Lundgaard to make IndyCar race debut on Indy road course

Formula 2 race winner and Alpine academy member Christian Lundgaard will make his IndyCar Series debut in a third Rahal Letterman Lanigan entry at the Indianapolis road course this weekend.

Lundgaard to make IndyCar race debut on Indy road course

The Danish 20-year-old tested two weeks ago for RLL at Barber Motorsports Park, alongside Oliver Askew, impressing team co-owner Bobby Rahal.

Lundgaard will take over the #45 car driven to four top-10 finishes in five starts by Santino Ferrucci this year for IndyCar's second race on the 2.439-mile circuit where Rinus VeeKay scored his first win earlier this season.

With only a one-hour practice session to learn the car before qualifying, Rahal predicted it would be a “a big challenge” for Lundgaard, but expressed optimism that the circuit's European feel would help smooth his learning curve.

“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,” said Rahal.

“It’s going to be a new experience and a big challenge due to the lack of practice time compared to other races.

“[But] the road course is very much like European circuits given that it was designed for Formula 1 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.

“Given the lack of test time and practice time, we don’t have any grand expectations of him other than to go out and do a steady job and go from there.”

Santino Ferrucci, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda

Santino Ferrucci, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda

Photo by: Joe Skibinski

Lundgaard, who visited the track while in Indy for his RLL seat fitting, currently sits 12th in the F2 standings with ART Grand Prix. In his second season in the F1 feeder series, he has scored a best finish of second in Bahrain.

Fellow Alpine academy members Oscar Piastri and Guanyu Zhou currently head the standings.

“I’m super excited to try IndyCar next week,” Lundgaard said.

“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 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, 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.”

Christian Lundgaard, ART Grand Prix

Christian Lundgaard, ART Grand Prix

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Alpine F1 Team racing director Davide Brivio said Lundgaard “remains an important part of the Alpine Academy as he has shown huge promise throughout his junior career”, adding that “we are evaluating different options for the next stage” of his career.

“IndyCar is a brilliant, competitive series with very strong contenders and we are excited to see how Christian converts this opportunity,” said Brivio.

“I’m sure Christian will enjoy it, and I can’t wait to see the race.”

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