Swedish single-seater champion Linus Lundqvist joins 2017 F4 British Championship

  • Linus Lundqvist becomes first Double R Racing signing of 2017.
  • Rapid 17-year-old aiming to mount major British F4 title bid.
  • Formula STCC Nordic and NEZ Champion relishing UK debut.

30 JANUARY, 2017 – Highly rated Swedish single-seater champion Linus Lundqvist will race in the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford in 2017, competing for Double R Racing.

17-year-old Lundqvist stormed to glory in the Scandinavian-based Formula STCC Nordic championship in 2016, winning 10 out of 14 races, as well as the North European Zone title.

In 2017 the Stockholm resident will set about his biggest challenge to date, leaving the Swedish arena to go head to head with some of motor racing’s most promising prospects in the UK’s official FIA Formula 4 series.

Lundqvist will take to the grid with Woking-based outfit Double R Racing and is eager to make a name for himself in the UK’s leading single-seater championship.

“It’s great to be able to take this step and to measure myself against the competition in the F4 British Championship,” said Lundqvist.

“This has been my target since winning the Formula STCC Nordic title last autumn, and I’m equally thrilled and grateful that we’ve made this happen along with Double R Racing.

“To be competing in single-seaters in Britain, in the heart of motorsport, is definitely a dream come true for me.”

Lundqvist has already got plenty of Ford EcoBoost-powered miles under his belt having tested the British F4 racer for three days at Silverstone, topping the times on each occasion at the home of the British Grand Prix.

“Testing has been very, very positive,” added Lundqvist. “It was all brand new to me; the car, the track, the tyres and the team, but the guys at Double R Racing have been fantastic and really helped me to acclimatise.

“This will be a big challenge for me, having only raced on the narrow tracks in Scandinavia, but I hope to be fighting for wins before too long.

“I want to establish myself abroad and prove what I can do, and to that end I’m sure British Formula 4 is the right path. I really am extremely excited and I can’t wait for the first race!”

Formed in 2004, Double R Racing currently fields cars in British F4 and F3; winning the F3 drivers’ title with British F4 graduate Matheus Leist in 2016.

The crack Double R Racing team claimed four wins last year in the F4 British Championship with Australian youngster Zane Goddard, who also added four more podium finishes to his tally over the course of the season.

Among those to have raced for the squad are the likes of Bruno Senna, Felipe Nasr and Lundqvist’s countryman Marcus Ericsson of the Sauber F1 team.

“I have to say that I’m genuinely impressed by what I’ve seen of Linus this winter,” said Double R Racing team boss Anthony ”Boyo” Hieatt.

“Testing went incredibly well. He turned up for the first time at Silverstone, a tough track with a lot of fast corners, and he immediately set the pace.

“He comes highly recommended by some people and I firmly believe that we’ll be running right at the front with Linus this year.

“I’d expect us to fight for race wins and the title, and we’re all excited to have Linus on board.”

A packed pre-season testing schedule begins in earnest this week on Friday 3 February at Oulton Park. Drivers will aim to get to grips with their Ford EcoBoost-powered machines ahead of the first meeting of the season which will take place at Double R’s ‘home’ track Brands Hatch, on 1/2 April.

2017 will once again see the F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford star alongside the BTCC, as the sole single-seater support series on the live-televised TOCA package.

Images by Mattias Persson / Linus Lundqvist Racing.

TEAM NEWS: Top-five championship finish for Leist and Double R

Report supplied by team PR

TEAM NEWS 12 OCTOBER, 2015 – Two-time MSA Formula race winner Matheus Leist concluded the championship’s inaugural season a highly respectable fifth in the title standings for Double R Racing after a frustratingly mixed category finale at Brands Hatch Grand Prix Circuit over the weekend.

With the undoubted speed to challenge for pole position in qualifying and also mount a bid to add to his tally of seven podiums, things didn’t work out as intended for the rapid Brazilian and he instead had to settle for a best finish of seventh place in the last race of the campaign.

