Formula 2 driver and Alpine Junior Christian Lungaard is set to make an IndyCar debut for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (RLL).
Lungaard has been racing in the Formula 2 series since 2019 and has always been a driver to look out for amongst those in the paddock. He has been looking forward to making his debut in a more competitive series for the last season and has finally announced that he will be making his IndyCar debut this season in the Honda-powered number 45 car.
The Danish driver has stressed his eagerness to drive in this championship: “I’m super excited to try Indy Car next week. 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.”
Team co-owner Bobby Rahal has spoken about his driver choice and has revealed that it was Lungaard’s performance during testing that has swayed them in his favor.
“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.
Despite Lungaard never having driven in this championship, Rahal is confident of the Danish driver’s capabilities for his debut especially since the track layout is similar to those in Europe. He also said that he hopes for consistency in Lungaard.
“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 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.”
Alpine F1 Racing Director Davide Brivio is keen on witnessing how Lungaard capitalizes on this opportunity since he feels that the F2 driver has shown a lot of promise in his last two seasons driving for ART Grand Prix.
“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!”