Christian Lundgaard will race IndyCar for Rahal in multiyear deal starting in 2022
F2 driver Christian Lundgaard will race full time in the NTT IndyCar Series next season, joining Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing full time in a multiyear deal announced Wednesday.
Lundgaard made his IndyCar debut with RLL in the Aug. 14 race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course, qualifying an impressive fourth and finishing 12th. He is a member of the Alpine Academy, a youth driver program tied to the F1 team previously known as Renault.
He becomes the latest European transplant to race full time in IndyCar next season, joining F1 veteran Romain Grosjean (who excelled in a partial schedule last year) and Callum Ilott.
Lundgaard, 20, will be teamed with Graham Rahal and Jack Harvey, who recently was announced as the No. 45 Dallara-Honda driver. The Danish driver is ranked 11th in the F2 standings this season with the Alpine F1 team.
BIG NEWS! Joining @RLLracing for the 2022 @IndyCar Series 🇺🇸— Christian Lundgaard (@lundgaardoff) October 20, 2021
I'm delighted to share this, it's been a crazy year in many ways and I'm pleased to have my immediate future sorted. Working with @RLLracing will be an honor and a great opportunity in my career. pic.twitter.com/pvbHFDXoik
“I’m very excited to join Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing in IndyCar,” Lundgaard said in a release. “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.”
Said team owner Bobby Rahal: “I’m very pleased that Christian will be joining us for the next several years. 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.”