Alpine have announced that Academy driver, Christian Lundgaard will make his IndyCar debut at Big Machine Spiked Coolers Grand Prix at Indianapolis across 13-14 August 2021.
Lundgaard currently drives for ART GP in Formula Two but with the junior series running a stagnated calendar this season, the Dane will be exploring a different racing series for the first time since driving in F3 in 2019.
Speaking on his one-off appearance in IndyCar, Lundgaard revealed that he is “super excited” to add IndyCar to the list of different race cars which he was “very fortunate” to have raced in his career, but feels “ready for the challenge.”
Lundgaard added that he has watched every IndyCar race this season including a chaotic thriller at Nashville this weekend, which was won by ex F1 star – Marcus Ericsson despite briefly going airborne earlier in the race amidst seven cautions and two red flags.
The 20 year-old has recently tested for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing at Barber Motorsports Park a fortnight ago, with co-owner – Bobby Rahal left “very pleased” with Lundgaard’s performance in his first run in an IndyCar racing car.
Rahal however is wary that there will be less practice time this coming weekend for Lundgaard than he would have at traditional IndyCar races, saying: “It’s going to be a new experience and a big challenge due to the lack of practice time compared to other races.”
The 68 year-old team boss however believes that Indianapolis’ road course could benefit Lundgaard more than other American circuits, as he said: “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 race tracks.”
On what targets Lundgaard will have placed upon him on his debut Stateside, Rahal commented: “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 meanwhile revealed that the team is “excited” to see how Lundgaard gets on at Indianapolis, yet iterated that the Danish driver is still part of their plans, as he said: “Christian remains an important part of the Alpine Academy as he has shown huge promise throughout his junior career.”
Brivio however confirmed that this move is just a further step in “evaluating different options” for the next chapter in Lundgaard’s career, although the priority this weekend is to just “enjoy a different type of car and environment, work hard and deliver on track.”
This announcement comes less than 24 hours after McLaren announced that they had acquired a majority stake in Arrow McLaren IndyCar Team.