The third and final step on the Mazda Road to Indy debuts as Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires in 2014. Sanctioned by INDYCAR, the series is now operated by Andersen Promotions, which oversees all three levels of the ladder system including the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda and the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires.
The Mazda Road to Indy is the only driver development program in the world to feature a champion’s scholarship at every level to advance to the next step on the ladder system. The Indy Lights champion is awarded a scholarship package of nearly $1 million to assist in the ascent to the IndyCar Series, and over $1.6 million total in prizes and awards is on offer in 2014.
The highly acclaimed series, which has a rich history as a development platform for many of today’s top drivers, will see new changes on the horizon. In addition to securing Cooper Tires as the Official Tire of Indy Lights and presenting sponsor beginning in 2014, Andersen Promotions will introduce a new car in 2015.
The Dallara IL-15 – a collaboration between Dallara’s Italian headquarters in Varano Melegari (Parma) and Dallara LLC in Speedway, Ind. – will make its debut in testing in the summer of 2014. Dallara is the manufacturer of the current spec Indy Lights chassis which dates back to 2002. The new Dallara IL-15 will offer a modern stylish appearance and provide the proper training required for drivers as the final step on the ladder to the IndyCar Series.
Advanced Engine Research (AER) will be the Official Engine Supplier. The Dallara IL-15 will be powered by a slightly modified, long-mileage version of the multiple sportscar championship-winning AER-P07 2.0 liter, turbocharged four-cylinder engine. The AER-P63 will produce approximately 450 horsepower, with additional power available via a driver-controlled “push-to-pass” feature. The powerplant is designed to run a full season without major maintenance with an expected 6,000 miles between rebuilds.
For more information on the Indy Lights Series, visit www.indylights2014.com.