Christian Lundgaard will race in IndyCar for the first time this weekend as he joins Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing for the second race on Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s road course.
The Alpine Academy member is currently contesting his sophomore Formula 2 season with ART Grand Prix, and lies an underwhelming 12th in the standings with two podiums at the season’s halfway point.
His surprise IndyCar debut comes after a private test with RLLR at Barber Motorsports Park on July 26, and as he evaluates his options for next year with no race seats in Alpine’s Formula 1 team for him to step up to for 2022.
“I’m super excited to try IndyCar next week,” said Lundgaard, who will race the #45 Honda-powered car driven several times by Santino Ferrucci this year.
“I’ve been very fortunate so far in my career to drive some incredible race cars and I’m looking forward to officially adding IndyCar to that list.
“In preparation for this race, I tested the car and it felt pretty awesome and I’m sure it will feel even better at a race weekend in race conditions alongside all the hugely talented drivers in the field.
“There’s been a lot of work to make this happen and prepare as best as possible and I’m feeling ready for the challenge. I’ve actually watched all IndyCar races this year, so to be given the chance to line up on the grid is amazing.
“There will be a lot to learn in a short space of time but trying something new excites me. I can’t thank enough RLLR, Alpine, my sponsors and investors for supporting me with this opportunity. It’s a unique chance and I can’t wait to give it my all.”
RLLR co-owner and IndyCar champion Bobby Rahal added: “We were very pleased with the job that Christian did at our recent test at Barber Motorsports Park and are looking forward to seeing him perform at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
“It’s going to be a new experience and a big challenge due to the lack of practice time compared to other races. The road course is very much like European circuits given that it was designed for F1 and grand prix races, so I think it will be less of an issue than going to one of our more traditional IndyCar race tracks.”
Alpine F1 Team racing director Davide Brivio also commented on Lundgaard’s IndyCar cameo.
“IndyCar is a brilliant, competitive series with very strong contenders and we are excited to see how Christian converts this opportunity,” he said.
“Christian remains an important part of the Alpine Academy as he has shown huge promise throughout his junior career.
“Now, two seasons into F2, we are evaluating different options for the next stage, but for this particular moment we are just focusing on the present; enjoy a different type of car and environment, work hard and deliver on track.”
The penultimate race of the IndyCar season at Laguna Seca doesn’t clash with F2, and Lundgaard racing there hasn’t been rueld out.