Alpine junior Christian Lundgaard says he enjoyed "every second" of his maiden IndyCar weekend at Indianapolis.
Lundgaard was a surprise addition to the field for the NTT IndyCar Series' twelfth round held on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway's road course, the F2 charger taking over for the weekend the #45 Honda-powered entry of Rahal Letterman Lanigan.
The 20-year-old Dane qualified an impressive fourth on Friday and briefly led Saturday's race drifting down the order to conclude his day a creditable P12 ahead of past winner Felix Rosenqvist, Sebastien Bourdais and Simon Pagenaud.
"This weekend has been amazing," commented an ecstatic Lundgaard. "I’ve enjoyed every second of it!
"Qualifying itself, to be in the top five out of 28 cars wasn’t expected. And I think it did put us in a good position for the race.
"Leading the race at some point was amazing, but it was all about just not doing a mistake and having a clean race and get through it.
"I rather wanted to get to do 85 laps than just 60 or so on. The mileage was important to get the experience of the full race. We got through it, and it was tough. It was a long two hours."
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The Alpine Academy charger admitted that tyre management had been particularly challenging around Indy's 2.4-mile 14-turn road course.
"I think tyre management is probably where I suffered the most, knowing how much I can push and so on. But it's been a hell of an experience.
"I guess it went fine, we were probably more on the safe side than the aggressive side. The target was to get through it and not make any mistakes and I think we survived that.
"I’m happy with P12, I got the experience. I’ll go home well rested and with a good experience from America."