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Indy Lights

 

 

 

2019 INDY LIGHTS PRESENTED BY COOPER TIRES

 [Visit RoadToIndy.Info for a full overview of the Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires.]

The third and final step on the Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires debuted as Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires in 2014. Sanctioned by INDYCAR, the series is operated by Andersen Promotions, which oversees all three levels of the ladder system including the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship and the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires.

The 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. In 2019, the Indy Lights champion will be awarded a scholarship valued at $1.1M toward the IndyCar Series with three guaranteed races including the Indianapolis 500.

Following an August 1 announcement by INDYCAR and Andersen Promotions, the future of Indy Lights is bright, strengthened by a five-year plan to increase team and driver participation for the final stepping stone to the top level. In addition to an increased champion’s purse, a reduction in entrant budgets was unveiled alongside revised INDYCAR driver licensing guidelines and an expansion of the IndyCar testing program for Indy Lights drivers.

Indy Lights has become the backbone of IndyCar with 25 of the 33 starters in the 2018 Indianapolis 500 as graduates, including its last five champions. In total, 11 Indy Lights champions were on the grid. The success of Indy Lights as a springboard to IndyCar has never been more apparent.

Since the formation of the Road to Indy in 2010, 33 Indy Lights drivers have made career starts in the IndyCar Series. And since the inception of Indy Lights, this number totals 137.

All but three of the 32 champions in the series history have moved up to the top step.

The highly acclaimed series was revitalized with a state-of-the-art chassis in 2015. Sharing similarities to an Indy car, the Dallara IL-15 provides the appropriate training for drivers to make the step up - a six-speed, paddle-shift transmission, a 50HP "push-to-pass" feature, "drive-by-wire" throttle control and advanced engine management electronics.

The Dallara IL-15 is a collaboration between Dallara’s Italian headquarters in Varano Melegari (Parma) and Dallara LLC in Speedway, Ind. It is powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged Mazda MZR-R engine. Developed in conjunction with Advanced Engine Research (AER), the MZR-R produces 450 horsepower and is capable of running an entire season without a rebuild.

The marriage of the Mazda powerplant to the Cooper tires-shod Dallara IL-15 has produced incredible competition with a strong parity across the board that showcases racecraft.

The 2018 season saw a thrilling season-long battle between Patricio O'Ward (Andretti Autosport) and Colton Herta (Andretti-Steinbrenner Racing), with O'Ward taking the championship title with nine wins and a record-setting nine pole positions. The pair will team up again in 2019, graduating to IndyCar with Harding Steinbrenner Racing - a new collaboration between Harding Racing and George Steinbrenner IV.

HISTORY

Indy Lights has produced some of IndyCar Series’ biggest names during its 28-year history. Its 100+ graduates include Helio Castroneves, Scott Dixon, James Hinchcliffe, Tony Kanaan, Charlie Kimball and Josef Newgarden to name a few. More recently, several Indy Lights champions and front-runners have gone on to pursue their dream of racing in the IndyCar Series and the famed Indianapolis 500. Among them are 2018 champion Patricio O'Ward, 2018 vice champion Colton Herta, 2017 champion Kyle Kaiser, 2016 champion Ed Jones, 2015 champion Spencer Pigot, 2014 champion Gabby Chaves as well as recent graduates Jack Harvey, Matheus Leist, Zachary Claman DeMelo and Zach Veach.

SCHEDULE

Indy Lights will be featured on 10 weekends alongside the IndyCar Series headline event, marking a total of 18 races with doubleheader rounds on the streets of St. Petersburg, at Circuit of The Americas, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (road course), Road America, on the streets of Toronto, at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, at Portland International Raceway and in the season finale at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca. Indy Lights will contest single rounds on the oval at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Gateway Motorsports Park.

The focal point in the 2019 schedule will be the month of May at Indianapolis. The INDYCAR Grand Prix will continue to feature all three Road to Indy series at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course. Two weeks later, the crown jewel of the Indy Lights season – the Freedom 100 – will continue to be the traditional 100-mile race on Carb Day on the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval. 

