Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (RLL) announced today that the team will prepare an entry for 2015 Indy Lights champion Spencer Pigot in three Verizon IndyCar Series events in 2016 with the intent to add more. Sponsorship details for events at St. Petersburg, Fla., the Grand Prix of Indianapolis and the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 will be announced at a later date.
Orlando, Florida native Pigot, 22, earned back to back championships the past two seasons. In 2014 he won the Pro Mazda championship with six wins, five poles and seven podium finishes as well as the Winterfest Championship. In 2015 he earned six wins, four poles and 10 podium finishes en route to the Indy Lights Series title. Both seasons were with Juncos Racing. Pigot drove an Indy car for the first time at a one-day test at Sonoma Raceway in August with Team Penske.
“I’m very excited and honored to be starting my career in the Verizon IndyCar Series with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing,” said Pigot. “It’s always been my goal to be an Indy car driver and be in the Indianapolis 500. I can’t thank everyone at RLL and Andersen Promotions enough for this opportunity. I think it’s a great place for me to be as a rookie because of all the experience within the team. The team is coming off a great 2015 season and hopefully we can build on that success. The 100th running of the Indianapolis 500 is going to be a very special moment for me and the highlight of my career so far. It’s what I’ve been working towards ever since I started racing. It’s the biggest race in the world and I can’t wait to be a part of it.”
RLL was a championship contender entering the season-finale of the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series with Graham Rahal, who was ranked a career-best second place entering the double-points race at Sonoma Raceway and the highest Honda-powered driver. He was in sixth place with nine laps to go but was hit from behind and ultimately finished 18th in the event and fourth overall in series standings. Rahal earned a series-high six podium finishes including wins at Auto Club Speedway and Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in 2015.
“All of us at Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing are very pleased that we were able to work with Dan Andersen and the IndyCar Series to bring Spencer to our team for these events,” said Bobby Rahal, co-owner of Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing with David Letterman and Mike Lanigan. “I have gotten to know Spencer over the years and have been impressed with his progression through the various series, being champion in Pro Mazda and the Indy Lights Series. Clearly the Indy Lights platform is a very good one for young drivers trying to reach IndyCar and I am confident that Spencer can shine with our team. At RLL, we have a track record of bringing young drivers in to the IndyCar Series like Danica Patrick, and giving experienced drivers new opportunities to recapture their past success like Ryan Hunter-Reay and Buddy Rice did with the team. We’re looking forward to having Spencer, another young American driver in the series, alongside Graham and are excited about what the future holds.”
About Spencer Pigot
Pigot began racing at the age of 9 and won his first championship when he was 10 after quickly becoming a presence in the national karting scene. With four state, one regional and two national championships racked up in his junior days he made the progression from karts to cars and was successful in open wheel racing immediately. Entering select events of the Skip Barber Regional series, the Orlando, Florida resident earned a victory in only his second-ever Skip Barber race at the famed Sebring International Raceway. From there Spencer won four of six races contested in the Skip Barber Summer Series, finished third in his Skip Barber National debut and finished first in class at the SCCA 13 Hour Endurance Race at Virginia International Raceway. He went on to win the Skip Barber Karting (this was in cars) Shootout scholarship in 2009 and a fully funded ride in the Skip Barber National series as an Official MazdaSpeed Development Driver. With three wins, five poles and a total of 11 podium finishes, the American captured the 2010 BFGoodrich/Skip Barber National presented by Mazda championship and was also awarded the prestigious Team USA Scholarship and the opportunity to take part in the Formula Ford Festival, where he started from pole, and Walter Hayes Trophy in England.
In 2011 he competed for Andretti Autosport in their 2011 USF2000 National Championship Powered by Mazda program and went on to win three races, four pole positions, eight podium finishes and one track record en route to a second place standing overall in the USF2000 Championship. He also won the Team USA Scholarship for the second consecutive year and was given the chance to race in the Duratec class of the British Formula Ford Festival.
In 2012 Spencer returned to the USF2000 National Championship with Cape Motorsports and won the USF2000 Cooper Tires Winterfest Championship in dominating fashion with five wins in six races. Driving the #2 car in the USF2000 National Championship, Pigot ended the year with eight wins, five pole positions, 11 podium finishes and two track records out of 14 races. Ultimately he finished second in the championship despite winning twice as many races as the eventual champion.
In 2013, Pigot moved up the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires with Team Pelfrey and claimed one win, five podium finishes and finished fourth in the final points standings. He rejoined forces with his old karting team, Juncos Racing, in 2014. Success came immediately as he won the Cooper Tires Pro Mazda Winterfest Championship in dominating fashion with two wins and four pole positions out of the four-race championship. He went on to win the overall Pro Mazda championship with six wins, five poles and seven podium finishes earning his third Mazda scholarship. In 2015, both Pigot and Juncos Racing joined the Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires championship and earned six wins, four poles and 10 podium finishes en route to back-to-back driver titles. Pigot’s champion’s crown came with a scholarship package to advance to the Verizon IndyCar Series in 2016.
About Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, based in Hilliard, Ohio and Brownsburg, Ind., is co-owned by three-time IndyCar Champion and 1986 Indianapolis 500 winner Bobby Rahal, former CBS Late Show host David Letterman and Mi-Jack co-owner Mike Lanigan. In 2016 the team will compete in their 25th year of open wheel competition and attempt to add to their 22 wins – including the 2004 Indy 500 from pole with Buddy Rice – their 29 poles, 87 podium finishes and 1992 series championship. The team also competed in the American Le Mans Series from 2009-2013 as BMW Team RLL where they won both the Manufacturer and Team Championships in the GT category in 2010 and swept all three GT titles in 2011 – Manufacturer, Team and Driver. In 2012, the team finished second in the Team Championship and third in the Manufacturer Championship and in 2013, the team finished second in the Driver, Team and Manufacturer Championship. In 2014, BMW Team RLL moved to the GTLM class of the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship with a two-car program and earned six podium finishes including four second-place finishes. In 2015, the team earned three wins, two poles and a total of eight podium finishes to finish second in the Manufacturer, Team and Driver championships.