Reigning Indy Lights (now Indy NXT) champion Linus Lundqvist is getting closer to making his NTT IndyCar Series race debut.
The 24-year-old Swede captured five wins, seven poles, and nine podiums last year on the way to claiming the title with HMD Motorsports, and has c onducted IndyCar tests on an oval with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing and a road course with Ed Carpenter Racing this season in preparation for any opportunities that might arise.
Although he wouldn’t be drawn on the team in question, Lundqvist says he’s targeting the last few IndyCar rounds to make his series debut.
“The last last two or three weeks, I’ve been back in Sweden and I did a Porsche Carrera Cup race, which was pretty fun, but it actually occurred to me that this was my first race of the whole year, which is insane to think about,” Lundqvist told RACER. “But it was nice to be back on track and I got a podium in my first race, so I was happy with that and it just motivates me even more to get racing in IndyCar.
“There is a good chance that I’ll be in one, two, possibly even three races before the end of the year. That’s at least what I’m working towards. I’m just waiting for a contract to be sent over and badly want to be on track soon.”
If the deal comes together, Lundqvist could be in the seat for the World Wide Technology Raceway oval and at least one of the road courses at Portland and Laguna Seca.
“The team asked me if I could do an oval and a road race, and they might try to throw another race in there,” he said. “Ideally, I’d like to finish out the three remaining races.”
Lundqvist says he’s been training and staying ready to race if the door to IndyCar opens at some point.
“My mindset the whole year, even though I haven’t had a drive, is to be as physically fit as I could be so if I need to get in a car right now, I would be ready for it,” he said. “I’m extremely thankful to the guys at PitFit for helping me out on that side, keeping me in the gym, always pushing me along.
“Over the IndyCar test ing that I’ve done both with the Texas test and the Sebring test, I think I showed the teams and to myself that I was at a very good level, especially at Sebring with the temperatures in June. As a professional, you always have to be ready if something were to come up.”