THE NEW FACE OF INDY LIGHTS
abby Chaves and Zach Veach were nine
and seven years old, respectively, when
Dallara’s Infiniti Pro Series chassis raced for
the first time in 2002, so it’s unlikely the
duo expected to be using the same chassis
while slugging it out for the Indy Lights
Presented by Cooper Tires title in 2014.
But now, thanks to a collaboration
between Andersen Promotions, Dallara
and IndyCar, those who follow them on
the final step to the Verizon IndyCar
Series will have a cutting-edge creation to
complete their open-wheel educations.
GDan Andersen, whose company runs all
three steps of the Mazda Road To Indy
ladder, took over Indy Lights in July 2013
and wasted little time in commissioning a
replacement for its ageing car.
“In Europe and Asia, they change cars
probably every three years,” he says.
“They’ve had 12 years on this car. The
reality is that it’s way past its time, so it
was obvious we needed a new car.”
With any other series, a fresh chassis
design would be hailed as a fun new toy for
its teams and drivers, but Dallara’s IL- 15
is also expected to act as a catalyst to
reinvigorate the category. Single-digit
grids have plagued Indy Lights since
2013, making Andersen’s decision to
commission the IL- 15 a truly significant one.
“We recognized that the current Indy
Lights car was designed initially for ovals,
then converted to a road course setup,”
he explains. “Side intrusion reinforcement
was added later, and the car has always
been a bit of a compromise, and certainly
was far out of date with current
technology in terms of safety and
handling. We wanted a car that was
lighter, stronger, faster and better looking.
“It has to train drivers in a car that will
deliver high-speed oval performance while
also providing a great street and road course
education, and Dallara has accomplished
all of that with the IL- 15. We expect this
car to be both nimble and strong, and able
to race well on all three types of venues.”
Appealing to drivers from outside of
As the final step on the Mazda Road to Indy ladder, Indy Lights Presented by Cooper
Tires seeks to train its drivers for the rigors of the “Big Show.” With the new-for-2015,
AER-powered Dallara IL- 15 (photographed by RACER fitted with its oval-spec aero
package), the series is set to take the curriculum to a whole new level next season.