Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires is the final step of the Mazda Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires – a progression of series leading to the Verizon IndyCar Series (the AAA series of the minors to IndyCar as the majors in baseball terms). Each year, the Indy Lights champion is awarded a scholarship to use toward IndyCar which guarantees competing in three races including the Indianapolis 500 the following season. The season is a blend of five road courses, two street circuits and three ovals with six doubleheader rounds. All events are in support of the Verizon IndyCar Series with the crown jewel of the season being the Freedom 100 which occurs on Carb Day in May on the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval.
A 2.0-liter turbocharged Mazda MZR-R (developed in conjunction with AER) produces 450 HP with 50 HP push-to-pass high-speed overtaking. The new Mazda engine is capable of running the full season without a rebuild.
The Dallara IL-15 was a new chassis for the 2015 season and features a single-seat, open-wheel chassis similar to the DW-12, also produced by Dallara, which is used in the Verizon IndyCar Series. The new IL-15 features paddle shifters and push-to-pass.
Cooper Tires is the sole supplier of tires in all series of the Mazda Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires.