IndyCar postpones new Indy Lights car
|By Mark Glendenning||Thursday, February 14th 2013, 22:00 GMT|
IndyCar has delayed the introduction of its next-generation Indy Lights car and engine until at least 2015.
The tender for a new technical package to replace the current Dallara, which has been in use since 2002, was announced last May.
Several parties expressed an interest in producing a design that matched the series' desire for more relevant technology and aerodynamics.
However Indy Lights director Tony George Jr believes that it is in the long-term interest of the category for the introduction of the new car to be pushed back.
"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 George.
"We want our teams, drivers and manufacturers to be competitive and successful.
"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 IndyCar Series, then we're willing to make sure the introduction is timed properly."
Indy Lights is the final step on the Road to Indy ladder before IndyCar and has a strong track record for helping to develop young talent, although it has also struggled badly for grid numbers in recent years.
Thursday's announcement that rookie Gabby Chaves will drive for Schmidt Peterson Motorsport this season makes the Colombian only the sixth driver to commit to the series for this year, with just over a month remaining before the opening round in St Petersburg.