Tarun Reddy, meanwhile, had an even more vexing finale which brought a continuation of the bad luck which has cruelly hampered his challenge this season. Despite two non-finishes in rounds 28 and 29, the Indian posted a 13th place in round 30 and went on to end the championship campaign an unrepresentative 15th in the standings.

“It’s been a tough weekend unfortunately for Matheus and Tarun and not how we wanted to end the season, but fifth in the championship is a pretty good result,” said Double R’s team principal Anthony ‘Boyo’ Hieatt. “We had the pace to be on pole with Matheus in qualifying, and that would have made all the difference, but it wasn’t to be – he did race well as always though.

“Tarun has had a lot of knocks this year, he’s had some terrible luck and that continued for him in the first couple of races on Saturday. We know he’s got the pace to be at the front, it just hasn’t worked out for him this season.”

Fresh from a superb victory in the previous event at Silverstone a fortnight ago, hopes were high of a continuation of that form for Leist but qualifying and race one didn’t go to plan. In the fight for pole position, the Brazilian had an unfortunate excursion in the final sector of the Grand Prix loop when on course to bag the fastest time in the grid-determining session.

Resulting in a seventh place start for round 28, Leist certainly had the pace to try and make progress but after being forced off the track at Graham Hill Bend on the first lap his involvement ended there and then.

Team-mate Reddy didn’t have much to celebrate either in the opening contest when he had to retire to the pits just a couple of laps into the race with gearbox problems. The Indian had qualified 14th on the grid for the first of Saturday’s two races.

Race two began with the Double R drivers at the back of the grid due to their opening encounter maladies. Reddy started in 18th and made swift gains, climbing into the top 15 before the end of lap two. Into 14th place by lap five, he held position for the next few laps but was forced out of the contest on lap 11 after an unfortunate excursion.

Leist, from 19th position, leapt into 16th place on the first lap and then climbed into 13th position on the second tour. Continuing his stunning progress, the Brazilian broke into the top 10 by lap four but a moment on the fifth tour led to a drop down to 18th position. Doing his best to recover, with pace quicker than the podium finishers, he climbed back into 14th spot before the finish.

For the final race of the MSA Formula season on Sunday, Reddy lined-up in 12th position with Leist just behind in 14th place and the latter made the better start, rocketing into the top 10 on the first lap with Reddy maintaining 12th place.

Climbing through the order well, Leist was into seventh place by lap three and the South American remained there for the remainder of the contest, albeit as part of an incredibly tightly bunched train of five cars nose-to-tail from third to seventh. With little to separate the quintet at the chequered flag Leist, in seventh spot, was little more than a second shy of the podium.

Reddy unfortunately slipped back to 14th position on lap three and, after a tangle with Josh Smith a lap later, he dropped a couple of places before fighting his way through to 13th position before the conclusion on lap 14.

TEAM NEWS: Leist back on top at Silverstone with second win of year for Double R

Report supplied by team PR

TEAM NEWS 28 SEPTEMBER, 2015 – Matheus Leist bagged his and the Double R Racing team’s second victory of the MSA Formula season during round 27 at Silverstone National Circuit on Sunday, thanks to a very well judged drive in the third and final race of the weekend.

Confirming his pace from the outset at the home of the British Grand Prix by securing his maiden pole position in qualifying on Saturday, Leist wasn’t able to capitalise on his grid topping slot in race one, round 25, but everything came good for the youngster in the final contest.

Accruing the biggest points tally of any driver over the course of the weekend, taking away a total of 54 points, Leist remains sixth in the championship but much closer to the top five. His team-mate Tarun Reddy, meanwhile, endured more misfortune with gearbox issues in race one compounded by retirement from race three with damage – he ended the weekend 13th in the standings.

“Matheus has had great pace all weekend, we had some issues with engines and what have you but we’re back where we should be with this win – we needed this,” said Double R team boss Anthony ‘Boyo’ Hieatt. “We’re all really looking forward to Brands Hatch now where we hope to get Tarun back up there too, he’s got the pace but he must be the unluckiest driver in the pit lane I think.”

