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Cooper to replace Firestone as Indy Lights tyre supplier in 2014

Cooper to replace Firestone in 2014Cooper will replace Firestone as tyre supplier to Indy Lights from 2014.

The deal, which is expected to be confirmed early this week, forms part of the recently-announced plans to introduce updates to the current car for next year, with a view to those enhancements being carried over to the brand new car that is scheduled for 2015.

The change is the latest in a series of initiatives announced since control of the series was transferred from IndyCar to Dan Andersen and his company Andersen Promotions, which already has responsibility for USF2000 and Pro Mazda, the two most junior rungs on the Road to Indy ladder.

It also means that all three of the junior categories will use the same tyre manufacturer, with Cooper already active at the two lower levels.

A decision regarding who will manufacture the next-generation car will be made in the next three months, but the prospect of a revitalised series is already creating momentum among prospective entrants.

Bryan Herta Autosport entered a single car for last weekend's race at Mid-Ohio, and team owner Bryan Herta told AUTOSPORT that the new plans make a full-time effort more viable.

"It's a reset for everybody," he said. "If [in 2014] we have different tyres, different shocks, paddle shifters, it's going to change the car substantially enough that everybody is going to have to relearn their set-ups.

"That's a good opportunity for us to reboot our programme."

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