F1 Rejects Indy Championship Series
The F1 Rejects Indy Championship Series is an American-based Open Wheeler series which was formed in 2015 after the merging of the then struggling IndyCar Series with the defunct Formula One Rejects Big Car Championship, after Texas billionaire Walther Williams bought both categories over the course of the 2014 season.
During the course of the 2014 season, open wheeler racing in America was on the ropes, as the formation of the Formula One Rejects Big Car Championship drove both it and the IndyCar series to breaking point. For months, it seemed like 2014 would be the last season in the rich and colourful history of American open wheelers until Texan real estate magnate Walter Williams purchased the IndyCar series in late August. When the Big Car series also collapsed that October, Williams bought the series as well, and made arrangement to merge the two categories together for the 2015 season. Whilst many of the Big Car championship teams survived the transition, virtually all the IndyCar teams were either bought out (Penske by MRT/McDoggle Racing, Andretti-Green by Mastercard Lola, Ganassi by Hydook, Newman/Haas by Plus One etc), moved to NASCAR full-time, or closed up shop altogether. With a new injunction of capital into the new combined series, many new manufacturers and suppliers threw their name into the hat to provide cars and engines for the new category, most notably the revival of the successful Reynard brand, this time owned by a group of Canadian investors headed up by The Fox as the chassis supplier for ArrowTech ART.
For 2015, teams had a choice between four chassis manufacturers (Lola, Reynard, Swift and Panoz), who each provided three different-spec chassis for the teams to buy at the request of Williams. The chassis were mostly from the old Big Car championship as Williams believed that they would provide a better spectacle for the fans, as opposed to the slower but more reliable Dallara DW12 from the IndyCar series. While the majority of the teams went for the relatively safe hands of Lola and Reynard, several organisations took the gamble with the lesser-known Swift and Panoz brands with considerable success, most notably Plus One and Cassidy Racing for Swift and Panoz respectively. For 2016, in order to keep the cost of spare parts down for the teams, each of the four manufacturers will supply only one specification chassis each.
In contrast to the chassis, the engine regulations for the first season was taken effectively from the IndyCar Rulebook. However, the major difference between the two engines was the capacity was beefed up to 2.6L for the 2015 season, as opposed to the 2.2L formula used by the IndyCar series. However, this didn't deter manufacturers from entering the series, as there were 8 engine manufacturers the teams could choose from for the 2015 season; Chevrolet, Honda, Ford, Toyota, Cosworth, Judd, Infiniti, and Aston Martin. With the exception of Aston Martin who went for the straight six arrangement, all the manufacturers went for the V6 configuration, although they were free to decide on either a single turbocharger or twin turbocharger designs.
In an effort to further distant itself from the troubled recent past of American open wheelers, Williams announced in mid-2015 that the capacity of the engines were to be further increased to 3.0L while maintaining the Turbocharged V6 formula. This proved to be a step too far for Aston Martin as they were forced to pull out of their engine program, citing a lack of interest from customers as the primary reason for their departure. In their place, Japanese manufacturer Mazda entered in their place with two designs in collaboration with Cosworth. The first was a conventional single turbocharger design based on the 2015 Cosworth powerplant, but the second design is a twin turbocharged diesel engine based on the same 2015 powerplant, which caught the imagination of the media and the attention of the ZimSport team, who promptly signed a deal with Mazda for the engine.
|Season||Winner||2nd Place||3rd Place||Nation's Champion|
|2015||Salvatore Miccoli (MasterCard Lola)||Dave Anderson (Mecha Grand Prix)||Kenan Ardaoglu (Volks Racing)||United States|
- The Nations Cup is the unoffical champion