Lundgaard to remain with RLL for new multi-year deal

INDIANAPOLIS — Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing announced on Tuesday that the team has restructured a new, long-term agreement with NTT INDYCAR SERIES rookie-of-the-year contender Christian Lundgaard that will see the Danish driver continue to compete for the team in 2023 and beyond.

The deal was signed on Monday.

“I have to say a big thanks to Bobby, David and Mike for giving me this opportunity to extend my time with the team,” Lundgaard said. “We’ve had some good results lately and I’m sure this has also helped their decision. First of all, I’m just happy and super excited that they gave me this opportunity. A year ago at the Grand Prix, we qualified well and they decided that they wanted me for a full season and we made the most of the opportunity so far. I’m sure there are times when we could have performed better but now we have the opportunity to continue this progress. We’ve been to a lot of tracks so far and have come back to some and finished on the podium, which I hope to continue. Qualifying third in Nashville was a big milestone for me. Making the Fast Six – and not being at the end of the Fast Six but actually having a shot at competing for the pole – was a great experience for me. We didn’t quite finish where we wanted but it was good to have that experience and now everyone is making the most of it. I’m happy for everyone at the team, my family and the sponsors and investors, everyone that has made this possible. I’m looking forward to continuing to build momentum.”

Lundgaard has momentum on his side heading into the final three races of the season. He earned an INDYCAR career-best finish of second place at the Gallagher Grand Prix at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 30 and earned his highest series start of third place at the Music City Grand Prix in Nashville on August 6. He leads the INDYCAR Rookie of the Year standings with 272 points to second-place David Malukas, who has 231.

But this stability gives Lundgaard the confidence that it takes to perform at his highest level. In every good business, the best ones treat their employees like members of their family. You’ll have disagreements as families do, but at the end of the day, the best interest of the family or in this case a business or team, is what always wins out.

Everybody is on the same side.

RLL is a family run team with a father-son owner-driver combo. Lundgaard feels the warmth of the family run team as an extended member of the Rahal family.

“Absolutely. Everyone in the team works well together,” he told me on if RLL feels like family to him. “I like Bobby. I like Mike and David. I’ve actually spent more time with them than I thought I would than I did in the beginning of the season.

“Mike (Lanigan) called me yesterday just to congratulate me on the contract. What I like a lot about Mike is he tells you what he thinks. He doesn’t filter it. I think that is a good thing to have. And as a team, I think we also need to move more in that direction and just get things done, have some more conclusions on things and get on with it.”

Lanigan is equally as pleased with Lundgaard as the young Danish driver is on him.

“Christian has done a great job acclimatizing to the variety of challenges and new experiences this season,” says Lanigan. “His approach and professionalism continues to impress us and his performance, especially in the second half of the season, speaks volumes about his potential. We are very happy to have him as part of the team for the years ahead.”

Bobby Rahal is also pleased to continue on with his rookie star.

“I am so pleased with Christian’s progress with the team and within the series,” he said. “He has shown that he can be a force to be reckoned with in these races. He works well within the team, and we are pleased that we are continuing for the next several years because I believe he will continue to improve and be a potential winner in the very near future.”

Lundgaard, 21, from Hedensted, Denmark, came to the INDYCAR SERIES after competing in the FIA Formula 2 Championship, the primary Formula 1 support series, from 2020-2021. Lundgaard was a member of the Alpine Academy, having joined the program in 2017 following an impressive career in European and World Karting Championships. Christian’s first year in single-seaters led to two Formula 4 titles – NEZ and Spanish – before he finished runner-up in the 2018 Formula Renault Eurocup as a rookie. In 2019, Christian stepped up to Formula 3, finishing sixth, before progressing to Formula 2 the following season.

In his first year in Formula 2 in 2020, he won two races and backed that up the following year with three podiums. He finished second in Race 2 at the season opener in Bahrain before claiming third place in Race 1 in Great Britain in July. After his debut in INDYCAR, he made a sensational charge from 19th on the grid to finish third in Monza in Race 1. He tested the R.S.18 on one occasion in 2021 at Silverstone.

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