By: Spencer Neff
February 27, 2020 | 11:07 AM
Less than a week after the announcement of their formation, the NTT IndyCar Series’ newest entrant has finalized details for their first events.
Thursday morning, Citrone/Buhl Autosport confirmed a partnership for the month of May with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing. In addition, the announcement confirmed Spencer Pigot as the driver for the team’s entry into the GMR Grand Prix and 104th Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge.
Pigot, the 2015 Indy Lights Champion, returns to RLLR after making his first three starts with the team in 2016.
“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.
“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. I can’t wait for May!”
From 2017 to 2019, Pigot had competed with Ed Carpenter Racing on a full-time basis. In 2018, the Orlando native earned a career-best finish of second at Iowa. In 2019, Pigot qualified third and finished 14th at the Indianapolis 500, both his best in four starts.
For RLLR, Pigot joins Graham Rahal and 2017 Indianapolis 500 winner Takuma Sato to form a three-car outfit for the moth.
“I’m very pleased to have Spencer back with us again for the month of May,” team co-owner Bobby Rahal exclaimed.
“There is no question in my mind that he can contribute to the overall performance of the team based upon his strong performance last May and at other events throughout the season. Spencer is a team player and has a bright future in my opinion.
“We are looking forward to working with Citrone/Buhl Autosport on this entry. It is an exciting time for the NTT IndyCar Series and having a new team enter the sport is proof of that.”
This May, RLLR looks to return to victory at the Indianapolis 500 for the first time since Buddy Rice won in 2004. As for Citrone/Buhl, the team are optimistic about the upcoming partnership.
“Nick, myself and our whole family are excited to be part of the Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing team and to have Spencer as the driver is incredible,” team co-owner Robert Citrone stated.
“We have been lifelong Indy car fans and we have wanted to get involved in the sport for many years. We thought this was the best way to learn and gain experience at the highest level and have been incredibly impressed with all of the people we have met at RLL.”
For fellow co-owner Robbie Buhl, this will be his first venture into team ownership since he left Dreyer and Reinbold Racing in 2013. During his 12-year IndyCar career, Buhl won two races and started the Indianapolis 500 nine times.
“We feel great about our partnership,” Buhl emphasized.
“You obviously look back at your own experiences as a driver and with Spencer having come up through the ranks leading to Indy car and winning the Pro Mazda and Indy Lights championships like he did shows that he can win. He knows his way around the IndyCar Series and he knows how to be fast at Indy.
“You just have to have a little bit of luck and have a good team behind you. In addition to that, what Takuma and Graham offer to the program is invaluable. We’re excited.”
With the confirmed of addition of Pigot to the entry list, the 104th Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge now has 31 confirmed driver-team pairings. For May 9, the GMR Grand Prix on the road course now has 27 entries.
Header Image By Joe Skibinski/INDYCAR