Photos courtesy of Rising Star Racing

‘Sup, dog? Pigot’s Long Beach car features ‘Loki the Wolfdog’ support

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File this one under the “cool, new and different” category: Spencer Pigot’s usual No. 20 Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet will have a different primary sponsor this week, as the backing of his Ed Carpenter Racing entry shifts from alcohol to a canine.

Seriously.

Loki the Wolfdog, something of an Instagram sensation with more than 1.4 million followers on the picture-heavy social media platform, will serve as primary sponsor of Pigot’s No. 20 Chevrolet this weekend at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach (Sunday, 4 p.m. ET, NBCSN).

Pigot and fellow Rising Star Racing-supported driver Neil Alberico, who competes with Carlin in the Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires series, got connected to Loki and the opportunity snowballed from there. Loki’s owner Kelly Lund documents the dog’s adventures, and Loki has been contracted to work with key brands such as Google, REI, The North Face, Toyota and Mercedes.

“Loki is basically the coolest dog out there, and he’s a serious force when it comes to connecting household brands with that elusive millennial audience,” Art Wilmes, founder of Rising Star Racing, said in a release. “We decided to team up with him to spread the word about our drivers, the Verizon IndyCar Series, and the Mazda Road to Indy. We’re beyond pleased to have Loki with us on Spencer Pigot’s car for the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. RSR is stretching the boundaries of promotion once again by combining the coolest canine out there with our wheel-man Spencer Pigot.”

Lund added, “Loki and I are all about new adventures, and getting involved with Rising Star Racing and its drivers is the next big trip for us. My life with Loki is unconventional, and I was drawn to Rising Star Racing because they’re taking a unique look at the racing world and making a huge difference in the lives of these drivers. I never thought I’d see Loki’s face on the side of a race car, but we’re beyond stoked and can’t wait to see Spencer (Pigot’s) car when we get to the track!”

As noted, Loki and Lund are expected to be in attendance at Long Beach.

“It’s going to be great to have Loki with us this weekend in Long Beach,” Pigot said. “His following on Instagram is incredible, and I really hope he enjoys his time with us in the Verizon IndyCar Series paddock. Loki has an adventuresome spirit and I think this will be a really special experience for both of us. Rising Star Racing is providing another creative way to generate exposure and I’m really happy to be part of it.”

With Preferred Freezer Services as primary sponsor for JR Hildebrand’s No. 21 Chevrolet, it’ll be a weird, Fuzzy’s non-primary weekend for Ed Carpenter Racing at Long Beach.

As far as we can recall, this is the first dog-related sponsorship in racing since the Dogecoin effort backed Josh Wise in NASCAR a few years ago, and Wise made a surprise trip getting voted into NASCAR’s All-Star Race thanks to the popularity of the Dogecoin supporters.

Andretti United team names drivers for inaugural Extreme E season

Extreme E drivers Andretti
Extreme E
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The Extreme E team formed by Andretti Autosport and United Autosports named Catie Munnings and Timmy Hansen as its drivers Monday for the series’ inaugural 2021 season.

Munnings is a successful veteran of rally series. Hansen is a past winner and champion in the World Rallycross Championship.

They both will race in the environmentally conscious electric SUV series that will hold events in five areas around the world that are threatened by climate change. Chip Ganassi Racing and six-time Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton also are fielding cars in Extreme E, which will feature male and female co-drivers on every team.

Catie Munnings

“I’m so excited to join Andretti United Extreme E,” Munnings said in a release. ““I was really intrigued when I first heard about Extreme E, I just knew I had to be involved. The male / female racing partnership is a fantastic and exciting new concept. The season has incredible locations and the racing will be very exciting. It will be a new challenge for the teams and drivers, and I’m so thrilled to be working with such a strong team.

“The championship is a really innovative concept, it’s combining motorsport and science and will produce an important legacy in each race location. Bringing the platform that motorsport has in line with the awareness that the planet needs right now is awesome and a really important message.”

Timmy Hansen

Said Hansen: “Going into the Extreme E will be a new chapter in my career, one that I am extremely excited about. It is something brand new, not only for me, but the whole of motorsport. The format is something

we’ve never seen before. I’m also delighted to be able to carry the message of something bigger – talking about the environment and doing something good for the world – that’s something that really drives me. It’s going to be a big adventure in life to see these locations and I’m going to do my best in carrying this responsibility and hopefully making people aware of the challenges we have in the world, together with our passion for racing.”