Strong starts to the Indy Lights presented by Cooper Tires season aren’t the only things that have gone well for a pair of European drivers living in Indianapolis.
Linus Lundqvist and Christian Rasmussen used the early break in the series schedule after the season opener March 20 at St. Petersburg to return their homes to update their U.S. work visas. Lundqvist went to Sweden, Rasmussen to Denmark.
The relief the approved documents offer cannot be understated.
“Now I know I can stay here for another four years and try to make a career out of this,” Lundqvist said.
Permits to work in the U.S. come in various forms, but nearly all of them require a significant amount of effort, and it often takes a lawyer to navigate the requirements. As important are the deadlines that must be met, capped by an interview at a U.S. embassy outside of this country.
Lundqvist had been working on his visa for more than two years, a process slowed because the U.S. embassy in Stockholm was closed during the COVID-19 pandemic. With approval in hand, he is free to travel without restrictions for the foreseeable future.
“It just opens everything up, especially when the season is super busy,” he said. “Now, I don’t have to count the days for when I have to go out of the country to meet requirements. I can (travel) whatever fits my schedule.
“The target is to have a career over here, so now I can continue with that.”
Lundqvist, who won a pair of Indy Lights races in 2021, finished third in this year’s season-opening race in St. Petersburg driver for HMD Motorsports with Dale Coyne Racing. Rasmussen, last year’s Indy Pro 2000 champion, led 32 of the 45 laps in St. Petersburg for Andretti Autosport but finished 12th after fueling issues left him stalled on the track coming to white flag.
Rasmussen took part in a team test at Barber Motorsports Park in preparation for the upcoming race – May 1 – before heading to Denmark. He said visiting friends and family he doesn’t often see added to the relaxation that started with resetting his visa.
“I enjoy just being with them when I’m back home,” he said. “When Barber hits, it’s going to be a busy year for me, and I won’t be able to get back for a little bit.”
Both drivers were back in time to participate in Indy Lights’ road course test April 5 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
The schedule is indeed about to ramp up. After the Barber race weekend April 29-May 1, Indy Lights will return to the IMS road course for a doubleheader May 13-14. Then, there are three races in a nine-day stretch in early June with a doubleheader in Detroit (June 4-5) and the race at Road America (June 12).
Lundqvist is third in the standings. Rasmussen is 10th by virtue of scoring bonus points in St. Petersburg for leading the most laps.