Tim Crawford, father of young American driver Jak Crawford who competes in the FIA Formula 3 Championship, has postponed his plans to assemble a new Indy Lights team for the 2023 season. Along with searching for Indy Lights equipment to buy, the Texas-based businessman has been active within the NTT IndyCar Series paddock in recent months in search of connection that would create a Road to Indy bridge for its drivers.
Working with veteran team owner and team principal Rick Gorne on the project, Crawford has been rumored to have a strong European angle to the initiative that could include employing a Formula 2 team to lead to the program. Crawford’s son Jak — the 17-year-old Red Bull junior team driver who earned two top-10 finishes last weekend at Silverstone — is not involved in the Indy Lights plans.
“He’s set for F2 next year,” Crawford told RACER. “We’re in Austria right now and this has nothing to do with Jak. We’re putting a group together, we’ve been talking to IndyCar teams, and then we had a European team that was coming over. We’re financed, but we just decided today to pull the plug on it today for an Indy Lights team because we can’t get the equipment and everything put together quickly enough. It’s a supply chain problem, to be honest, with getting new Dallara tubs.”
Crawford will look to 2024 as the next opportunity to launch the team.
“It’s me and Rick Gorne, and we’re gonna take a couple months off and then hit it again,” he said. “We’ve got a really cool platform planned. It’s Euro-based; we’re not trying to poach anybody from the States, or from the Indy Lights or Road to Indy grid. There’s plenty of drivers over here that we can pull over to the Road to Indy. We’ll just do it the following year.”
With his son’s career advancing on its own, Crawford says starting an Indy Lights team — which adds to some of his other motorsports ventures — is a perfect fit for this stage of life.
“I have a big kart facility in Houston and I own two tracks and some other stuff like that, so it’s just an extension of trying to get out of my kid’s business,” he added. “Red Bull’s taking more control over his racing, and I can’t be as involved anymore so it’s me finding an outlet. And then Rick and I have known each other for a long time and were the architects of the whole thing, putting all the pieces together for a team.”