Spencer Pigot was a race-winner at every level of the Mazda
Road to Indy. His first title came in Pro Mazda in 2014, and that
earned him a place in Indy Lights last year – which he also won.
57 DESTINATION INDY | INDYCAR.COM
hat a long, strange trip it’s been.
From winning his first Mazda
scholarship aged 16, Spencer Pigot’s
progress up the Mazda Road to Indy ladder
culminated in his being crowned 2015 Indy
Lights champion and earning the right to
be where he is now – crossing days off a
calendar and counting down to the big red
circle around Sunday, March 13. That’s
when he’ll make his Verizon IndyCar Series
debut on the streets of St. Petersburg, Fla.,
with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing.
“I’m really excited to get going this
year,” says the 22-year-old racer. “I grew
up in Orlando, so St. Petersburg is like a
home race for me; I really couldn’t think
of a better place to make my IndyCar
debut. I’ve been spending a lot of time
with the guys at the shop, and going to
the tests with Graham [Rahal], just trying
to learn as much as I can so that I’ll be as
prepared as possible when I get to the
track. It’s getting closer and closer all
the time, and I can’t wait.”
Pigot’s deal is initially for three
races (the team is hoping to add
more), but those three races –
St. Pete, the GP of Indy, and the
100th running of the
Indianapolis 500 – will offer a spectacular
sampler of the diversity of venues that
the IndyCar Series races on.
All of them ask very different questions
of a driver, so for now his focus is on St. Pete.
But with his pre-season running limited to
two test days at Sebring, and no other
IndyCar experience to draw upon aside
from a half day at Sonoma last August,
that means a lot of time in the simulator.
“I’ve been able to do some time driving
St. Pete in the simulator, just refreshing
myself about the track and all that,” he
says. “Right now we’re just thinking about
trying to maximize that weekend, and
then we’ll move on to the races at Indy.
Getting as much simulator time as I can is
going to be important, because I’m
heading in to this with such limited track
time. In St. Pete, I’ll hopefully be learning
and improving with every session.”
Precious as Pigot’s opportunity is, its
ultimate value will be determined by what
he gets out of it. He says that he sees his
deal as a chance to learn some of the
intricacies of IndyCar Series competition
from a team with proven championship-
“The way to maximize this situation is
to just try to soak up as much as I can
from the people within the team,” he
says. “I’ll listen to everything that they
have to say and then, hopefully, I can use
it all to put together a good performance
out on the track where it counts.
“It’s hard to set a targets at this point,”
he adds. “If we can break into the top 10,
that would be great. But first things first.
I just want to get out there and try to be
competitive, and we’ll see how it goes.”
PIGOT’S ROAD TO INDY
YEAR SERIES WINS CH’SHIP POSN.
2011 USF2000 3 2nd
2012 USF2000 8 2nd
2013 Pro Mazda 1 4th
2014 Pro Mazda 6 1st
2015 Indy Lights 6 1st
Spencer Pigot’s entire racing career up to this point has been about getting to the Verizon
IndyCar Series. Thanks to the Mazda Road to Indy, the reigning Indy Lights champ’s wait is over.
WORDS Mark Glendenning MAIN IMAGE Shawn Gritzmacher/IMS
“THE WAY TO MAXIMIZE THIS
SITUATION IS TO TRY TO SOAK UP AS
MUCH AS I CAN FROM THE TEAM”