Lining up on pole position for race one on Saturday afternoon, Leist unfortunately slipped to second off the start but did look set to re-challenge for the lead until running too deep into Becketts and emerging from the turn in fourth. Determined to hit back, Leist pressured for third in a bid to return to the podium positions but ultimately had to settle for fourth spot.

Indian racer Reddy, who managed to qualify eighth fastest for the opening contest despite being one of several drivers to have lap times deleted for track limits infringements, climbed into seventh on the first lap and ran glued to the rear wing of Daniel Ticktum’s car during the early going. On lap six, though, his car started to develop gear selection problems which resulted in retirement soon after.

Round 26 on Sunday morning began with Leist in sixth position and Reddy, after his unfortunate retirement from race one, in 19th place at the rear of the grid. Although slipping to seventh on the run to Copse, Leist hit back quickly and after taking sixth around the outside at Luffield on lap two, the Brazilian then got really stuck in and moved into fifth at Maggotts on lap three.

Although edged back to sixth over the line into the fourth tour, Leist got a good run out of Copse on lap five to move back into fifth and then claimed fourth two laps later into Becketts with a strong pass. Although edged back to fifth again on lap eight, Leist remained in touch with the lead group and ended the contest fourth on corrected times after a time penalty for Toby Sowery.

Reddy made swift progress from the start and by lap six he had climbed into 14th place. Slipping back a spot after running wide on lap nine, he was then edged back to 16th before recovering back into the top 15 and becoming embroiled in an entertaining see-saw battle with James Pull. Despite an unfortunate time penalty for a track limits infringement, Reddy ended the race in 15th place.

Starting the final race of the weekend, round 27, from second on the grid Leist slipped to third place where he stayed to the end of the lap when the Safety Car was deployed following some drama further back. Reddy, having started in eighth position, made a good getaway but he was one of several spinners at Brooklands and although making it to the pits the Indian retired with damage.

More drama, meanwhile, came courtesy of lead pair Lando Norris and Toby Sowery who tangled at Brooklands at the end of lap two. Leist, therefore, assumed the lead of the race and when the action resumed on lap eight, with just 10 minutes left on the clock, he led away well and opened up a lead of 0.8 seconds on the first racing lap.

Increasing his advantage to around one second into lap 11, having set a series of fastest laps, the Brazilian did come under increasing pressure from Colton Herta during the closing stages but Leist edged away by a few tenths over the last two laps to claim a richly deserved victory for Double R.

Leist claims his second win in eventful Silverstone finale

  • Crashes galore but Matheus Leist steers clear to claim the win ahead of Colton Herta
  • Enaam Ahmed third and Rookie class victor
  • Dramas for title hopefuls Lando Norris and Ricky Collard

SILVERSTONE 27 SEPTEMBER, 2015 – Through the drama of a chaotic third and final Silverstone round of the MSA Formula weekend, young Brazilian Matheus Leist picked his way carefully to victory – his second of the season for the Double R team – ahead of Carlin driver Colton Herta.

Only 10 of the 19 starters made it to the chequered flag, with championship protagonists Lando Norris and Ricky Collard both in the wars; Collard’s race ended in the pits and Norris finished 10th and last after a pit call following contact. As a result, the title fight will go down to the wire next month at Brands Hatch with just 13 points separating them.

It was a spate of crashes on the opening lap which shaped the race. The first saw Josh Smith’s Fortec car spear off the circuit after contact with Enaam Ahmed’s TRS Arden machine. Then, at Luffield, Collard tagged Dan Ticktum into a spin which set off a chain reaction involving the cars of Sandy Mitchell, Rafael Martins and Tarun Reddy which led to their elimination also.

