Pirelli Formula Lites® Championship Series Releases Expanded 2016 Schedule
— Eight Weekend, 16-Race Campaign To Include Stops At Road Atlanta and Homestead-Miami Speedway —
(February 18, 2015) — As the long cold days of winter make way to the promise of spring, the newly renamed Pirelli Formula Lites® Championship Series today released its 2016 racing schedule in preparation for its second SCCA Pro season. The news comes just days after Formula Lites organizers announced that the high-tech,open-wheel series has secured title sponsorship from renowned international tire manufacturer Pirelli.
For 2016, series’ participants can look forward to an expanded schedule that features a 16-race championship season comprised of eight separate race weekends. From the first weekend of May through the second weekend of October, Pirelli Formula Lites racers will compete in seven states at a variety of world-class professional and boutique tracks. In last year’s inaugural season, the Honda-powered Formula Lites FL-15 cars began the series’ legacy with six races — a year that witnessed 16-year-old Brazilian Vini Papareli claim the first annual “Justin Wilson Series Champion” trophy.
Any race series promoter will tell you one of the most crucial elements in long-term success is putting together great event schedules,” shared series Co-Managing Partner Dennis McCormack. “There needs to be just the right blend of sustainability and growth, especially when new teams and drivers are an important cornerstone to your business model. We feel our new 2016 Pirelli Formula Lites schedule offers that ideal balance.”
The picturesque and challenging 2.54-mile circuit of Road Atlanta will play host to two stops on the 2016 Pirelli Formula Lites tour, including the season kick-off on May 6-7. Known as one of the most demanding race tracks in North America, Road Atlanta’s long history incorporates professional sports car racing of all kinds, including international competition via its annual “Petit LeMans” endurance event. On September 17-18 the series’ will return to Road Atlanta for the penultimate round of Formula Lites competition.
A trip to southern Florida and Homestead-Miami Speedway offers a showcase for the final round of racing on the 2016 Pirelli Formula Lites schedule. Home to the NASCAR Sprint Cup series come November, Homestead-Miami Speedway combines some of the circuit’s high-banked oval as part of a 2.21-mile road circuit housed within the facility’s carefully-groomed 600 acres.
The Pirelli Formula Lites Championship series will also make its first appearance at Brainerd International Raceway (Brainerd, Minn.) and Autobahn Country Club (Joliet, Ill.), while returning for a second year to Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park (Thompson, Conn.), New Jersey Motorsports Park (Millville, NJ.), and MSR Houston (Angleton, Tex.).
Taking a successful page from its 2015 playbook, this season Pirelli Formula Lights will incorporate other SCCA Pro events into action-packed race weekends, including three appearances with the American sedan-based Trans-Am Series (New Jersey, Brainerd and Homestead-Miami). The SCCA’s new F4 open-wheel series will also enjoy first-year exposure at Formula Lites weekends at New Jersey, Road Atlanta (September race) and Homestead-Miami.
“We have worked hard to fulfill the wishes of our teams, drivers and corporate partners in organizing a Formula Lites schedule that is world-class but also financially viable,” explained Co-Managing Partner Ryan Arciero. “With the help of many people at all eight of this season’s venues, we are proud to have delivered a schedule that really builds upon the successes of last year. 2016 is going to be really fun for all of us.”
An innovative open-wheel concept, the “Pirelli Formula Lites Championship Series” enjoyed a successful inaugural year in 2015 thanks to the support of a pioneering group of teams and racers — along with an enviable long list of top-tier corporate partners. The Crawford Composites FL-15 chassis performed flawlessly all season long. Pirelli’s enhanced commitment to Formula Lites® came after engine supplier Honda Performance Development (HPD) announced their support of an upgraded powerplant at the Performance Racing Industry (PRI) show.
Updates and news on the Formula Lites series can be found at www.formulalites.com.
2016 Pirelli Formula Lites Championship Series Schedule
May 6-7 Road Atlanta
May 20-21 Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park Thompson, CT
June 11-12 New Jersey Motorsports Park Millville, New Jersey
July 2-3 Brainerd International Raceway
Aug. 20-21 Autobahn Country Club Juliet, Illinois
Sept. 10-11 MSR Houston Angleton, Texas
Sept. 17-18 Road Atlanta Braselton, Georgia