High Performance Group, along with Crawford Composites, LLC, has announced the formation of the Formula Lites series and the debut of the Formula Lites Crawford (FL15) chassis. This collaboration brings High Performance Group's Dennis McCormack, a 43-year motorsports veteran and former Indy car team owner and SCORE Baja Champion driver Ryan Arciero, together with Max Crawford of Crawford Composites, LLC, a leader in designing and producing autoclaved composites for the racing industry.
The series, sanctioned by SCCA Pro Racing and scheduled to launch in 2014 at select events with a full schedule in 2015, aims at developing drivers interested in entering professional motorsports, including those who seek to make the leap from karting to open-wheel racing.
"The Formula Lites series provides economy, available resources and an emphasis on safety while giving drivers the opportunity to develop their skills to progress into higher levels of open-wheel racing," said McCormack. "SCCA Pro Racing was a natural partner for us, having worked so closely with them in the Volkswagen Jetta TDI Cup program. They have a strong commitment and track record in driver development."
Created in Crawford Composites' 48,000-sq.-ft. facility in Denver, N.C. by the company's design team, led by chief designer Andy Scriven, the Formula Lites carbon composite chassis is built to FIA F3 2014 technical regulations. Scriven focused on state-of-the-art technology to produce a competitively priced, innovative and exciting chassis to pilot. The new FL15 has exceptional electronics and paddleshift designed by Crawford Composites' in-house Controls Group.
The FL15 is powered by a 2-liter, 210hp turbo Volkswagen engine. Pirelli is supplying tires, ensuring the same quality and consistency afforded to Formula 1 racing is also present in Formula Lites. Sports car racing legend and renowned driver, Elliott Forbes-Robinson, is overseeing the test drive program. Each vehicle will be 100 percent ready to race when driven off of Crawford Composites' lot.
"Crawford Composites is very proud to announce the release of the new Crawford FL15 single-seater," said Max Crawford. "The Formula Lites concept has been in the making for the past two years and we are very pleased to partner with Dennis and Felicia McCormack of High Performance Group. They have brought together very powerful partners in Pirelli and Volkswagen."
SCCA Pro Racing President Tom Campbell added: "Pirelli has enjoyed a wonderful working relationship with Dennis McCormack and Ryan Arciero and we are quite excited to see this project come together so we can get back on the track together again. The opportunity to develop our platform for open-wheel engagements in North America is important for our future growth locally and is a logical extension of what our motorsport organization is doing globally."