Rahal hopeful of keeping Lundgaard in the fold for 2025

Bobby Rahal knows he has one of the most coveted IndyCar free agents left on the market with Christian Lundgaard. With Lundgaard’s contract set to expire at the end of the season, and with his manager having tested the waters at other teams with opportunities to pursue, Rahal wants to keep the impressively fast and consistent product of Denmark in the No. 45 Honda for 2025, and maybe longer, if they can come to terms.

As more seats get filled or are taken off the list of options at rival teams, the narrowing options in the paddock could play to RLL’s favor, but there are no guarantees their top performer — who finished eighth in last year’s championship and leads the team this year in 11th — will be back.

“I’m not sure where else, aside from maybe Penske, that would be better,” Rahal told RACER. “We’ve been as fast as all those other guys at a lot of races. So I don’t know why he’d look elsewhere, but you always are going to just see what the market will bear. But our intent is to re-sign him. And as I’ve said before, I don’t think he’s looking to go anywhere, necessarily.


“But we’ve got to continue to give him good race cars and do a good job for him. We’ll see what happens. And sooner rather than later we’ll know what the scenario looks like. But it’s certainly our intent to keep to keep him.”

As Rahal told RACER while discussing the future of Juri Vips — another driver in the RLL stable — the team needs to reach a decision with Lundgaard and also figure out how many cars and drivers it will field in 2025.

Along with Lundgaard, RLL veteran Graham Rahal in the No. 15 Honda (15th in the drivers’ standings) and newcomer Pietro Fittipaldi in the No. 30 Honda (20th) are in the mix with its three-car program, and in looking to next season, Rahal said, “Right now, it’s all about finding the financial backing to do whatever we want to do, whether it’s two cars, three cars, four cars, or whatever.”

Along with expanding, a departure by one of the three would make it easier to solve the four-driver puzzle.

“It’s just a matter of we’re putting our head down making sure that we have the financial resource to do a good job for our drivers next year,” Rahal said. “I really can’t tell you exactly what it will look like yet; obviously we like Pietro and we hope he stays. But yes, there’s too many butts, too few seats at this stage. We could run a fourth car. That’s dependent on what Honda or Chevrolet, whoever we’re with next year, might say.

“We really are just looking at putting together all of our sponsorship packages, and we’ve already had a couple of re-ups, so that’s good. It’s also that time of the year where, I hate to say it, anything could happen. It’s just a matter of getting through the next races. Then we have a break after Toronto and we’ll get a better idea on where things could stand.”

With the uncertainty surrounding Honda’s future in IndyCar beyond its current contract that runs through 2026, Rahal, who introduced the Japanese brand to the series under the Rahal-Hogan Racing banner in 1994, wants to stick with the company and do a contract extension of its own if possible.

“We’re fulfilling our agreement, our commitment for this year, and we’re happy to do so,” he added. “All I know is we have had a long relationship with Honda, but the engine count is a big deal these days, and understandably so. We certainly would like to stay with Honda, but never seem to be the automatic choice. We may be put in a position where we have to look elsewhere. I hope not. But we’ll find out.”

Story originally appeared on Racer