Written by Ishani Aziz, Edited by Apostolos Papageorgiou
With Nashville around the corner, Indy Lights rookie Christian Rasmussen has set himself apart as one of the talents of the championship. At just 22 years of age, the Danish driver has had an outstanding career so far and has his sights set on a triple ‘Road To Indy’ triumph. Rasmussen scheduled his own IndyCar debut in a 2020 interview (during his USF2000 stint): “My ambition is absolutely to go to IndyCar and the goal is to get there by 2022 or 2023”. With that year now being upon us, it seems his IndyCar debut is certainly not far away given his season at Indy Lights so far.
The young Dane has a consistently successful track record dating back to his karting days between 2011-2015, from which he graduated to Danish Formula Ford. Placing second in the standings in 2016 after just one year, he then went on to challenge the championship in Danish F4. At just 17 years of age Rasmussen braved the Formula 4 USA championship with Jay Howard’s Driver Development. Unfazed by the daunting move, Rasmussen instead thrived in the United States, explaining that:
“There is a lot of opportunity over here for young race car drivers that don’t have crazy amounts of money. Budget is so important, so if you don’t have a rich daddy or a rich uncle, you have to climb the ladder on skill and the US ladder is a great opportunity. The rest of the world should look at the US as an example I think.”
His breakthrough in the USF2000 series between 2019-2020 was short and strong. He quickly proved his move was the right one, placing third in the standings within a year, and sealing his success by winning the title in 2020. Those victories earned him a place in IndyPro 2000 in 2021, where he made his mark yet again with another championship win. Rasmussen addressed his successes rather pragmatically in an interview with us (May 2022):
“It’s very simple. Without the first scholarship from USF2000, I wouldn't have been able to get into Indy Pro 2000. Same thing the year after, without the scholarship from Indy Pro 2000 I wouldn't have had the opportunity to get into Indy Lights”.
Indeed, each victory has been an instrumental stepping stone towards his road to IndyCar. Such is the case for his rookie season in Indy Lights with Andretti Autosports. In the No. 28 Dallara, Rasmussen already has a maiden win under his belt just a handful of races in. Granted, this year hasn’t been as smooth as expected, with a rocky start at the St. Petersburg circuit. Rasmussen had a good finish in his sights but a mechanical issue dropped him to P12. At Barber and Detroit, despite having the pace, contact hindered his success in both instances. He finished P11 at Barber and P13 at both races in the Detroit double-header. This only made the win at Road America that much sweeter when the Dane won his first circuit on June 12th this year. He led an impressive 18 laps out of a total 20 after starting third on the grid, grabbing a well-deserved win. Rasmussen delivered a respectful and measured response after his victory:
“I think it’s great that — if you want to get better as a driver — you want to run against the best of the best. I feel like that’s what we’re doing here.”
He has remained consistent since his win, with a P4-finish at Mid-Ohio and most recently P2 at Iowa Speedway. At the time of writing, Rasmussen holds fifth place overall in the standings led by Linus Lundqvist. His talent and character shouldn’t exclude him from a championship-contending spot this year, or the next. As per his own schedule of 2022-2023, an IndyCar debut is definitely possible given this track record. Things are looking pretty good thus far, so let’s hope Rasmussen’s successful streak continues onto Nashville.