Dream start to rookie season at Oulton Park
Swede resists pressure en route to maiden F3 win
Linus Lundqvist got his first season of Formula 3 racing underway to the best possible effect by winning the opening race of the BRDC British F3 Championship campaign at Oulton Park on Saturday afternoon.
From second on the grid, the 19-year-old Swede powered past pole-sitter Clement Novalak at the start to claim a lead he would never surrender, although he did have to sustain significant pressure from Novalak’s Carlin team-mate Nicolai Kjaergaard in the closing stages.
Lundqvist, however, kept his cool to defend successfully from the more experienced Dane, becoming the first Swede since John Bryant-Meisner in 2013 to win a British F3 race.
Kjaergaard finished second, while the determined Billy Monger – who survived a life-changing Formula 4 crash at Donington Park last season (in a race won by Lundqvist in muted circumstances) – scooped a podium on his return to racing in third.
“An incredible start to the season, just fantastic,” says Linus Lundqvist. “We’ve had good indications in testing and felt confident going into this weekend, but to go from that to actually winning the opening race in my rookie F3 season is something else. Nicolai put me under quite a lot of pressure in the end, but I’m pleased that I managed to resist him and not make any mistakes. To be a race-winner in F3… this is a big day for me.”
Lundqvist also highlights the efforts of his team, Double R Racing, during what has been an emotional winter for the Woking squad.
“We suffered a tragic loss during the winter, so I’d like to dedicate this win to our dear mechanic JJ,” Lundqvist continues. “The entire team has been through a difficult time, but still somehow managed to keep the concentration and give me a car capable of winning races. This win is for them and JJ.”
Lundqvist’s win sees him take an early championship lead, six points ahead of Kjaergaard.
Sunday marks a day off at Oulton Park, where F3 action resumes on Monday with the final two races of the weekend.
RESULTS (top five)
BRDC British F3 Championship
Round 1 | Oulton Park
1: Linus Lundqvist, Double R, 11 laps
2: Nicolai Kjaergaard, Carlin, +0.826s
3: Billy Monger, Carlin, +4.093s
4: Tom Gamble, Fortec, +4.898s
5: Krish Mahadik, Double R, +9.055s