INDIANAPOLIS — The introduction of the next-generation Firestone Indy Lights car will be delayed until after the 2014 season.
“While we have generated quite a bit of interest from a variety of manufacturers, we feel it’s best to delay the introduction of the next-generation chassis and engine,” said Tony George Jr., director, Firestone Indy Lights. “We want our teams, drivers and manufacturers to be competitive and successful, and if that means taking a step back to create a stronger series to support the economics of this long-term capital investment as well as a formula that we believe will allow our drivers to transition between Pro Mazda and the IZOD IndyCar Series, then we’re willing to make sure the introduction is timed properly.”
Series officials, citing the desired attributes of a contemporary chassis with enhanced aerodynamics and technology, announced last May that a request for proposal had been distributed to potential manufacturers and development firms for both engine and chassis. All Firestone Indy Lights competitors currently run a Dallara chassis and 3.5-liter, normally aspirated V-8 engine.
“We continue to spend a considerable amount of time conducting due diligence, taking into account the needs of our teams, drivers, manufacturers and other key constituents to make our series stronger,” George said. “This ongoing process has proven just how much people believe in Firestone Indy Lights and the entire Mazda Road to Indy driver development system.”