Carlin man Norris had made an impeccable start from pole position to lead the race ahead of fast-starter Toby Sowery (MBM Motorsport) but, as they headed into Brooklands on lap two towards the scene of the earlier accidents, Norris slowed and Sowery did not, and the resulting contact between them led to Sowery’s retirement and Norris’s pit visit for repairs. Said Lando: “I’m not sure what happened, really. I took my normal line, not too wide, not too tight and I was at least half-way around the corner when I got a big hit in the side.”

Sowery was at a loss also: “I don’t know what happened. Lando didn’t really back off a noticeable amount but then I guess he must have seen something that I didn’t and braked hard. I took my normal line and that’s how we met…”

With the safety car called into play while all the cars involved were retrieved to safety, it was Leist heading the train ahead of Herta, Collard, Baybutt and Ahmed. Racing did not resume until the seventh lap, by which time there had been further contact between Collard and Ticktum; the latter retired to the pits and an investigation of the incident by the stewards of the meeting. This second contact left Collard’s front wing flapping; he was summoned to the pits for attention to the damage but did not act upon the warning flags, leading to him being black-flagged.

Leist mastered the restart and built a 0.9s lead over Herta, with Ahmed slotting into third after his team-mate’s removal from proceedings. Leist’s tyres were well past their best in the latter stages and Herta set fastest lap in his pursuit, narrowing the Brazilian’s advantage to 0.6s at the line. “It was mad, a crazy race,” said Colton, “but it all helped me because I had a poor start. Maybe if we’d had a couple more laps I could have done something about Matheus because his tyres were going off… I was pushing at the end but I just didn’t have enough.”

Said a delighted Matheus, who had to settle for fourth after starting Saturday’s race from the pole: “This makes up for yesterday. We worked hard on the car and made some changes and I had a very good set-up. I’m really happy with my second win, and a bit surprised – but that is motor racing, that’s how it is sometimes, people crash and you are lucky. It’s been a long time since my first win at Donington and I’m so happy with this.”

Ahmed cruised home for third overall (and his third Rookie class victory) despite some damage picked up in his first-lap incident: “I had a bent front wing because of contact with Josh Smith on the first lap – he didn’t give me much room and we touched. That was the most mad race I’ve ever had the pleasure of being a part of. I had a lot of problems in qualifying and I had pretty much written off the weekend, I’m just so happy to finish with a podium.”

The battle for fourth between James Pull (Fortec) and Dan Baybutt (JTR) came to a sticky end on lap 16 when they touched. Pull joined the growing list of retirees and Baybutt dropped down the order, with Falcon Motorsport’s talented rookie Darius Karbaley profiting from the carnage to move into fourth for his and the team’s best result of the year. “I must have lucked in somewhere!” said Darius. “I really didn’t expect this sort of result. People kept falling off in front of me…”

Richardson Racing’s Louise Richardson was another to stay out of trouble and her reward was fifth place: “I think I’m about the only one who didn’t pick up any damage. It all happened in front of me and it was just a case of driving through the debris and avoiding it.” She finished just ahead of JHR Developments driver Jack Butel, for whom sixth was a season’s best.

With Sennan Fielding out of the race after just a lap with gearbox issues, the finishing order was completed by Carlin’s Petru Florescu, Baybutt, Richardson Racing man Greg Holloway and pit-stopper Norris.

Provisional results Round 27 Silverstone 27 September 2015
18 laps / 29.53 miles
1 Matheus LEIST / BRA / Double R 20m 19.298s / 87.18mph
2 Colton HERTA / USA / Carlin +0.671s
3 Enaam AHMED / GBR / TRS Arden +5.394s
4 Darius KARBALEY / GBR / Falcon +12.535s
5 Louise RICHARDSON / GBR / Richardson +13.140s
6 Jack BUTEL / GBR / JHR +14.348s
7 Petru FLORESCU / ROU / Carlin +15.432s
8 Daniel BAYBUTT / GBR / JTR +25.386s
9 Greg HOLLOWAY / AUS / Richardson +30.964s
10 Lando NORRIS / GBR / Carlin 17 laps
Fastest lap Herta 57.365s / 102.94mph

