Spencer Pigot wasn’t prepared to be 26 and unemployed. Coming off a four-year stint with the Ed Carpenter Racing NTT IndyCar Series team, the California-born, Florida-bred driver has been scrambling to find new open-wheel and sports car opportunities to keep his budding career from stalling.
So far, the results have not been encouraging.
“We’ve been talking to IndyCar teams and sports car teams in America and Europe trying to make something happen, but there’s nothing available for us right now,” the 2015 Indy Lights champion told RACER.
Pigot, who won titles at every step on the Road to Indy, is part of a small group of IndyCar drivers who were made redundant by their teams at a point in the offseason where all of the paying rides were taken. Like Sebastien Bourdais and James Hinchcliffe, Pigot would need to find and deliver sponsorship in the seven-figure range to secure an entry with A.J. Foyt Racing, Carlin Racing, Dale Coyne Racing, or Juncos Racing.
“The IndyCar teams we’ve spoken with need money,” he said. “And in IMSA, the teams in DPi have their Gold and Platinum (professional) drivers sorted out, and are searching for Silver (amateur) drivers. It’s an awkward place to be in. As a driver who doesn’t have much money to bring, and not a lot of time to go and find what’s being asked, it’s a tough situation to be in. But I know I’m not alone in this situation.”
Pigot plans to travel the well-worn path navigated by new ECR driver Conor Daly, and other free agents in recent years, in the hope of filling unforeseen needs if they arise.
“I’ll be around the IndyCar paddock, walking around, so teams know I’m available,” he said. “That’s the right way to go, to show I want to be there, and if an opportunity presents itself, I’ll be ready.”
With a life to lead and bills to pay, Pigot will also turn to another familiar exercise for professional drivers to make use of free time.
“I’ll be doing driver coaching and developing that side of my career,” he added. “On the open-wheel side of things, I’d really like to work with drivers on the Road to Indy because I’ve been where they are, and the success I had there took me all the way to IndyCar. And if I can be at the Road to Indy races doing coaching, that also means I’ll be there for most of the IndyCar races, so it’s a double win.”