While Max Chilton is racing in Le Mans this week, making his FIA World Endurance Championship debut as the Nissan GT-R LM NISMO he’s racing makes its race debut, Nelson Piquet Jr. will fill in for him at Carlin in the Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires race in Toronto. Carlin confirmed the news on Monday.
This will add Indy Lights to Piquet’s ever-expanding resume, both all-time and this year. The Dallara IL15-Mazda joins his HYDROXYCUT SH Rallycross Ford Fiesta ST in Red Bull Global Rallycross and NEXTEV Team China Racing Spark_01E Renault in the FIA Formula E Championship as machinery he has driven this year.
“I’m really looking forward to my Indy Lights debut with Carlin,” Piquet said in a team release. “I’ve been competing in a broad range of racing over the past few years and this will be another new experience for me. I love open wheel racing but haven’t yet tried it in a U.S.-based series, so Toronto is going to be interesting. I can’t wait to get in the car and see what we can do.”
Trevor Carlin added, “In Max’s absence we wanted another strong driver to help push the team forward. We know that despite having no experience of the Indy Lights car, Nelson will push to the maximum from the start and that’s what we’re looking for this weekend.
“We’ve known Nelson since racing against him when he became British F3 Champion in 2004 and have seen many times since then his outright pace. He’s shown in Formula E he’s a master of street circuits and I’m excited to see what he and Ed can achieve together this weekend.”
In a continuing effort to help fans keep track of the on track action, SuperMotocross is in the process of developing and implementing leader lights for the unified series.
Currently Supercross (SMX) utilizes stanchions in the infield that are triggered manually by a race official. At least two stanchions are used in each race as a way to draw the eye to the leader, which is especially useful in the tight confines of the stadium series when lapping often begins before the halfway mark in the 22-bike field. This system has been in place for the past two decades.
Later this year, a fully automated system will move to the bike itself to replace the old system. At that point, fans will be able to identify the leader regardless of where he is on track.
The leader lights were tested in the second Anaheim round this year. An example can be seen at the 1:45 mark in the video above on the No. 69 bike.
“What we don’t want to do is move too fast, where it’s confusing to people,” said Mike Muye, senior director of operations for Supercross and SMX in a press release. “We’ve really just focused on the leader at this point with the thought that maybe down the road we’ll introduce others.”
Scheduled to debut with the first SuperMotocross World Championship race at zMax Dragway, located just outside the Charlotte Motor Speedway, a 3D carbon fiber-printed LED light will be affixed to each motorcycle. Ten timing loops positioned around the track will trigger the lights of the leader, which will turn green.
SMX’s partner LiveTime Scoring helped develop and implement the system that has been tested in some form or fashion since 2019.
When the leader lights are successfully deployed, SuperMotocross will explore expanding the system to identify the second- and third-place riders. Depending on need and fan acceptance, more positions could be added.
SuperMotocross is exploring future enhancements, including allowing for live fan interaction with the lights and ways to use the lighting system during the race’s opening ceremony.
Read more about SuperMotocross