Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Indy Lights hit the streets of St. Petersburg

The Indy Racing League's developmental series is starting its season in Florida once again. The only change is the venue. The Indy Lights Series, formerly known as Indy Pro, is making its season debut in St. Petersburg instead of Homestead. There will be two Indy Lights races at the St. Petersburg Grand Prix, at 4:45 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. Sunday. The Indy Lights has become a feeder system for drivers and many others. Marco Andretti, Ed Carpenter and A.J. Foyt IV got their start in the developmental series.

How it works

An Indy Lights car looks similar to its IndyCar counterpart but has some differences. An IndyCar has a minimum weight of 1,630 pounds on street and road courses, not including fuel and driver; an Indy Lights car has a minimum weight of 1,430. The fuel capacity is 22 gallons on an IndyCar, 25 on an Indy Lights car. Both series run V-8 engines; an IndyCar engine produces about 650 horsepower at 10,300 rpm; in the Indy Lights it's around 450 horsepower at 8,200 rpm.

Healthy numbers

The Indy Lights had 17 car-and-driver combinations in open testing last month at Homestead-Miami Speedway. And there are 28 entries for this weekend's races in St. Petersburg. That exceeds the 22.6 car average for races in 2008. The field for the Indy Lights races in St. Petersburg includes Ana Beatriz, J.R. Hildebrand and James Davison.

A diverse class

The rookie class comes from all kinds of racing. Junior Strous is coming from the Atlantic series, the former Champ Car feeder. Pippa Mann previously raced in the World Series by Renault. Martin Plowman is a former Formula 3 Euro Series driver. Gustavo Yacaman is moving from Spanish F3. And Sebastian Saavedra switched from German F3.

Local flavor

Odessa-based Team E Racing was impressive in the Indy Lights series last season, winning at the Milwaukee Mile and finishing second at Nashville Superspeedway en route to being named the New Team of the Year. Team E is back for another season in Indy Lights, only this time with a new driver. Owner Neil Enerson replaced Bobby Wilson with former Champ Car driver Jan Heylen. Last season, Wilson set the fastest race lap ever for an Indy Lights car at Indianapolis at 191.466 mph.

Local flavor II

Also competing in this weekend's Indy Lights races is St. Petersburg resident Jay Howard, who won the former Indy Pro Series as a rookie in 2006. Three years ago, Howard finished third in one race and second in another in St. Petersburg.

Indy Lights hit the streets of St. Petersburg 04/02/09 [Last modified: Thursday, April 2, 2009 8:06pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. FSU, Gators, USF and Miami all in Athlon preseason top 25

    Blogs

    The college football preseason magazines are trickling in, as our Joey Knight wrote earlier.

  2. Bucs' Jameis Winston rising in fantasy football rankings

    Blogs

    We're still probably three months away from most fantasy football drafts, but it's not too early to appreciate that Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston has taken a major step up in the rankings entering his third NFL season.

    Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston is ranking much higher in fantasy football rankings entering his third NFL season.
  3. A new look at the top of women's tennis: It's wide open

    Tennis

    ROME — Asked Sunday if she believed, as the oddsmakers do, that she is the French Open favorite, Simona Halep dissented.

  4. Jake Odorizzi has a winning record for his career when pitching on five days of rest. He’s 12-9 in 34 starts. Pitching on a normal four days of rest, Odorizzi is 15-17 in 34 starts. On six or more days rest he is 6-6 in 18 starts.
  5. Sebastien Bourdais has surgery, likely out for rest of IndyCar season (w/ video)

    Auto racing

    INDIANAPOLIS — IndyCar driver Sebastien Bourdais is recovering from pelvis surgery after his car slammed into a barrier, and he is expected to miss the rest of the season.

    Sebastien Bourdais wrecks during Indy 500 qualifying, resulting in fractures in his pelvis and a fractured right hip. He says he appreciates the support and well wishes.