ROUND DATE TRACK VENUE
1/2 March 9/10
Streets of St. Petersburg 1.8-mile street circuit*
3/4 March 23/24 Circuit of the Americas 3.4-mile road course*
5/6 May 10/11 Indianapolis Motor Speedway 2.439-mile road course*
7 May 24 Indianapolis Motor Speedway 2.5-mile oval
8/9 June 22/23 Road America 4.048-mile road course*
10/11 July 13/14
Streets of Toronto, Ontario
1.755-mile street circuit*
12/13 July 27/28 Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course  2.258-mile road course*
14 August 24 Gateway Motorsports Park 1.25-mile oval 
15/16 Aug 31/Sep 1 Portland International Raceway 1.964-mile road course
17/18 September 21/22
WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca
2.238-mile road course

* Doubleheader Rounds.

SERIES PARTNERS

Cooper Tires, Mazda, Dallara, Advanced Engine Research (AER), Motegi Racing, Tilton, Cosworth, Braille Battery, Life Racing, SS Tube Technology, VP Racing Fuels, Allied Building Products, Royal Purple, Hi-Tide Boat Lifts, RACER, Carl Haas Automobile Imports, Performance Friction, Dynamic Suspensions, INDYCAR Ministry, Holmatro, Racing Communications, Safety-Kleen.

TELEVISION

Indy Lights coverage can be found on NBC Sports Gold as part of the IndyCar package as well as Road to Indy TV and the Road to Indy TV App. In 2016, the Road to Indy became the first American racing series with a dedicated broadcast channel on demand. The channel is currently available on Apple TV, Amazon Fire, Roku and the Xbox One Official App.

The popular RoadToIndy.TV will continue to provide behind-the-scenes access to all competitors on the Mazda Road to Indy. 

CARS

State-of-the-art, single-seat, open-wheel, Indy car-style chassis manufactured by Dallara Automobili, complete with paddle shifters, push-to-pass and safety components meeting FIA specifications with INDYCAR standards (headrests, seats, secondary pedal bulkhead, zylon panels).

ENGINES

2.0-liter turbocharged Mazda MZR-R developed in conjunction with Advanced Engine Research (AER) producing 450 HP with 50 HP push-to-pass for high speed overtaking and capable of running an entire season without a rebuild.

TIRES

Cooper Tires

POINT SYSTEM

Per race, for both driver and team championships. One bonus point is awarded for pole position and most laps led. Single car teams will be awarded three bonus points in the team championship to help with the equality to multiple car teams. Only the two best results will count in the team championship for teams fielding more than two entries.

ROAD/STREET COURSE EVENTS

Pos Points   Pos Points   Pos Points
1 30   10 11   19 2
2 25   11 10   20+ 1
3 22   12 9      
4 19   13 8      
5 17   14 7      
6 15   15 6      
7 14   16 5      
8 13   17 4      
9 12   18 3      
 
 OVAL EVENTS
 
Pos Points   Pos Points   Pos Points
1 45
  10 17   19 4
2 38
  11 15   20+ 2
3 33
  12 14
     
4 29
  13 12
     
5 26
  14 11
     
6 23
  15 9
     
7 21
  16 8
     
8 20
  17 6
     
9 18
  18 5
     
 
TEAM POINT SYSTEM
 
Pos Points            
1 22            
2 18            
3 15            
4 12            
5 10            
6 8            
7 6            
8 4            
9 2            
10+ 1            

PRIZE MONEY AND AWARDS

The Indy Lights champion is awarded a scholarship valued at $1.1M toward the IndyCar Series with three guaranteed races including the Indianapolis 500. The 2019 team and driver prize packages will be announced in the near future. 

