Pigot and Juncos are back together. Photo: Rising Star Racing

Juncos Racing confirms Pigot for Indy 500

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Spencer Pigot and Ricardo Juncos will reunite for Juncos Racing team’s maiden Verizon IndyCar Series race, the 101st Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil, as the first of two drivers expected to be announced on Tuesday.

In Pigot, Juncos has a 23-year-old driver who has won him back-to-back titles on the Mazda Road to Indy presented by Cooper Tires in Pro Mazda and Indy Lights, for a quick reunion.

“I am personally very happy to be able to formally announce that Spencer (Pigot) will be driving for Juncos Racing in the 101st running of the Indianapolis 500,” Juncos said in a release. “As most people know, Spencer started with our team in 2003 driving Karts. We reunited in 2014 and won the Pro Mazda Series championship, then Spencer helped us win the Indy Lights team championship in 2015. This is, hopefully, the next step in our successful relationship together.”

“First I want to thank Ricardo (Juncos) for this opportunity. We have had a long, successful relationship from karts to the Mazda Road to Indy series and hopefully we can repeat that success at Indy this month,” Pigot added. “I also want to thank my sponsors, Oceanfront Recovery, Rising Star Racing and P1 Management for making this possible. The Indy 500 is the greatest race in the world and to be able to drive in it again is fantastic. Last year was my first Indy 500 and I learned a lot. I am confident that I will be able to apply what I learned and a better result this time around.”

Pigot and Juncos back again. Photo: Indianapolis Motor Speedway, LLC Photography

Pigot is the full-season driver for Ed Carpenter Racing’s No. 20 Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet on road and street course races in the Verizon IndyCar Series, but ECR team owner/driver Ed Carpenter held steadfast to its commitment of only running two cars, as first reported by NBC Sports.

“I’d love to see Spencer in the race,” Carpenter said at the time. “Obviously I would have liked to have found enough to have him in one of our cars, but I can’t do it without the right funding to not make it the right thing for the team’s sake, and his sake. I’m not gonna hold him back from any opportunity.”

This left Pigot needing a team to field him if he was to make his second start in the Indianapolis 500, and he will, outside of Carpenter. He ran with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing last year and will saddle up in the No. 11 Oceanfront Recovery Chevrolet for Juncos as another supporter has come through from Rising Star Racing, Pigot’s longtime supporters. The green, white and orange livery is rather similar to Tony Kanaan’s longtime 7-Eleven colors that adorned his entry with Andretti Autosport (then known as Andretti Green Racing), also No. 11, from 2003 to 2009.

Oceanfront Recovery is a modern drug addiction and alcoholism treatment center located in Laguna Beach, Calif., and it will support Rising Star Racing drivers Pigot and Neil Alberico (Carlin in Indy Lights) during the Month of May at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Alberico, who lives in San Clemente, is not based far from the company’s headquarters.

McLaren almost back on schedule with 2018 F1 car after delay

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McLaren is almost back on schedule with its 2018 Formula 1 car development after losing two weeks due to a delay in deciding on its engine supplier, according to racing director Eric Boullier.

McLaren confirmed back in September it would be cutting ties with Honda at the end of the year after three difficult seasons, favoring a switch to Renault power units.

The decision was not taken lightly by McLaren, causing it to lose two weeks in the development of next year’s car, but Boullier confirmed in an interview with the official F1 website that the team is almost back on-track.

“Maybe we made the decision to change the engine manufacturer two weeks too late for our schedule, but these two weeks have almost been recovered,” Boullier said.

“Any big decisions are always difficult to take. The concept of McLaren winning with Honda was a dream for everybody, yes – it was a beautiful story.

“Today we have huge respect for them and we definitely don’t divorce with fights and screams and finger pointing. We are all very professional – and in the end it was a business decision, which they understand.

“There is a sadness that it didn’t work out like we wanted. McLaren-Honda in terms of brands was a good fit – in terms of results it didn’t work.

“That’s what it is in the end. Now we have to see that we get back to competitiveness – back to the top!”