With the FIA Formula 2 Championship‘s next round at Monza not until September, Christian Lundgaard will dabble in the NTT IndyCar Series. On Monday, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing announced Lundgaard will make his IndyCar début in the Big Machine Spiked Coolers Grand Prix at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course on Saturday, 14 August. He will drive the #45 Honda.
“I’m super excited to try IndyCar next week,” said Lundgaard. “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.”
Lundgaard is currently in his second full season of Formula 2 competition for ART Grand Prix. After four rounds, he is twelfth in points with two podiums in sprint races (second in Sprint 2 at Bahrain and third in Sprint 1 at Silverstone). His first year saw him win two sprints at Austria and Mugello as he finished seventh in the standings.
Since 2017, he has been a member of the Alpine Academy. In his first year with the Alpine F1-led junior programme, he won the SMP F4 and F4 Spanish Championships, which he followed with a runner-up in the 2018 Formula Renault Eurocup standings. He finished sixth in his lone FIA Formula 3 season in 2019 with a feature win at Hungary.
In July, Lundgaard participated in a private IndyCar test with RLL at Barber Motorsports Park. Although the academy is intended to breed future Alpine F1 drivers, Lundgaard and the programme’s members have considered looking elsewhere for racing opportunities as the F1 side’s lineup of Esteban Ocon and Fernando Alonso appear set for the immediate future.
RACER magazine reported after his test that he could also run the final three IndyCar races at Portland, Laguna Seca, and Long Beach should he receive funding. However, this would come at the cost of the F2 rounds at Monza and Sochi.
“IndyCar is a brilliant, competitive series with very strong contenders and we are excited to see how Christian converts this opportunity,” commented Alpine F1 director Davide Brivio. “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.”
RLL’s #45 has mainly been piloted by Santino Ferrucci, a former Formula 2 driver, on a part-time basis in 2021.