CURRENT TRACK RECORDS

Streets of St. Petersburg  Qualifying: Patricio O'Ward 1:05.0392 = 99.632 mph 3/10/2018
  Race: Colton Herta 1:05.4946 = 998.939 mph 3/10/2018
Circuit of The Americas
No results to date  No results to date
 
Indianapolis Motor Speedway RC  Qualifying: Ed Jones 1:14.6743 = 117.583 mph 5/13/2016
  Race: Felix Rosenqvist 1:15.7230 = 115.954 mph 5/14/2016
Indianapolis Motor Speedway Qualifying: Matheus Leist
45.1654 = 199.268 mph
5/25/2017
  Qualifying: Matheus Leist
1:30.3625 = 199.198 mph*
5/25/2017
  Race: Santi Urrutia
45.4307 = 198.104 mph
5/26/2017
Road America Qualifying: Colton Herta
1:52.0034 = 129.018 mph 6/24/2017
  Race: Zachary Claman DeMelo      
1:53.0138 = 127.864 mph
6/25/2017
Streets of Toronto Qualifying: Colton Herta
1:03.6848 = 100.960 mph
7/14/2018
  Race: Colton Herta
1:04.4515 = 99.759 mph
7/14/2018
Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course Qualifying: Santiago Urrutia 1:10.9428 = 114.582 mph 7/30/2016
  Race: Jack Harvey 1:11.5804 = 113.562 mph 8/1/2015
 Gateway Motorsports Park Qualifying: Juan Piedrahita
27.8890 = 161.354 mph
8/26/2017
  Qualifying: Juan Piedrahita
55.962 = 160.823 mph*
8/26/2017
  Race: Zachary Claman DeMelo
28.0370 = 160.502 mph 8/26/2017
 Portland International Raceway
Qualifying: Patricio O'Ward
1:02.8074 = 112.573 mph
8/31/2018
  Race: Patricio O'Ward
1:03.6398 = 111.100 mph
9/1/2018
 WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca  
Qualifying: Max Chilton
1:14.2329 = 108.534 mph
9/12/2015
  Race: Max Chilton
1:16.1633 = 105.783 mph
9/13/2015

*Two-lap qualifying run

MILESTONES

Most Starts Arie Luyendyk Jr. 66 2002-2010
Most Wins Greg Moore 13 1994-1995
Most Wins in a Season Greg Moore 10 1995
Most Poles Tommy Byrne 12 1989-1996
Most Poles in a Season Patricio O'Ward 9 2018
Most Podiums  Wade Cunningham       30        2005-2010
Most Podiums in a Season       Alex Lloyd 13 2007

 

INDY LIGHTS CHAMPIONS

2018 Patricio O'Ward
(INDYCAR)
2017 Kyle Kaiser
(INDYCAR)
2016 Ed Jones (INDYCAR) 
2015 Spencer Pigot (INDYCAR)
2014  Gabby Chaves  (INDYCAR) 
2013 Sage Karam (INDYCAR)
2012 Tristan Vautier (INDYCAR)
2011 Josef Newgarden (INDYCAR)
2010 J.K. Vernay (INDYCAR)
2009 JR Hildebrand (INDYCAR)
2008 Raphael Matos (INDYCAR)
2007 Alex Lloyd (INDYCAR)
2006 Jay Howard (INDYCAR)
2005 Wade Cunningham (INDYCAR)
2004 Thiago Medeiros (INDYCAR)
2003 Mark Taylor (INDYCAR)
2002 A.J. Foyt IV (INDYCAR)
2001 Townsend Bell (CART)
2000 Scott Dixon (CART)
1999 Oriol Servia (CART)
1998 Cristiano da Matta (CART)
1997 Tony Kanaan (CART)
1996 David Empringham (CART)
1995 Greg Moore (CART)
1994 Steve Robertson (CART)
1993 Bryan Herta (CART)
1992 Robbie Buhl (CART)
1991 Eric Bachelart (CART)
1990 Paul Tracy (ARS)
1989 Mike Groff (ARS)
1988 Jon Beekhuis (ARS)
1987 Didier Theys (ARS)
1986 Fabrizio Barbazza (ARS)

KEY

ARS - American Racing Series
CART - Championship Auto Racing Teams
INDYCAR - INDYCAR