BROWNSBURG, Ind. — Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing will run a third full-time car for the 2022 NTT IndyCar Series season.
Driving the No. 30 car will be Formula 2 veteran driver Christian Lungaard, who drove one race for RLL during this past season at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course. Lungaard qualified fourth for the race and finished 12th.
“I’m very excited to join Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing in INDYCAR,” said Lungaard. “They are a fantastic team who made me feel very welcome earlier this year when I made my debut in the series. They are the perfect choice and I’m happy to join them on this next chapter in my career. ”
Lungaard joins RLL after having spent the last three seasons in the FIA Formula 2 series in Europe. He won two races with ART Grand Prix Racing in 2020.
“His performance on the road course at Indianapolis Motor Speedway certainly surprised everybody,” said RLL co-owner Bobby Rahal. “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.”
Lungaard replaces two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Takuma Sato in the No. 30 car in the Rahal stable. Sato’s future plans in the NTT IndyCar Series are not clear at the moment.
The addition of Lungaard to the IndyCar paddock is the latest in a flurry of moves among teams and drivers this off-season. Lungaard is also the second Formula 2 driver to make the jump to IndyCar. Callum Illott was announced as the driver for Juncos-Hollinger Racing’s full-time IndyCar entry for the upcoming season last month.
Lungaard anticipates more drivers in his position in Formula 2 to make the jump to IndyCar.
“I’m sure there will be more European drivers coming over here, let’s say ‘pre-F1’,” Lungaard said. “I think nowadays we’ve seen a lot of ex-F1 drivers come over. I still believe it’s something you can take towards F1.”
His contract is a multi-year agreement with Rahal. Bobby Rahal said that it will pay dividends to tap into the talent pool in the lower tiers of the Formula 1 ladder.
“I think IndyCar is where Formula 1 used to be,” said Rahal. “Clearly we don’t have the politics. There’s a lot of things that don’t exist in the IndyCar paddock that exist in the Formula 1 paddock. You look at how many really good guys are in F2 who are frustrated now that they can’t make that next step even though they’ve proven their abilities. If I’m a young guy in Europe … I think my potential is much greater in IndyCar than it is (in F1).”