GREAT EXPECTATIONS FULFILLED
INDY LIGHTS DALLARA IL- 15
INDY LIGHTS PRESENTED BY COOPER TIRES
hat old adage “If it looks right, it is right,”
has been applied to racecars for decades,
yet hasn’t always proven accurate. But the
inevitable worries before a new design first
hits the track proved groundless in the case
of the handsome Dallara IL- 15, the car that
will populate the grids of the Indy Lights
Presented by Cooper Tires series next year.
The shakedown, held at Mid-Ohio
SportsCar Course a day after IndyCar
and the entire cadre of Mazda Road To
Indy series raced there in early August,
was potent proof of concept. The IL- 15,
designed and built by Dallara, with
Andersen Promotions’ project manager
Tony Cotman overseeing its gestation,
was fast with a capital F. By the end of the
day, the AER-powered machine had set
a time 0.6sec quicker than pole for the
Indy Lights race held two days earlier.
Least surprised by this was the guy who
set the time, 2012 Indy Lights champion
and ’ 13 IndyCar Series Rookie of the Year
Tristan Vautier. The 24-year-old Frenchman,
whose full-time role this year is racing the
Mazda SKYACTIV-D Prototype in the
TUDOR United SportsCar Championship, is
the ideal man for the job of developing the
IL- 15, given his experience of the old car
and his familiarity with the next step up.
The fundamental purpose of the new
Lights car is to prepare next-gen racers for
IndyCar, so Vautier knows exactly what’s
required of Dallara’s latest bambino.
“I guess the current Indy Lights car
was probably good preparation for the
previous generation IndyCar,” says Vautier
during the lunch break at a test on the road
course at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
“But the IL- 15 will be perfect for drivers
moving up to the latest DW12 IndyCar.
The design philosophies are the same.
“The overall balance is similar, and so
is the grip/power ratio. The current Indy
Lights car is quite understeery, and the
IndyCar is not at all, so the rear of the
The all-new 2015 Indy Lights Dallara IL- 15 first hit the track
for testing in August, and is already ticking the right boxes.
WORDS David Malsher IMAGES Marshall Pruett
(RIGHT) Even in plain
carbon fiber, Dallara’s
IL- 15 looks stunning.
(FAR RIGHT) Its lowline,
turbo, 2-liter AER
engine makes 450hp
and has done so reliably,
which has allowed
speedy development. M a r
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