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IndyCar Toronto start time: The wake-up call came when jet-lagged Christian Lundgaard woke up in his room at the JW Marriott in downtown Indianapolis last August.

Considering whether to join the IndyCar Series in full, Lundgaard was watching the inaugural Music City Grand Prix through the streets of downtown Nashville, Tennessee, when Marcus Ericsson’s car suddenly aired on Lap 5.

Lundgaard, who had flown all night from Europe (where he raced in the F2 Series), was asleep until after the checkered flag – when the sight of the victory celebration made the Danes rub their eyes.

Marcus Ericsson wins in Nashville?

“I was like impossible, something must be wrong,” Lundgaard recently told NBC Sports.

“It makes me even more motivated because I know anything can happen, no matter where I start. I came with zero expectations. Just learn, enjoy and have fun.”

Six days later, Lundgaard reaffirmed that mantra in his IndyCar debut with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, qualifying fourth and finishing 12th on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway highway course.

Nine races into his rookie IndyCar season, Lundgaard has enjoyed mixed results while waiting for his Ericsson-type moment to arrive. He is 17th in the points standings (but top of the year’s five full-time rookies) with a season-best (and drenched) ninth on the IMS road track (also the only track where he has cruised past the first lap). race). qualification).

But even though No. His 30 Dallara-Honda has been consistently placed between ninth and 11th, he still believes he can make the breakthrough in the second half – maybe Sunday on the streets of Toronto (3pm ET, exclusive on Peacock Premium).

“We have our own moments,” said Lundgaard, who will be the new main sponsor of HUB International Limited (he is one of 13 riders on the course insured by the company. .At the same time, I don’t think we have done everything according to “It’s our desire. I think the results are still to come. There will be a weekend this year we will definitely be stronger.

“It’s a long race, and anything can happen. If things go your way, you can get them done anywhere. ”

A recent example is Will Power, who finished third on July 3 at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course after spinning to last on the first lap while trying to pass Lundgaard for 18th place.

Honda Indy Toronto could be more of a counterbalance.

This will mark the first race weekend in a layout around Exhibition Place since 2019 for IndyCar, which has added an aeroscreen since its previous visit. This will be the first IndyCar start on the circuit for 12 of the 25 drivers on the course.

He has set up a simulator for an 11-turn, 1,786-mile trail and also got some tips from friend Christian Rasmussen, another Danish native who races in Indy Lights.

“It’s been tough and it seems a lot longer than that. The round went by very quickly.

“But it seems like an event that everyone likes. So I can’t wait to go out there and race.”

Lundgaard is ranked between teammates Graham Rahal (15) and Jack Harvey (20) as Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing has struggled for a balance between handling and speed this season.

“And a very difficult car to drive and very fast. We’re in a mix between that. Difficult to drive and not necessarily the fastest. I go to every track with the mentality of needing to learn, do my best and know what I need from the first lap.

At the moment, we are struggling with the car’s performance. It’s not in the window. We cover a lot of things. Now we havethree cars, we can cover more to improve our performance. Right now, it doesn’t seem to be going right in sizeable strides.”

By Raufs