Open-wheel racing is almost always incredibly exciting to watch, whether it's the constant passing of the Indy 500 on an oval or the technological tour-de-force from Formula 1. However, both of those disciplines are essentially impossible for a normal person to enter. Of course, there are already cheaper, more amateur-friendly open-wheel competitions, like Formula Vee. A new SCCA Pro Racing series called Formula Lites aims to be a step in the ladder between those, offering a development opportunity to young drivers who want to be professionals.
The series already has some impressive backers. One of the biggest needs is now filled, as Honda has signed on as the engine supplier. All of the cars in Formula Lites will use the company's K24 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine. The automaker didn't specify power output for the competition engine, but in production models the K24 has made in the neighborhood of 190-200 horsepower in many applications. That should make the racers plenty potent.

All of the cars are using the new carbon fiber FL15 chassis from Crawford Composites, and Pirelli is the series' tire supplier. The organizers' goal for the cars is to keep racing costs down, while offering a reliable platform. Formula Lites plans to start racing with a few events later in 2014, and the full calendar begins in 2015. Scroll down to read the full announcement about Honda's involvement.
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Formula Lites Selects Honda Power
05/14/2014 - SANTA CLARITA, Calif.

Engine paired with Crawford FL15 carbon composite chassis

Next step in Honda development ladder from karting and Formula F


Honda Performance Development is pleased that it has been selected to supply Honda's production 2.4-liter, four-cylinder Honda K24 engine to power the new Formula Lites chassis being produced by Crawford Composites for a new racing series promoted by High Performance Group.

Formula Lites is a new professional racing series, headed by motorsports veteran and HPG principals Dennis McCormack and Ryan Arciero, and sanctioned by SCCA Pro Racing. Scheduled to launch at select events in 2014, with a full schedule of events planned for 2015, the series is aimed at developing young, professional drivers.

"We couldn't be more impressed with this Formula Lites car and their plans for the series," said Jeff Barrow, HPD manager, commercial motorsports. "In working with HPG and Crawford Composites, it was their goal to keep costs down and reliability up. I'm happy to say that our production Honda K24 engine will meet their requirements for cost and reliability, and at the same time provide great power to this fantastic looking car. I would expect that many of our current Honda Racing Line participants would love to get behind the wheel of one!"

Created by a design team led by Crawford Composite's Andy Scriven at the company's Denver, N.C. headquarters, the Formula Lites carbon composite chassis is built to current FIA Formula 3 technical regulations, including state-of-the-art electronics and an in-house designed paddleshift transmission system.

"Crawford Composites is absolutely delighted to have one of our long-standing partners, Honda Performance Development, providing the engines for the new Crawford FL15," said Max Crawford, president of Crawford Composites. "HPD produces some of the top engines in motorsports, and their long-standing commitment to auto racing has been tremendous. Together, the Crawford FL15 will be exceptionally affordable and, at the same time, a high tech vehicle enabling young drivers to continue to elevate their racing skills in the new Formula Lites series."

Series organizer High Performance Group is headed by racing veteran Dennis McCormack, who began his motorsports career in 1968. Working his way up through the ranks as a mechanic, crew chief, team manager and eventually an Indy car team owner with the formation of McCormack Motorsports.

"We are pleased to announce HPD as the official engine supplier to the Formula Lites series," said Dennis McCormack. "HPD is a leader in motorsports development and has a history of promoting grass roots racing. Their commitment to Formula Lites will give drivers an opportunity to take the next step in professional racing."

More information on the Formula Lites Series and the Crawford FL15 can be found at www.formulalites.com and on FaceBook at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Formula-Lites/298281660322794.

About Honda Performance Development
HPD was founded in 1993 as the performance arm of American Honda Motor Company. Today, HPD offers a line of race engines for track applications from karting and Quarter Midgets up to Indy cars and prototype sports cars; and showcases "fun to drive" products for professional, amateur and entry-level efforts.

No other manufacturer has matched Honda's success in IndyCars, which includes 205 race victories, 15 drivers' championships, six manufacturers' championships and nine consecutive Indianapolis 500 victories (2004-2012). In 2013, Honda powered veteran Scott Dixon to four race wins and the 2013 IZOD IndyCar Series championship; and Tristan Vautier to series Rookie of the Year honors.

HPD's prototype racing efforts have resulted in more than 70 victories and multiple American Le Mans Series engine, chassis, team, and drivers' championships.The company's sports-car racing debut in 2007 at the 12 Hours of Sebring marked the first win for HPD's LM-V8 engine and the first for a Honda racing engine designed and developed outside of Japan. HPD won the LMP2 title in the inaugural 2012 World Endurance Championship and since 2010 has twice won the LMP2 category at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

In 2013, HPD and Honda again swept the LMP1 and LMP2 manufacturers', engine, team and drivers' championships in the American Le Mans Series; while HPD-equipped Strakka Racing claimed the LMP1 private team class win at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

HPD participates in competition on both two wheels and four. The company offers a complete line of race and crate engines. Its customers range from grass roots to pinnacle motorsports. For more information about HPD and the company's racing and street performance product lines, please visit http://hpd.honda.com.

For images of the Honda K24 race engine and Formula Lights chassis, go to:
http://broadcast.sportssystems.com/hosting/display.cfm?key=101710


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 11 Comments
      EZen
      • 7 Months Ago
      Does seem like an awfully tall motor for this application but at least it's based on a production engine with plenty of aftermarket support. My first thought was the new Formula Ford engine. To be honest, Formula Vee isn't a stepping stone for almost anyone. Most will go to Formula FST (First) and then to Formula Ford. The new FF engine is 1.0L, 200hp and the new cars have aero. It's the perfect step to higher formula cars like Formula Renault 2.0, 3.5, GP3, etc.
      mary.keana
      • 6 Months Ago
      LOL, looks like yonomo200 has been banned again.
      Hedo D
      • 7 Months Ago
      So Honda has Formula Lite with 2.4L engine and Crawford composite frame car. They also have SCCA Formula Ford 1600 using Honda Fit 1.5L engine. How much will it cost to run the Formula Lite per team?