Danish Formulation 2 racer Lundgaard brought about a serious stir on his IndyCar debut within the #45 RLL machine on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway street course three weeks in the past, when he certified fourth in a five-car cluster that was lined by a mere zero.05 seconds.
Regardless of slipping again to 12th on the end, largely as a result of inexperience of how onerous the Firestone tyres might be pushed in contrast with the Pirellis he’s used to in F2, Lundgaard made a giant impression.
Askew, the 2019 Indy Lights champion, would be the newest driver to take over the automotive at Portland, Laguna Seca and Lengthy Seashore as he seeks a comeback to a full-time IndyCar drive.
He was dropped from his Arrow McLaren SP drive after a season marred by late-diagnosed concussion following a heavy shunt within the Indianapolis 500, however returned to substitute for his substitute Felix Rosenqvist at this yr’s Detroit 2 race when the Swede was too bruised from a Race 1 shunt to participate within the following day’s race.
Askew additionally raced for Ed Carpenter Racing at Highway America whereas subbing for the injured Rinus VeeKay, and beforehand examined for RLL at Barber Motorsports Park in late July alongside Lundgaard.
Talking forward of his crew debut, Askew stated his predecessor’s pace didn’t set unrealistic expectations for him however as a substitute supplied reassurance.
“I believe [RLL team-mates] Graham [Rahal] and Takuma [Sato] are within the high 5 drivers when it comes to progress from beginning positions to ending positions within the races this yr,” he informed Autosport.
“So I do know the Rahal Letterman Lanigan crew had a sense that their automobiles have been arrange higher for the races and that qualifying was extra of a wrestle.
Oliver Askew, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
Picture by: Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
“I don’t know if that concept has been debunked by Lundgaard’s pace there in quali, as a result of all of the tracks are very totally different, and I do suppose the Indy street course takes a really totally different method in the way you come off the brakes.
“However truly, coming into the crew for these three races, I believe it’s very reassuring to know that the crew’s automobiles have that one-lap pace. And I believe the Indy street course and Portland are related sufficient – lengthy straights, clean floor – that there’s not a doubt in my thoughts that we’re going to be preventing inside the highest 10 in qualifying and might have a superb displaying within the race.
“So long as all of us execute properly, I imagine we’re going to have a robust weekend.”
Requested if he felt these remaining three rounds of 2021 felt like an audition for RLL – which crew co-owner Bobby Rahal confirmed could be operating three full-time entries subsequent yr – Askew replied: “We haven’t spoken about that an excessive amount of.
“We’ve seen a few totally different drivers on this automotive, and I’m positive Bobby and the crew are utilizing this time to see what path they wish to go.
“However actually that’s not the place my head’s at proper now. I see this as a chance to get again on the market and luxuriate in myself and placed on a superb present.”