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Pigot To Spend May With Rahal Team

| Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Friday, February 28 2020

Spencer Pigot will drive for Bobby Rahal’s team at Indy this year.

By John Sturbin | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com

Versatile open-wheel driver Spencer Pigot will re-join Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing for the Month of May NTT IndyCar Series events at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Pigot, who made three starts for RLLR in 2016, will compete in the GMR Grand Prix on the IMS road-course on May 9 and the 104th edition of the Indianapolis 500 on May 24 in a Honda-powered car entered by Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing with Citrone/Buhl Autosport (CBA).

CBA was formed in early 2020 by former INDYCAR driver Robbie Buhl and his brother and business partner Tom. They have partnered with Robert Citrone, founder of Discovery Capital Management and largest minority owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers, and his son Nick, a Data Analytics Coordinator for the NHL’s Pittsburgh Penguins.  Robbie and Tom own Buhl Sport Detroit, a motorsports marketing company that operates a rallycross team and an advanced driver training program called Teen Street Skills.
 
“I’m very excited to join Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing with Citrone/Buhl Autosport for this year’s GMR Grand Prix and Indianapolis 500,” said Pigot, a 26-year-old native of Orlando, Fla. “I ran my first IndyCar Series race and Indy 500 with RLL in 2016 so it will be nice to return to a team with some familiar faces. I can’t thank everyone at RLL and Citrone/Buhl Autosport enough for their efforts in putting this deal together and the opportunity to compete in another Indy 500.”

Pigot was released by Ed Carpenter Racing after three seasons in the No. 21 Chevrolet. Pigot has been replaced at ECR by 2019 Indy Lights point runner-up Rinus VeeKay of The Netherlands.

Pigot is a graduate of the INDYCAR Ladder Series, having won the 2014 Pro Mazda championship and 2015 Indy Lights title.  He made his IndyCar Series debut with RLLR in the 2016 season-opener on the Streets of St. Petersburg, Fla., and also competed in the INDYCAR Grand Prix and Indy 500 at IMS. Pigot made an additional seven starts for team owner/driver Carpenter that year and joined ECR full-time from 2017-19 with a career-best start of third at the 2019 Indy 500 and career-best finish of second at Iowa Speedway in 2018.

Pigot and his team will make their on-track debuts at IMS on Friday, May 8, during practice for the GMR Grand Prix.

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INDYCAR fan-favorite James Hinchcliffe continues to be a man in demand. One week after landing a three-race IndyCar Series deal with Andretti Autosport, Hinchcliffe has joined NBC Sports as a motorsports analyst for the 2020 season. The native Canadian will serve as a driver analyst for a majority of NBC Sports’ 2020 INDYCAR coverage, providing reports from pit road beginning with the season-opener in St. Petersburg, Fla., the weekend of March 13-15.

Hinchcliffe’s on-air schedule will include the Long Beach Grand Prix street race; his home race, the Honda Indy Toronto on the Streets of Toronto and the season-finale at Laguna Seca in Monterey, Calif. He also will be part of NBC Sports’ coverage in the week prior to competing in the 104th Indianapolis 500 on NBC.

In addition to his INDYCAR assignments, Hinchcliffe will provide analysis during NBC Sports’ NASCAR telecasts from Indianapolis Motor Speedway during Fourth of July weekend. He also will serve as an analyst for select IMSA SportsCar Series races, beginning with the 12 Hours of Sebring, Fla., on March 20-21, and will contribute to Indy Lights coverage on NBC Sports Gold’s INDYCAR Pass throughout the year.

Hinchcliffe will join NBC’s INDYCAR broadcast team of Leigh Diffey, Townsend Bell and Paul Tracy.

“NBC Sports has covered INDYCAR for more than a decade and I’ve gotten to know Diff really well over that time,” Hinchcliffe, 33, said in a network release. “I used to bang wheels with PT and Townsend, so our relationships go way back and it will be great getting to work them, and all the behind the scenes staff at NBC Sports, throughout the season. I’ve always loved educating people on the finer points of INDYCAR racing and I’m excited to jump in and share my expertise and perspective as a current driver with all of the fans and viewers.”

Hinchcliffe will contest the Month of May in a Honda-powered entry for team-owner Michael Andretti beginning with the Grand Prix of Indianapolis on the IMS road-course on May 9 and the Indy 500 around the famed 2.5-mile oval on May 24. Hinchcliffe also will drive in the night race on Texas Motor Speedway’s 1.5-mile oval in Fort Worth on June 6.

Hinchcliffe is a six-time INDYCAR race-winner who made his series debut in 2011 and was named INDYCAR Rookie of the Year. Racing with Arrow Schmidt Peterson Motorsports in 2019, he recorded eight top-10 finishes, including a third-place at Iowa Speedway, where he also won in 2018. Hinchcliffe was released by team co-owner Sam Schmidt in the aftermath of his organization’s offseason partnership with McLaren Racing in its fulltime return to domestic open-wheel competition in 2020.

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INDYCAR has unveiled its brand campaign _ “A Different Breed” _ for the 2020 IndyCar Series season, showcasing the mindset of its athletes accompanied by narration from Academy Award-winning actor Matt Damon.

“A Different Breed” was created in partnership with Chicago-based agency Schafer Condon Carter (SCC) to convey the distinctive mental, emotional and physical strength required to excel as an INDYCAR driver.

“Fearless and aggressive by nature, our athletes push the limits of speed and possibility every single lap of every single race,” INDYCAR President Jay Frye said in a release. “This campaign reflects both the skills and intangibles that set them apart, giving fans an up-close and personal look at what it takes to be an INDYCAR driver.”

Video content for “A Different Breed” focuses on the athletes’ unique skill set and mentality as described by Damon, the 2019 Indianapolis 500 honorary starter who portrayed racing legend Carroll Shelby in the movie Ford v. Ferrari.

The INDYCAR video features several series drivers, including five-time champion Scott Dixon, second-year star Colton Herta, two-time/reigning series champ Josef Newgarden, 2019 Indy 500 winner and former series champ Simon Pagenaud, 2016 Indy 500 winner Alexander Rossi and 20-year-old emerging talent Patricio O’Ward.

In addition to narration by Damon, DJ/producer MAKJ lends an original song _ “Green Light” _ to the campaign. The video content is complemented by dramatic still images energized with a shock of color to contrast the black-and-white heroic images.

 

| Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Friday, February 28 2020
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