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IndyCar Grand Prix of Indianapolis

Lundgaard: I can call Indy GP track "home” after maiden IndyCar pole

Rahal Letterman Lanigan IndyCar driver Christian Lundgaard says the 2.439-mile Indianapolis road course is like home after claiming his first series pole at the circuit on Friday.

Christian Lundgaard, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda

On the track where he qualified fourth on his IndyCar debut in 2021, and scored his first podium last year, Lundgaard delivered a brilliant pole by 0.0027s from Felix Rosenqvist (Arrow McLaren).

Lundgaard's pole capped a strong day for his RLL team as Jack Harvey qualified fourth and Graham Rahal eighth, comfortably its best showing so far this season after a disappointing start to 2023.

The Dane, who claimed IndyCar rookie of the year honours last season, remarked: “I can finally call this home, I think. It feels amazing.

“Waking up this morning, I knew we were going to have a chance to get into the Fast Six because we've done that pretty much every time we've been here, at least with me.

“I hoped it was going to happen, and now I can sit here and it's a reality, which is pretty cool.”

Lundgaard said the team's best qualifying result across its three cars since he joined the team “shows the progress that we're on”, although conceded ”it's taken a little longer than we would have liked” after failing to convert mid-season promise last season to the start of the 2023 campaign.

“The podium here last year was a step, and we had a very good end to the season last year, but we weren't able to continue that going into the beginning of this season,” he said.

“It annoyed me a lot because obviously I'm asking the question, ‘What have we done different?’ There wasn't really anything that was dramatically different that should drastically change.

“So now sitting here I'm only proud of this team.

Christian Lundgaard, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda wins the pole

Christian Lundgaard, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda wins the pole

Photo by: Phillip Abbott / Motorsport Images

”We built a new facility. It hasn't paid off until now, so we're going to keep digging deep.”

Asked if he expected his first pole to come in just his 23rd IndyCar start, Lundgaard replied: “Well, I would have hoped it came sooner. Whenever it comes, I hope it was the right time to do it.

“The one thing I was annoyed about having my podium here last year was I didn't want to have it here because I did my debut here and I didn't want people to think this was just the track that I was fast at!

“And we showed up in Nashville and was P1 in the first session the weekend after. This is what I want to do now.

“Now we're starting the race from pole, but we also need to win the race. We need to take it step by step and see what we can do tomorrow and back it up for the proper month of May.”

He later added: “At this point I think we'll be pretty disappointed in second tomorrow or just a podium. I think we're absolutely going for winning the race.”

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