Linus Lundqvist, the hard-charging Swede who won the 2022 Indy Lights championship after reeling off five wins and nine podiums from 14 races, was unable to take the small advancement prize offered by Penske Entertainment and find a seat in the NTT IndyCar Series. But that didn’t stop Lundqvist from working hard throughout the offseason to create opportunities for himself, and after months of discussions, the 23-year-old has been rewarded with an upcoming test he’s arranged with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing.
Set to test on April 3 at Texas Motor Speedway — the day after the IndyCar race on the 1.5-mile oval — Lundqvist will get a feel for RLL and a big and fast oval after being out of an open-wheel car since the final Indy Lights race in September.
“In this opportunity, I’m obviously very thankful and I want to say thanks to the RLL team and to Bobby Rahal for putting me in at this test,” Lundqvist told RACER. “I know that it’s going to be a little bit tricky for me because it’s been some time since I’ve been in a single-seater, but to do my first test with the team at Texas is gonna be exciting.”
The outing with RLL will mark Lundqvist’s second time in an Indy car, having tested for Andretti Autosport late in 2021 as a reward for placing third on his Indy Lights debut. Although there are no guarantees, in a recent interview with a Swedish TV outlet Rahal did express his interest in fielding an entry for Lundqvist at unspecified IndyCar rounds later in the year.
“It will be about a year and a half since my last time in an Indy car, so hopefully I can do a good job and hopefully the team can get a good feeling for me,” he added. “Then maybe we’ll see what we can work out for the rest of the year. My dream is that we can put something together for more than just a test, but this is a great start. This test gets me going for the year.”
Although he’s lacked a home on the IndyCar grid, Lundqvist has maintained an intensive training regimen to be ready for any doors that might open.
“I’ve been going hard over the winter, both at the gym together with the Pit Fit guys, going to races like the 24 Hours of Daytona or wherever to see and meet with people, and doing everything else that I can do to stay in shape for any opportunities, and here we are,” he said. “Hopefully I’ve done a decent enough job over the winter to make the most out of things. I need to be out there, racing.”