The 20-year-old Dane induced an enormous stir in qualifying on Friday when he completed fourth, on a day when the highest 5 was lined by simply 0.05s.
After being handed by Colton Herta on the opening lap, Lundgaard ran fifth, briefly assumed the lead as the primary spherical of pitstops began, ran tenth within the second stint trailing Penske’s one-time champion and three-time GP Indy winner Simon Pagenaud, dropped to 14th place in stint three, however clawed again to assert twelfth on the chequered flag forward of sequence winners reminiscent of Felix Rosenqvist, Sebastien Bourdais and Pagenaud.
“This weekend has been amazing,” stated the Alpine academy driver. “I’ve loved each second of it.
“Qualifying itself, to be within the prime 5 out of 28 vehicles wasn’t anticipated. And I believe it did put us in a great place for the race.
“Leading the race sooner or later was wonderful, but it surely was all about simply not doing a mistake and having a clear race and get by way of it. I quite wished to get to do 85 laps than simply 60 or so on. The mileage was essential to get the expertise of the total race. We obtained by way of it, and it was robust. It was a protracted two hours.
“I believe tyre administration might be the place I suffered probably the most, realizing how a lot I can push and so forth. But it has been a hell of an expertise. I suppose it went high-quality, we had been most likely extra on the secure aspect than the aggressive aspect. The goal was to get by way of it and never make any errors and I believe we survived that.
“It was robust racing; I wasn’t anticipating a warning on the finish. I used to be fairly low on Push to Pass at that time, and I used to be a bit fortunate with Sebastien Bourdais as a result of he had 115 seconds or one thing like that with 10 laps to go so, I knew he would have gotten me.
“I’m happy with P12, I got the experience. I’ll go home well rested and with a good experience from America.”
Christian Lundgaard, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda
Photo by: Barry Cantrell / Motorsport Images
Ful-ltime RLL drivers Graham Rahal and Takuma Sato could possibly be comparatively proud of their days work after being disenchanted at lining up on the eighth row of the grid. Rahal confirmed an excellent flip of pace on in-laps and out-laps to leap ahead and be a part of the battle involving Alexander Rossi, Pato O’Ward and Jack Harvey, and in the end claimed seventh.
Sato was quite rudely nudged apart by Josef Newgarden at Turn 1 on the penultimate lap, dropping from eighth to 10th.
Rahal stated: “Frankly, the technique labored properly. The first stint, we had been in a position to get by a handful of men. The second stint we pushed arduous and the third stint we went to the blacks [primary Firestone tyres] which did damage us a bit of bit as a result of most guys had already accomplished their stint on blacks, but it surely seems like we had been really the quickest automobile on blacks which was a great factor as a result of we didn’t lose that a lot and had been in a position to problem on the final stint and get a few locations.
“Just the best way that it labored essentially being a bit of extra trimmed out at this time to attempt to go fast down the straights did damage us a bit of bit once we had been in very shut visitors however total the staff did a tremendous job at this time. I’m tremendous pleased with our guys.
“Overall, it’s another day where we passed a lot of cars which was good.”