Indy Lights car delay explained

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A lack of clarity and concise decisions over the IndyCar Series’ future direction under new management is cited as the main reason why the supporting Firestone Indy Lights Series’ new car has been delayed, according to Autosport.

Series director Tony George Jr. explained the reasoning why Indy Lights’ new car, slated for a debut in 2014, has been postponed indefinitely.

“This is a big decision that is going to require long-term commitments, and I think that [IndyCar] management is still deciphering where we need to head,” he said. “Any time that you create a long-term plan, all the other, smaller, short-term plans that go into that may need to be altered to some degree.”

The Indy Lights series began in its current incarnation in 2002, and was then known as the Infiniti Pro Series. It’s had the same car for that entire time.

The current Dallara chassis, like its big brother Dallara IR03 on the IndyCar side, initially was designed only for oval racing. It has been modified to accommodate an increased amount of racing on the road and street courses.

At the moment, Indy Lights has less than 10 confirmed drivers for its 2013 season. The series is the top of IndyCar’s Mazda Road to Indy rung; all races will be televised on NBC Sports Network this season.

Expected Indy Lights champions on the 2013 grid include JR Hildebrand, Josef Newgarden and Tristan Vautier. Other Indy Lights graduates currently racing in IndyCar include James Hinchcliffe, Charlie Kimball, Sebastian Saavedra, Marco Andretti, Graham Rahal and Ed Carpenter.

Brazilian veterans Tony Kanaan and Helio Castroneves have also raced in Indy Lights in its former incarnation, before each graduated to the CART series in 1998. Kanaan won the 1997 Indy Lights title.