Honda introduced a new engine at PRI 2015
Photo by the author
At a press conference held Friday December 11 at the Honda Performance Development (HPD) booth at the 2105 PRI (Performance Racing Industry) show in Indianapolis, HPD introduced their newest more powerful turbocharged engine for the 2016 Formula Lites series. Speakers at the press conference included HPD’s manager of Commercial Motorsports Jeff Barrow, Group-A Racing team manger Jonathon Scarallo, 18-year old Group-A Racing development driver Jackie Ding, and retired IndyCar driver Derek Daly.
A view of the Formula Lites machine. Photo courtesy of Formula Lites
The Formula Lites series, founded by Dennis McCormack debuted in 2015 as a cost-effective reliable professional driver development racing series with a Crawford Composites FL15 chassis built to FIA Formula 3 series specifications powered by the four-cylinder Honda K24 racing engine similar to the USAC midget ‘spec’ engine riding on Fikse wheels shod with Pirelli tires. The inaugural season featured six weekends of racing with two races a weekend for a total of twelve races. For 2016, Formula Lites will expand to an eight weekend – sixteen race schedule, with the location of two of the venues yet to be announced.
The 2016 Formula Lites car on display at PRI 2015.
photos by the author
Honda Performance Development established in 1993, is the United States based racing arm of Honda with over 150 employees at two locations in Santa Clarita California and Brownsburg Indiana. Jeff Barrow, HPD’s manager of Commercial Motorsports, introduced the crowd around the PRI 2015 booth to the new Honda engine for the 2016 Formula Lites series- the HPD 2-liter dual overhead camshaft four-cylinder ‘next-generation’ K20 122 cubic inch engine with turbocharging, estimated to produce 260 horsepower.
Group-A Racing team manger Jonathon Scarallo reported that his team had competed in the entire 2015 Formula Lites series with Mexican driver Jose Armida and Chinese driver Jackie Ding and the pair scored 15 podium finishes and two race wins.
Jackie Ding in action in a Formula Lites car in 2015.
Photo courtesy of Jackie Ding
Jackie Ding started racing just two seasons ago as he got his start in the Skip Barber Regional Series before he stepped up to SCCA Pro Racing with Group-A Racing sponsored by Huawei, EVE Energy, and Zone District Clothing. During the 2015 Formula Lites season, Ding recorded nine top five finishes and one race win. After praising the adjustable aerodynamics of the Crawford chassis, Ding announced that he would be returning the Formula Lites series with more horsepower in 2106. “I’m very excited to be back with Group-A Racing and campaigning in Formula Lites” said Ding “Everyone at Group-A helped me ever since the beginning of my career, and I fully appreciate what they have done for me. With one year of experience in the Crawford FL15 already, I can’t wait to go out and fight for this year’s Formula Lites title.”
Derek Daly announced that he would be present a one-hour no-cost seminar at the PRI show on Saturday morning for young drivers and their parents entitled “What If It’s You?” Daly has a great understanding of the challenges and opportunities that young drivers face when transitioning from grassroots racing to the professional ranks. Daly’s program lays out a five-year development plan that develops skills for “the complete package ,” and how drivers need to position themselves for success with teams and manufacturers.
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