INDIANAPOLIS — Unfortunately, the pandemic cost the Indy Lights their 2020 season. The top step of the Road to Indy ladder sat idle while both USF2000 and Indy Pro 2000 competed this year. But, Indy Lights will definitely be back in 2021 though. That’s a great sign. So is this — they made some even bigger improvements to the already great series as well.
One major part of the unveiling was that the champion will receive $1.25 million worth of scholarship money to take to the NTT IndyCar Series with them. That will net them a guaranteed entry for three Indy Car races next season which includes the 105th Running of the Indianapolis 500.
Another new addition in that the top three finishers in the final points standings at seasons end will also each get an Indy Car test at seasons end as well.
That’s not it either. The Cooper tire-shod Dallara IL-15 with a 450-horsepower AER powerplant will see the addition of a Dallara-designed and installed Titanium Halo in 2021 for increased safety. The package has produced incredible competition with a strong parity across the board showcasing racecraft. With similarities to an Indy car, the equipment package provides the appropriate training for drivers to take the next step including a six-speed, paddle-shift transmission, a 50-horsepower “push-to-pass” feature, “drive-by-wire” throttle control and advanced engine management electronics.
Furthermore, three drivers from this season will get guaranteed spots into the Indy Lights season next year too. 2019 Indy Pro 2000 champion Kyle Kirkwood will return in his quest to be the first driver to win successive championships in all three levels of the Road to Indy.
The second spot goes to the 2020 Indy Pro 2000 champ. Currently, Stint Ray Robb leads the standings by 49 points as we have five races remaining in the season. Robb, currently drives for Juncos Racing.
The third and final guaranteed spot will go to the FR Americas champion. Right now, Linus Lundqvist leads those points as he’s won 12 of 14 races so far.
The remainder of the field will be filled out as normal.
“After careful planning with the INDYCAR team, we are pleased to confirm the exciting addition of a season-ending INDYCAR test at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway soon after the 2021 season,” said Dan Andersen, owner and CEO of Andersen Promotions via a release. “We continue to explore additional ways to strengthen the Indy Lights championship. In the interim, we want to spread the word that Indy Lights will be back and it will be stronger than ever.”
INDYCAR see how beneficial the series is too. Since the start of the system in 2010, 37 Indy Lights drivers have made at least one INDYCAR start. An astounding 23 of the 33 drivers in this past year’s Indy 500 was an Indy Light graduate including eight of those 23 being past Lights champions.
“From top to bottom, the entire team recognizes the role and commitment Indy Lights has played in bringing new talent to the NTT INDYCAR SERIES,” said Mark Miles, president and CEO of Penske Entertainment. “We are firmly committed to ensuring its continued success.”
The schedule is said to be revealed prior to the INDYCAR season finale on Oct. 25. While there will still be an 18 race schedule spread out over 10 events, there will be some change too.