Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (RLL) will enter a car for FIA Formula 2 Championship driver Christian Lundgaard for the Big Machine Spiked Coolers Grand Prix on Saturday, Aug. 14 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course.
Lundgaard, 20, from Denmark, will drive the No. 45 Honda-powered entry in the race on the 14-turn, 2.439-mile circuit. He visited IMS when he was in Indianapolis for a seat fitting in July, as he tested an NTT INDYCAR SERIES car for the first time with RLL on July 26 at Barber Motorsports Park.
“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.”
Lundgaard 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 finished seventh in the FIA F2 Championship in 2020 with two wins for ART Grand Prix. He has two podium finishes so far this season, with a best result of second for ART Grand Prix.
“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 One and Grand Prix races, so I think it will be less of an issue than going to one of our more traditional INDYCAR racetracks.
“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.”
Said Davide Brivio, Alpine F1 Team racing director: “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!”
To learn more about Lundgaard, follow him on Twitter at @lundgaardoff or Instagram at @lundgaardofficial.
Live coverage of the 85-lap race starts at 12:30 p.m. (ET) Saturday on NBCSN and the INDYCAR Radio Network. Practice and NTT P1 Award qualifying are scheduled for Friday.