Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing announced today that FIA Formula 2 racer Christian Lundgaard, 20, will join the team as the driver of its No. 30 Honda-powered entry beginning in 2022 in a multi-year agreement.
Lundgaard, a two-time race winner in F2 and a member of the Alpine Academy — a program originally created by Renault F1 in 2002 to support young racing drivers through their careers — made his IndyCar debut with the team in the Big Machine Spiked Coolers Grand Prix on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course in August. Despite limited preparation time before the race, the Dane impressed as he qualified fourth place and went on to finish 12th.
“I’m very excited to join Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing in IndyCar. They are a fantastic team who made me feel very welcome earlier this year when I made my debut in the series,” said Lundgaard. “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.”
Bobby Rahal, co-owner of Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, said, “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.”
David Salters, president and technical director for Honda Performance Development, commented, “Christian impressed us all in his IndyCar debut earlier this year. Great to see a ‘youth movement’ in IndyCar and high quality talent transfer from F2 and F1 programs. From Honda’s perspective, it’s delightful to see the upward trajectory of IndyCar with a super competitive field, we relish this as we race to challenge ourselves through competition. We look forward to watching Christian continue to develop and perform in the NTT IndyCar Series in 2022.”