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Spencer Pigot’s season set to continue at Ed Carpenter Racing

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2015 Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires champion Spencer Pigot will have a chance to continue his maiden Verizon IndyCar Series season in seven of the remaining 10 races.

Pigot will switch from Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, where he started the guaranteed three races as a result of the Mazda Scholarship awarded after winning the third and final rung on the Andersen Promotions-operated Mazda Road to Indy ladder, to Ed Carpenter Racing for the remaining road and street course races this year. It was announced on Thursday.

The move is a natural one for the young American, who is one of the drivers Rising Star Racing principal Art Wilmes has sought to support the last few years.

He’ll team with Josef Newgarden, who’s Rising Star Racing’s ambassador and driver mentor. This also means the No. 20 Chevrolet – which Ed Carpenter will drive at the three remaining ovals at Texas, Iowa and Pocono – will be in action for the final 10 races of the season.

“I’m very excited to be joining Ed Carpenter Racing for the remainder of the season on road and street courses,” Pigot said.

“ECR has been very strong in 2016 and I hope we can continue to build on the success they’ve already had.

“I have to thank Fuzzy’s Vodka and Rising Star Racing for the opportunity to continue my IndyCar career this season.

“This weekend in Detroit will be the first time we work together, they have a lot of talented people within the team and we will try to hit the ground running.”

“We are really excited to be able to add Spencer to the ECR lineup and finish out the year with the 20 Fuzzy’s Vodka car at all of the races,” team owner Ed Carpenter added.

“Spencer is a definite young talent who came through the Road to Indy and we look forward to finishing the year strong with him.”

Pigot’s three races with RLL netted results of 14th, 11th and 25th at St. Petersburg, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course and the Indianapolis 500.

At the last race, Pigot rebounded from an accident in practice during the week to drive a new chassis in the race. The team was caught out when a yellow flag came out and the pits were closed, which dropped him back a bit.

Toyota No. 8 car wins the 24 Hours of Le Mans for third consecutive year

24 Hours of Le Mans
JEAN-FRANCOIS MONIER/AFP via Getty Images
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LE MANS, France — Toyota Gazoo’s No. 8 car comfortably won the 24 Hours of Le Mans by five laps Sunday to secure a third straight victory in the prestigious endurance race.

It was also a third consecutive win for Swiss driver Sebastien Buemi and Japan’s Kazuki Nakajima driving. Brendon Hartley was the other driver, having replaced two-time Formula One champion Fernando Alonso.

Buemi and Hartley sat on the side of the car as Nakajima drove toward the podium. Hartley won for a second time after tasting success with the Porsche LMP Team in 2017 before an unhappy season in Formula One.

The Swiss team’s Rebellion No. 1 featured American driver Gustavo Menezes and Brazilian Bruno Senna – the nephew of late F1 great Ayrton Senna.

It finished one lap ahead of Toyota Gazoo’s No. 7, with Rebellion’s No. 3 finishing in fourth place.

For much of the race it looked like Toyota’s No. 7 would win after leading comfortably from pole position. But late into the night the car encountered an engine problem and the 30-minute stop in the stands proved costly.

The race was first held in 1923. A total of 252,500 spectators attended in 2019, but there were none this year when the race started three months late because of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

“We miss the fans,” New Zealander Hartley said. “I look forward to seeing all the fans again.”

In other divisions:

United Autosports won the LMP2 division with the entry of Filipe Albuquerque, Paul Di Resta and Phil Hanson.

–In LMGTE Pro, the victory was claimed by Aston Martin Vantage AMR of Maxime Martin, Alex Lynn and Harry Tincknell (who drives for Mazda in the DPi division of IMSA).

–TF Sport won the LMGTE Am class.

The Toyota No. 7 took pole after former F1 driver Kamui Kobayashi narrowly edged out the Rebellion No. 1 team in qualifying.

In damp and humid conditions Mike Conway got away cleanly from the start, while Senna held off Buemi.

After nearly seven hours, Toyota’s No. 8 fell back after a 10-minute stop in the stands to fix a brake-cooling problem on Kazuki Nakajima’s car. Rebellion’s No. 1, driven by Frenchman Norman Nato, took advantage to move into second place behind Toyota’s No. 7.

Then came the decisive moment at 2:40 a.m. as the No. 7 – also featuring Argentine Jose Maria Lopez – encountered a turbo problem. When the car came back out it was back in fourth.

“We had a few problems early in the race,” Nakajima said. “Later they had a bigger issue than us.”

Rebellion’s No. 1 encountered a problem on the hood at around 9 a.m. and the change took six minutes, allowing the Rebellion No. 3 (Nathanael Berthon-Louis Deletraz-Romain Dumas) to close the gap.

It was becoming a tight battle between the two Rebellion cars behind Toyota’s No. 8.

At 12 p.m. Rebellion No. 3 with Dumas behind the wheel was only one second ahead of No. 1 driven by Menezes. Then both cars came in for a driver change with Deletraz swapping for Dumas on a lengthy stop, and Nato for Menezes as Rebellion No. 1 suddenly moved ahead of its team rival.

Dumas, a winner in 2016 with Porsche, appeared unhappy at the strategy decision to bring his car in first and the length of the stop. There were tense explanations in the team garage.

Colombian Tatiana Calderon, an F1 test driver with Alfa Romeo, was in the Richard Mille Racing Team in the LMP2 category. She was joined by German Sophia Florsch – an F3 driver – and Dutchwoman Beitske Visser. They placed ninth out of 24 in their category.