Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (RLL) announced today that the team will enter a car for FIA Formula 2 Championship driver Christian Lundgaard, 20, for the Big Machine Spiked Coolers Grand Prix at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course on August 14. The Danish driver recently tested an Indy car for the first time with the team at Barber Motorsports Park on July 26 and is a member of the Alpine Academy, a program originally created by Renault F1 in 2002 to support young racing drivers through their careers.
“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 Bobby Rahal, co-owner of Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing with David Letterman and Mike Lanigan. “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 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.”
Lundgaard is looking forward to competing on the 14-turn, 2.439-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course. He visited the track when he was in Indianapolis for a seat fitting in July.
“I’m super excited to try INDYCAR next week,” said Christian Lundgaard, who will pilot the No. 45 Honda-powered entry. “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.”
Davide Brivio, Alpine F1 Team Racing Director, added: “INDYCAR is a brilliant, competitive series with very strong contenders and we are excited to see how Christian converts this opportunity. Christian remains an important part of the Alpine Academy as he has shown huge promise throughout his junior career. Now, two seasons into FIA Formula 2, 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. I’m sure Christian will enjoy it, and I can’t wait to see the race!”
The 2021 NTT INDYCAR SERIES season continues with the Big Machine Spiked Coolers Grand Prix at IMS which will be broadcast live on NBCSN on August 14 at 12:30 p.m. EDT. All future on-track action can be seen on NBC, NBCSN or NBC’s Peacock Premium streaming service. For more information about the series or team, visit www.indycar.com and www.rahal.com.
About Christian Lundgaard
Twenty-year-old Christian, from Hedensted, Denmark, races in the FIA Formula 2 Championship, the primary Formula 1 support series. He is also a member of the Alpine Academy, having joined the programme in 2017 following an impressive career in European and World Karting Championships. Christian’s first year in single-seaters led to two Formula 4 titles – NEZ and Spanish – before he finished runner-up in the 2018 Formula Renault Eurocup as a rookie. In 2019, Christian stepped up to Formula 3, finishing sixth, before progressing to Formula 2 last year.
In 2020 he stepped up to Formula 2, securing two wins. So far in 2021, Christian has two Formula 2 podiums to his name. He finished second in Race 2 at the season opener in Bahrain before claiming third place in Great Britain in July. He has tested the R.S.18 on one occasion this year at Silverstone.