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Formula Lites(April 13, 2015) -- What began in 2014 as a worldwide launch at the automotive industry’s largest tradeshow has now blossomed into one of motorsports’ true success stories as the new SCCA Pro Formula Lites series prepares for its inaugural season.

Last November, Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) show attendees, industry experts and a host of media witnessed the first Formula Lites Crawford FL-15 car unveiled at the always-impressive Pirelli Tire booth. Now, just five months later, the Formula Lites series is enjoying positive and tangible growth as its 2015 class of racers and teams prepare for their first race in May.

The brainchild of series' partners Dennis McCormack and Ryan Arciero, with design and manufacturing by Max Crawford and Crawford Composites, Formula Lites was created to fill a longtime void in the United States open-wheel market, incorporating the latest technology, high-quality engineering and a price point that offers a modern racing experience at a sensible purchase and operating cost.

With the revitalized 1.7-mile road circuit of Connecticut’s Thompson Speedway serving as picturesque backdrop, at the end of May the first of a six weekend, 12-race schedule will kick-off Formula Lite’s first season. Sanctioned by Sports Car Club of America’s (SCCA) Pro division, the fledgling series is being bolstered thanks to the commitment and support of strong teams and a growing list of driving talent. 

From the onset, series management was committed to the daunting task of building 20 all carbon-fiber, Honda-powered FL-15 chassis at Crawford Composites' state-of-the-art facility located in Denver, North Carolina. To date, over half of these cars have been purchased, with several more expected to fill the first Formula Lites grid at Thompson Speedway. 
“We’ve been incredibly fortunate to have been surrounded by so much support so early in the growth of this concept,” explained Formula Lites Managing Co-Partner Ryan Arciero. “From our close relationship with Crawford Composites to corporate partners to the SCCA to some very enthusiastic teams and drivers, a growing Formula Lites family is laying a solid foundation for 2015 and beyond.” 
Designed and manufactured to the latest F3 FIA safety specs, the new FL-15 monocoque envelops a 2.4-liter, 16-valve Honda engine and a six-speed sequential gearbox featuring pneumatic paddle shifting. The high-tech approach to open-wheel racing has attracted support and technical partnerships with Pirelli, Honda/HPD, PFC Brakes, Eibach Springs, Fikse Wheels, Bosch and Impact Race Products. 

Perhaps not surprisingly, the collective decades of experience and top-tier suppliers have led to immediate results on the race track as well. At the series' first open test days held March 14 and 15 at Carolina Motorsports Park, three teams and four FL-15s successfully logged impressive laps around the challenging 2.27-mile circuit. All three teams enjoyed a promising first outing with no engine, drivetrain, suspension or chassis issues to report.

As part of the weekend, Formula LItes test drivers Elliott-Forbes Robinson and Dane Cameron were on hand help in the initial shake-down. They offered both years of experience to facilitate initial chassis set-up and, afterward, mutual praise for the potential of the new car and the entire series. 
"Given the difficulty of getting a new series like this off the ground, we never underrated the importance of having a strong, competitive and reliable package right out of the box,” added series Managing Co-Partner Dennis McCormack. “We owe that to all of the teams making an investment in this new venture. I am happy to report that Formula Lites has been able to deliver on that promise, and we are just getting started.” 


The passion and determination to capture the checkered flag and a championship is a multifaceted and intertwined mission. Drivers, mechanics, engineers, and team owners strive to push the limits in order to achieve success. However, the dream of a championship victory should not begin and end with an over inflated budget.

The Formula Lites series was created to provide an economical, technologically advanced race vehicle with an emphasis on safety, to give drivers the opportunity to develop their skills to progress into higher levels of open-wheel racing.

The series, sanctioned by SCCA Pro Racing is scheduled to launch at the end of 2014 at select events with a full schedule in 2015. The Formula Lites program aims at developing drivers interested in entering professional motorsports, including those who seek to make the leap from karting to open-wheel racing.

The formation of the Formula Lites series and the debut of the Crawford Formula Lites (FL15) chassis is a collaboration between Dennis McCormack, a 43-year motorsports veteran, Ryan Arciero, a SCORE Baja Champion driver, and Max Crawford of Crawford Composites, LLC, the designer and manufacturer of the carbon composite Formula Lites vehicle.

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