Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires has provided an update on car orders placed for the new Dallara IL15 chassis.
Schmidt Peterson Motorsports with Curb-Agajanian has officially confirmed it’s placed an order for two new cars. A couple weeks ago, SPM team manager Rob Edwards outlined that plan in an interview with MotorSportsTalk when James Hinchcliffe was confirmed for SPM’s Verizon IndyCar Series team.
Other confirmed multiple car orders have been placed by Belardi Auto Racing, Juncos Racing and McCormack Racing, the latter of whom was first in line to order the new chassis. Belardi has confirmed Felix Serralles, the lone driver officially set for next year.
8Star Motorsports has also placed an order for one car and is expected to place an order for a second car.
Per a release from Indy Lights, 10 teams are already committed for next year.
Andersen Promotions owner/CEO Dan Andersen said in the release, “I couldn’t be more thrilled with the caliber of teams that will be campaigning programs, and I fully expect to see 15 to 20 cars on the grid next March.”
Testing will begin in Florida in December and January with series tests at Palm Beach International Raceway on December 16/17 and Homestead-Miami Speedway on January 26/27 (road course) and January 29 (oval). Prototype testing concluded September 6.
SO WHO FILLS THE CARS, OR FILLS THE GRID?
If you figure Schmidt Peterson, Belardi, Juncos, McCormack and 8Star are already entered, that should be the potential for at least 10 cars if each team runs two. You could get to 10 even if those one or more of the other teams run single-car entries, and if SPM runs three or four as the team often does, with drivers bringing budget to the third and fourth seats.
Remaining 2014 full-season teams Andretti Autosport and Team Moore Racing are yet to officially commit. There are whisperings of other teams who have committed to a chassis purchase, but have not been publicly identified.
Drivers? There’s a bevy of talent waiting in the wings. Jack Harvey is working on a return and if he comes back to SPM, would easily be the preseason title favorite. Pro Mazda champion Spencer Pigot will move up; both Alan Sciuto and Parker Kligerman impressed in the Chris Griffis Mazda Road to Indy test and 8Star is keen to run Sean Rayhall if the budget can come together. That’s not even considering the depth of talent in Pro Mazda, USF2000 and abroad who may be looking to race in the U.S. next season.
The IndyCar silly season is always one to watch, but this winter, Indy Lights could well be on par for fans and observers looking down the road for future talent.