Per report, IndyCar to cede control of Indy Lights

3 Comments

Per Curt Cavin of the Indianapolis Star, IndyCar will turn over control of the Firestone Indy Lights Series to Dan Andersen, who also runs and promotes the other two rungs of the Mazda Road to Indy ladder.

Andersen relaunched the USF2000 National Championship in 2010 and took over operations of the renamed Pro Mazda Championship, formerly Star Mazda, before the start of this year.

In both cases, Andersen was brought in to help lower costs (reduce engine rebuilds, number of sets of tires bought) and attract more participants. The USF2000 grid is now booming with more than 30 cars running at the road and street courses when National Class cars are included, and more than 20 on the oval in Indianapolis. Pro Mazda, although it has only had 10 at the recent oval events in Indianapolis and Milwaukee, should grow for the rest of the season.

A formal announcement, per Cavin, is expected at Toronto in July. That’s the next weekend IndyCar and all three ladder series will be present at the same time.

To put it mildly, Indy Lights’ 2013 season has been tumultuous. Car count is at an all-time low with less than 10 cars from just four teams at all events except Long Beach and Indianapolis. Plans for a new car to be implemented for 2014 have been scrapped.

Ironically, the change comes with a field that could actually lay claim to the “quality over quantity” mantra. Series observers will note there is probably more talent at the top end of this year’s field than in the last two to three years.

The highlight of the Indy Lights season to this point was the four-wide finish at the Firestone Freedom 100 at Indianapolis, when Peter Dempsey edged Gabby Chaves, Sage Karam and Carlos Munoz.

Here’s who were picking to win the Indy 500 — who are YOU picking?

IndyCar
Leave a comment

Several members of the NBC Sports motorsports staff have made their predictions on who will win Sunday’s 102nd Running of the Indianapolis 500.

Of the six voters, two are going with 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series champ Josef Newgarden, while two others are going with Helio Castroneves to win a fourth 500, which would tie him with A.J. Foyt, Al Unser and Rick Mears.

Here’s our picks. Who are YOU picking?

Leigh Diffey: Helio Castroneves — He drives the place better than anyone else. For me (for what its worth) he deserves a fourth 500 ring for the frustration he went through never getting the IndyCar title!

Townsend Bell: Josef Newgarden

Nate Ryan: Simon Pagenaud — All of his 2018 misfortune on the track has disappeared in May, and it culminates in the biggest victory of his career.

Jerry Bonkowski: Helio Castroneves – There’s no pressure as he pursues his fourth Indy 500 win. All Helio has to do, as late NFL owner Al Davis would say, is “Just win, baby!” (But if Helio falls short, watch for Marco Andretti)

Kyle Lavigne: Josef Newgarden — I think he has everything he needs to get it done this year.

Dan Beaver: Robert Wickens – Has driven like anything except a rookie and his second-place finish at Phoenix proves he’s just as good on an oval as the road courses.

Follow: Jerry Bonkowski