Rookie class 1 Ahmed; 2 Karbaley; 3 Florescu; 4 Baybutt

Full times

Provisional championship standings
1 Norris 357 points; 2 Ricky Collard 344; 3 Herta 301; 4 Sennan Fielding 286; 5 Leist 266; 6 Daniel Ticktum 242; 7 Sandy Mitchell 165; 8 Ahmed 124; 9 Florescu 95; 10 James Pull 93 etc
Rookie class 1 Ticktum 408; 2 Ahmed 358; 3 Mitchell 350; 4 Baybutt 327; 5 Florescu 319 etc

Leist laps it up in Silverstone qualifying

  • First MSA Formula pole for Matheus Leist and Double R
  • Lando Norris shares the honours to take pole for tomorrow’s finale

SILVERSTONE 26 SEPTEMBER, 2015 – Double R’s Brazilian star Matheus Leist earned his maiden MSA Formula pole position this morning at Silverstone, the 17-year-old beating championship leader Lando Norris to top spot by three-hundredths of a second.

Leist, sixth fastest in yesterday’s test, threw down the gauntlet early on in the 20-minute qualifying session; he was the first man to beat the one-minute mark around the tight 1.6-mile Silverstone National circuit and steadily worked on his pace to lower the mark to 56.665s with seven minutes of the session to run. Norris improved his speed to find a tenth and take P2, but could not match Leist’s time.

Matheus will start from the pole in this afternoon’s 25th round of the Ford EcoBoost-powered championship, and is pinning his hopes on staying in front all the way to the chequered flag in a bid to secure his second victory of the season. “It’s really good,” said Leist, who celebrated his 17th birthday earlier this month. “I was in sixth position yesterday in testing and we made some changes to the car… It was a proper lap – I did everything perfectly and it all worked out. I like this circuit very much, it reminds me of Brazilian tracks, short and fast. Now I have to work hard to try to get my second race victory.”

Norris was three-tenths away from his test-topping Friday lap time, but had the consolation of setting the leading second-best qualifying time, a fraction ahead of Leist’s, to claim the pole for tomorrow afternoon’s live-televised third MSA Formula race. Said Lando: “Yesterday the car felt perfect, today not quite. It was hotter out there today and I think that affected things slightly. We’ll make some tweaks to the car and I think my race pace should be good.”

Norris leads Ricky Collard in the championship stakes by 17 points thanks to six race wins. TRS Arden driver Collard was fifth quickest in qualifying behind Leist, Norris, Carlin’s Colton Herta and Toby Sowery; it was Toby’s best qualifying result of the year and also the best showing by the MBM Motorsport team.

Dan Ticktum was the leading Rookie qualifier for Fortec, sixth fastest, ahead of JTR’s Dan Baybutt, Double R’s Tarun Reddy, eighth equalling his best qualifying result, and Fortec’s Josh Smith, the 16-year-old Racing Steps Foundation-backed driver scoring his maiden top-10 qualifying result. TRS Arden’s Sandy Mitchell completed the top 10.

Today’s race is due off the grid at 1510.

Provisional qualifying times Silverstone 26 September 2015
Grid order for Round 25
1 Matheus LEIST / BRA / Double R 56.665s
2 Lando NORRIS / GBR / Carlin 56.695s
3 Colton HERTA / USA / Carlin 56.795s
4 Toby SOWERY / GBR / MBM 56.928s
5 Ricky COLLARD / GBR / TRS Arden 56.967s
6 Daniel TICKTUM / GBR / Fortec 57.055s
7 Daniel BAYBUTT / GBR / JTR 57.099s
8 Tarun REDDY / IND / Double R 57.145s
9 Josh SMITH / GBR / Fortec 57.210s
10 Sandy MITCHELL / GBR / TRS Arden 57.214s etc

Round 26 grid order (based on second-fastest times) Norris – Leist – Herta – Sowery – Collard – Baybutt – Ticktum – Reddy – Mitchell – Sennan FIELDING / GBR / JHR etc

Full times