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After an impressive debut in the Big Machine Spiked Coolers Grand Prix in August at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (RLL) announced Oct. 20 that FIA Formula 2 Championship driver Christian Lundgaard will join the team as the driver of the No. 30 Honda-powered NTT INDYCAR SERIES entry beginning in 2022 in a multi-year agreement.
Danish driver Lundgaard had limited preparation before his NTT INDYCAR SERIES debut on the IMS road course but turned heads when he qualified fourth and went on to finish 12th despite a condensed event schedule. His ability to adapt quickly will be an asset as he learns the nuances of oval racing and competes in the 106th Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge on May 29, 2022.
“I’m very excited to join Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing in INDYCAR,” Lundgaard said. “They are a fantastic team who made me feel very welcome earlier this year when I made my debut in the series. They are the perfect choice, and I’m happy to join them on this next chapter in my career. I was very much open-minded when I raced at Indianapolis in August, and the experience then only grew my hunger to give it another go, so to have the opportunity as a full-time professional racing driver is a privilege. I can only thank Bobby, Piers and the team, as well as my investors and Alpine for putting it all together. I’m determined to repay that faith with on-track performances beginning when the season starts in February.
“Of course, this will be a completely new challenge for me, especially with oval racing, which I’ve never done before. I’d like to think I’m a fast learner, so taking this on is going to be an awesome experience. For now, I’m not setting too many expectations other than working hard and enjoying the racing and hopefully the results will follow. For now, though, my focus is on finishing the Formula 2 Championship before fully committing to taking on INDYCAR. I can’t wait for the experience to begin.”
Lundgaard, 20, is a member of the Alpine Academy, a program originally created by Renault F1 in 2002 to support young racing drivers through their careers. He earned two victories in F2 in 2020, with three podium finishes this season in the series, the final step before Formula One.
Further details for the 2022 NTT INDYCAR SERIES program for Lundgaard will be announced later. He will join Graham Rahal and Jack Harvey in RLL’s three-car lineup for 2022.
“I’m very pleased that Christian will be joining us for the next several years,” RLL co-owner Bobby Rahal said. “His performance on the road course at Indianapolis Motor Speedway certainly surprised everybody. For him to do the job he did was tremendous and certainly beyond our expectations. With a little more time under his belt, I think the performance would have been even stronger. Everyone within the team was very pleased and it created a lot of excitement and positive reactions from the fans on social media and online, as well as a positive buzz in the paddock.
“Some may not know, but he had food poisoning, so he wasn’t feeling 100 percent that day and yet to have the kind of weekend we had was great. I look forward to a long relationship with Christian. He’s a great young man who fit well with the team immediately, and we are all excited about what we can do together.”
Said team co-owner Mike Lanigan: “The team is very excited to have Christian onboard beginning with the 2022 season. With our current lineup with Graham and Jack, I believe the addition of Christian will take our team to the next level in competing for a championship.”
The 2022 NTT INDYCAR SERIES season begins with the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on Feb. 25-27.