Saturday, March 30, 2013

Not Much To Cheer About

The only, and I mean only, good thing about the 2013 Firestone Indy Lights season are the drivers and teams that make up the series. Unfortunately, there is only 9 full time drivers and 4 teams. Several of these drivers have a great careers in front of them, including Jack Hawksworth, Sage Karam, and Zach Veach. But the series has become an atrocity and something needs to change, even if that means scrapping it and starting over from scratch.

It was revealed that the the new Indy Lights chassis that was supposed to be unveiled in 2014 has been postponed until further notice. The reason behind the delays, which could move it to 2015 or later, is to put the improvement of Indycar on the front burner. Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't getting a new chassis for Indy Lights indirectly making Indycar better? A newer, updated car would give drivers better abilities to move on to Indycar. A new chassis would also give teams a new reason to jump in with an technologically updated chassis that would create excitement within the series.

Jack Hawksworth has got his bid to make it back-to-back title successes in America off to the perfect start with victory on his debut in the 2013 Firestone Indy Lights...
Hawksworth leading Karam and Veach (Photo: Indycar)

The question will be what to do. Because going on the current path, Indy Lights isn't doing much good for a whole lot of people. Sure nine talented drivers are bettering their skills, but I would hardly consider a nine car field a race. At the end of the race, everyone finishes in the top ten. I mean, come on... Fans won't benefit from great racing in nine car races, maybe a couple good battles per race (between talented drivers mind you).

Just look at how many full time teams have left Indy Lights in the past five or so seasons: Juncos Racing, Jeffery Mark Motorsport, Anderson Racing, PDM Racing, Walker Racing, HVM Racing, Rahal Letterman Racing, Panther Racing, Davey Hamilton Racing, ELFF Racing, Guthrie Racing, American Spirit Racing, and a whole list of part time teams. Turnover has been terrible, with all the past teams leaving to the point where we have four teams. Not to say part time entries won't happen this year, because they will, but the amount of teams currently invested in Indy Lights is shocking.

So what do we do and where do we go from here? That is for Indycar Management and Tony George Jr. (who is the director of Indy Lights) to decide. Perhaps provide an incentive to teams in Indycar to run a Lights team? Also, a new chassis would be very appealing to teams and drivers everywhere to jump in. What happens? Time will tell.

Let me know what you think.

-Matthew Hickey

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