The Firestone Indy Lights Series announced a new car for the 2014 season on Friday morning. The series has run the same Dallara chassis since the reincarnation of Indy Lights, originally termed Indy Pro Series, in 2002.
Some of the desired attributes include a contemporary design, improved aerodynamic performance, an improved technological package possibly including paddle shifting, data systems and sensors, the potential to integrate an alternative fuel source and improved sponsor visibility.
No chassis or engine manufacturer has been determined as yet, and according to series technical director Vince Kremer, five or six entities have been sent possible proposals. The application due date is June 30.
Design elements to be incorporated into the new car include:
- New chassis is to reflect current contemporary race car design with a forward-thinking, sophisticated and exciting formula. Chassis must be adaptable to compete on road, street and oval circuits with a minimum of facility-specific parts.
- New chassis to surpass all current FIA static and impact regulations while having the flexibility to accommodate a broad spectrum of drivers and seating positions. Improved aerodynamic performance that must also allow for enhanced sponsor placement opportunities on the car.
- Improved technological package to include but not limited to: paddle shifting, data systems and sensors.
- Potential to integrate an alternative fuel source.
"With our premium on safety, our goal is to develop a car that is technology relevant to the new IZOD IndyCar Series car," said Vince Kremer, technical director, Firestone Indy Lights. "It is our intent to remain a spec series, as it creates the right platform to identify driver talent and contain costs. While it is important for us to gain a manufacturer badge for the engine and receive the endorsement of the auto industry, we want to make sure it is done in the right economic structure for our teams."
Gustavo Yacaman took pole for today's Firestone Freedom 100 at Indianapolis at 187.517mph, and Kremer said he would like the new car to push that speed a little higher.
"We're going to look to improve that through some efficiencies in the car to reach sub-48-second laps (about 191mph)," he said.