Linus Lundqvist

Linus Lundqvist leads David Malukas through a turn during Sunday's Formula Regional Americas Championship Powered by Honda race at the Vintage Grand Prix of Mid-Ohio.

LEXINGTON — The road to Mid-Ohio was a long and winding one for Linus Lundqvist, but the circuitous route to northern Morrow County didn’t seem to bother the emerging open-wheel star.

The 21-year-old Lundqvist completed the sweep of the season-opening Formula Regional Americas Championship Powered by Honda weekend Sunday during the Vintage Grand Prix of Mid-Ohio, finishing the 30-minute race 1.418 seconds ahead of David Malukas. Santiago Urrutia was third.

A native of Stockholm, Sweden and rookie for Global Racing Group, Lundqvist spent two weeks in quarantine in Mexico City to ensure he would be able to race on the FR Americas circuit.

“Basically, you need to have spent at least two weeks outside Europe before being allowed to enter the USA,” Lundqvist told formulascout.com earlier this month. “So for me, that meant I simply had to go abroad in order to make the first race of the season.”

He didn’t waste any time upon his arrival. Lundqvist won Saturday’s race by 3.407 seconds over Malukas and completed the sweep early Sunday afternoon.

“It’s still very early days but we couldn’t ask for a better start,” Lundqvist said from victory circle. “The team has been working really hard to get this kind of season-opener. It just shows that hard work pays off.

“I’m just a very small wheel in a big machine. Massive thanks to my team for giving me a good car.”

The 18-year-old Malukas kept it close during Sunday’s race. He pushed Lundqvist during the restart, but couldn’t quite overtake him.

“I tried to give him some pressure, but he’s just too quick,” Malukas said. “I tried my best. I saw the restart and saw that I had a second chance. I tried but I still couldn’t get it done. He was very quick.”

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I have covered high school sports in Richland County since 2000. Email him at curt@richlandsource.com or follow him on Twitter: Follow @curtjconrad on twitter.

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