2018 BRDC British Formula 3 champion Linus Lundqvist will compete in the GT Daytona class of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship for the 2019 season-opening Rolex 24 at Daytona, with the Swede being placed with Precision Performance Motorsport as his reward for winning the Sunoco Whelen Challenge.
In a change to the usual placement of the Sunoco Whelen Challenge winner, who has raced for Whelen Engineering Racing in the prototype class in recent years, Lundqvist will instead race a Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo in the GT Daytona class, with AAOC Managing Director Anders Hildebrand saying the move is to lessen the pressure on the young racer.
“For the last four years, thanks to support from Sonny Whelen of Whelen Engineering, we have been placing the Sunoco Whelen Challenge winner in the #31 Whelen sponsored Action Express run Cadillac DPi race car,” said Hildebrand.
“However, with the increasing level of competitiveness in the top class we feel that the pressure imposed on our winner will take out the enjoyment of this, maybe once in a lifetime experience. Sonny and I therefore decided for 2019 that we should place our winner in the GTD (GT3) class which has a mix of PRO and AM drivers and a class that would really make our Sunoco Whelen Challenge winner shine.
“Our tenth Sunoco Whelen Challenge winner and 2018 British F3 Champion Linus Lundqvist was amazing in the British F3 Championship. Having followed him and seen him race this season I’m confident that he will do us proud with his race craft and speed.”
Lundqvist is looking forward to the challenge of racing in the twice-around-the-clock Rolex 24 at Daytona in January, and it will give him the opportunity to race in the United States of America for the first time in his career.
“I am really excited to have everything confirmed, I can’t wait to get on that plane and fly across the Atlantic to race in the States for the first time,” said Lundqvist. “It’s going to be a real adventure!
“I’m super happy to be given the trust and opportunity to drive the Lamborghini GT3 Evo for Precision Performance Motorsports at Daytona! It will be a lot to learn considering it will be my first endurance race but I’m going to do my best and try to learn and enjoy it as much as possible.
“I also want to say a special thank you to Sonny Whelen, because without him and Whelen Engineering, this opportunity wouldn’t be possible. Also, a big thank you to Eva and Anders Hildebrand and everyone at Anglo American Oil Company Ltd. I’m super proud to be one of the Sunoco Whelen Challenge Winners.”