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Everything that was designed for

IndyCar in terms of safety and worked

was implemented on the Indy Lights, if

the rulebook allows. Regarding the

safety aspect, the car is actually a mini-

IndyCar. The project is managed by Dan

Anderson, who is a racing manufacturer

and fan and imagined the ladder to the

IndyCar. An educational program for

mechanics, drivers and engineers that

can take them up to the IndyCar Series.

He and Tony Cotman, the Technical and

Race Director for the Indy Lights, kept

in contact with Antonio Montanari and

his team while they designed and built

the car. It's a very interesting project,

and a less complicated one from the

"political" standpoint because there are

no manufacturers involved. We

submitted some renderings explaining

the possible solutions to Anderson, and

he chose what he defined "sexy car". We

already delivered several units. Last

week 3 or 4 left to complete the first 10-

car bench that will be testing on the 16

and 17th of December at Palm Beach


The start of the season will be on

March 28th at St. Petersburg, Florida,

and the addition of prestigious British

team Carlin Motorsport is something to

rely on.


I can anticipate that there will be a

great field at St. Petersburg

- confirms

De Ponti -

and the arrival of Carlin

Motorsport is great. It shows that they

found in Indy Lights the right package

for their USA activities. And it definitely

opened the door to more additions. The

way of imagining racing in the USA is

different compared to Europe. The

average American is conservative and

once there is a good product, is kept for

years and years. There is slightly less

development and innovation compared

to Europe, but it's a successful business



The Indy Lights project also represents

an interesting opportunity from a

driver's point of view as it deviates

from the original project. «

The Indy

Lights spirit was created in 2002 - the

previous car was delivered that year and

lasted until the 2014 season - and the

goal was to draw drivers from Sprint

Car racing and bring them to single

seaters and NASCAR. For several

reasons, this plan didn't work. Thanks

to an external promoter like Dan

Anderson, the championship is now

looking forward to a new path. It's a

good instrument to learn the driving

technique on the ovals - don't forget

that the Indy 500 is still the main

race of the IndyCar season - and to

familiarize with the American circuits

that are very different from the

european ones in terms of layout,

bumps and type of asphalt. The

arrival of Carlin means that the the

American way of racing is getting

rediscovered. The classic approach was

like: in America you race on ovals,

with concrete walls that can get you

hurt. But we must not forget that

Indy Lights is still the second fastest

series in the world, with one-hour

races and average speeds of 185-189

miles per hour. A good Indy driver

must learn how to drive fast with 15

or 16 drivers at his sides, relying on

his spotter, who tells him what

happens around him from the

grandstands and also suggest the race

strategy. This is a completely

unknown element in Europe, and it

surely increases the competence level

of a driver


The Indy Lights development project

was also able to benefit from the

Dallara Simulator installed earlier

this year in its American version.


The Simulator goes really well


confirms De Ponti -

and we are using

it a lot. In these days we are

planning an Open Day with a car

model available to drivers and

engineers of Indy Lights and Formula

Mazda. In addition to that, Louis

Scwitzer's nephew will be presenting a

plate dedicated to his grandfather


Dallara is each day more committed

to extra-racing projects and there is

plenty of work for De Ponti and his


Stefano De Ponti,

Head of Operations,

Dallara Usa,

Together with Al Unser

and Andrea Toso

in front of the

brand-new simulator


in Indianapolis