Linus Lundqvist takes double Portland podium
 September 13, 2021| 
  • Team News
Lundqvist (1200x443)
  • GRG/HMD racer returns to Indy Lights rostrum 
  • Strong first-time showing on Oregon track nets important championship points
  • Swede goes head to head with title rivals in thrilling victory dispute  

PORTLAND, Ore. -- Linus Lundqvist returned to the Indy Lights podium with a pair of rostrum finishes this weekend at Portland International Raceway, further tightening his grip on a top-three finish in the championship.

Lundqvist came home third in both races of the weekend at the Oregon venue, where the Swede fought a constant battle with American title rivals David Malukas and Kyle Kirkwood.

Despite having never sat foot at the Portland track before the weekend started, Lundqvist instantly lit up the timing screens to lead the way in Friday testing.

He continued along the same lines in qualifying, taking a pair of front row slots just fractions behind pole-setting Global Racing Group with HMD Motorsports teammate Malukas.

Heading into Saturday's first race, Lundqvist deployed an opposite strategy to his front-running rivals by taking on a set of used tires, opting instead to save his remaining fresh set for Sunday’s Race 2. Lundqvist, however, put up a stern defense to cling onto the podium in third place.

With hopes consequently running high for the second race, Lundqvist duly used the advantage of new tires to put pole-sitter Malukas under significant pressure in the early stages.

It all came to a head when Lundqvist attempted a move down the inside into the Festival Curves a few laps in, with both GRG/HMD drivers running deep and instead dropping back behind Kirkwood as the Andretti driver swept around the outside.

From there, the order stood across the line, as Kirkwood clinched victory with Malukas in second and Lundqvist taking third for the second consecutive day.

"It's been a good weekend overall, and I'm pleased to be back on the podium," says Linus Lundqvist. "Perhaps I was hoping for a bit more today, running on a fresh set of tires, but unfortunately I couldn’t get around David in those critical early laps and instead we both lost out to Kyle. It was obviously not the outcome we wanted from a team perspective, but we raced fair and hard and I really respect both of them, and I think they respect me."

This weekend's podiums are the seventh and eighth of Lundqvist's decorated debut Indy Lights campaign, cementing the Swede's third place in the overall championship standings with two rounds remaining.  

“At the end of the day, we’re leaving here with two podiums and have reinforced third in the championship, so I have to be relatively pleased," Lundqvist concludes. "We do want more, however, so I’m already looking forward to getting back in the car in just a few days' time.”

The penultimate round of the 2021 Indy Lights campaign takes place already next weekend, as the field heads south to Laguna Seca, California.

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