Indy Lights’ new car won’t require Fred Flintstone-type peddling to make it go.
Today the series’ new promotions group, Andersen Promotions, confirmed Advanced Engine Research Ltd (AER) as the new engine supplier for Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires. The contract runs through the 2019 season.
While AER is not known as a manufacturer, it has thrived as an engine builder since launching in 1997. Owned by Rob and Chris Dyson, along with managing director Mike Lancaster, AER’s biggest presence in North America has been in sports car racing. It’s been the source for several P1 and P2-spec Lolas in the American Le Mans Series, and AER-built Mazda engines won the 2011 ALMS P1 class championship with Chris Dyson and Guy Smith driving the team’s Lola coupe.
AER has single-seater experience building the current power units for the World Series by Renault and GP3 Series in Europe.
“This is an exciting opportunity for AER,” said Rob Dyson. “In addition to our successful projects in LMP1 and LMP2 prototype sportscars, the company has extensive experience in single-engine series, including a 3.5-liter V6 for the World Series (by Renault) and the current GP3 Series V6 engines. The opportunity to supply the engines for the Indy Lights series was a very attractive one for us. We look forward to powering the growth of the up and coming open-wheel drivers in North America.”
This version of the engine, the AER-P07, will produce up to 450 horsepower and an additional power-to-pass boost, like its IndyCar brethren, available for driver control. Rebuilds are expected every 6,000 miles, which would reduce the need for an in-season rebuild. The all-aluminum engine has a dry crated weight of 230 lbs. The fully stressed engine features a carbon plenum, carbon inlet runners and trumpets and a “drive-by-wire” throttle control. Advanced engine management electronics have been developed in-house by AER with full active-knock control, ignition-angle learning, advanced boost control and integrated gear-shift strategies employed for ultimate performance.
The potential, too, exists for the engine to be open to badging from interested manufacturers per a RACER report. At the moment though, this is an AER through and through.