FORMULA LITES® SERIES TO MAKE HONDA POWERPLANT UPGRADE
December 17, 2015 by Formula Lites(December 16, 2015)
-- With the 27th annual Performance Racing Industry (PRI) serving as a highly appropriate backdrop, Honda Performance Development (HPD) on Friday announced its long-term commitment to the Formula Lites series by unveiling a new engine package for 2016 and beyond. Working with Formula Lites and chassis supplier Crawford Composites, HPD plans to provide their new Honda Civic-based K20-series engine as a replacement for the current K24 used with great success in this year's Formula Lites debut season.
Powerful and compact, the powerplant is a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder currently found in European models of the Honda Civic® Type-R®. A retrofitted Formula Lites Crawford FL-15 chassis and K20 Honda engine package was unveiled at the Honda/HPD booth today as part of the announcement, complete with a striking new series graphics scheme.
The announcement also signals a significant boost in power, torque and performance for future Formula Lites teams and drivers. While final horsepower ratings and launch date have yet to be determined, the flexibility and efficiency of the new turbocharged K20 will be well above the current K24 Formula Lite rating of 220 horsepower. The increased performance will easily be adopted into the current Formula Lites chassis and drivetrain, which was originally designed by Crawford for even greater reliability and cost-effectiveness demands.
Friday's announcement also further defines Formula Lites' unique step on Honda's American open-wheel racing ladder, with the recently announced Formula 4 program serving as the entry point. Both series sharing the Formula Lites' created Crawford FL-15 carbon fiber chassis, but the F4 platform currently houses a naturally-aspirated Honda K20 2.0-liter engine, producing the FIA-mandated 158 horsepower.
By contrast, the now-proven Formula Lites series will offer the additional K20 turbocharged horsepower, an aerodynamic bodywork package that offers far greater downforce and adjustability, suspension and shock tuning, as well as a state-of-the art digital dashboard/steering wheel and data acquisition.
Both series also share the corporate and technical support of Pirelli Tires, a supporter of the Formula Lites concept from the project's onset.
'This announcement is an exciting next step in the evolution of our Formula Lites series,' explained Co-Managing Partner Dennis McCormack. 'Our rapidly growing list of teams and drivers for the 2016 season will now experience an even more cutting-edge Formula Lites race car that builds on a nearly bullet-proof package. Honda's willingness and ability to provide such a great engine upgrade is a testament to their commitment to our vision of world-class open-wheel racing at an affordable cost.'
In addition to today's announcement, Formula Lites expects to release a final 2016 race schedule over the coming weeks, as well as additional corporate partnership news.
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Updates and news on the Formula Lites series can be found at www.formulalites.com.
Designed and manufactured to F3 FIA safety specs, the Formula Lites FL-15 monocoque houses a turbocharged 2.0-liter, 16-valve Honda engine and a six-speed sequential gearbox featuring pneumatic paddle shifters. As was the case in 2015, the high-tech approach to open-wheel racing will enjoy support and technical partnerships with Pirelli, Honda/HPD, PFC Brakes, Eibach Springs, Bosch, Fikse Wheels, Impact Race Products and Bruce High Performance Transporters.