Motorsport Images

Lundqvist, the 2022 Indy NXT champion, also shared how his confidence continued to grow as he advanced throughout the qualifying.

“I felt pretty good in the first qualifying segment,” he said. “My last lap there wasn't perfect. I had a little bit of time to improve. I was happy honestly just to transfer from that.

“In the Fast 12, I felt pretty confident that we could do a pretty good job. That was a big thing for me, just transferring to the Fast Six for the first time. I said, ‘All right, let's try to go for it, see what we got here.’

“I knew it was going to come down to the last lap. Yeah, it was good enough.”

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