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Nissan DeltaWing

Nissan DeltaWing

For roughly two years now, the DeltaWing has been in the works and just recently it received its most major corporate sponsors in the form of Nissan and Michelin. The DeltaWing is all set to make its debut race at the 80th running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans in the “Garage 56” class, but before it can make that run, the car needs to be tested and said testing has just been completed.

In the DeltaWing’s inaugural run on Circuit de la Sarthe, it completed a total of 54 laps. Through those laps, the Delta Wing really showed off one of its main benefits; its ability to use tires for longer periods of time, as it almost completed all 54 laps on the same set of tires. The only time the tires were changed was when it started to rain, so the pit crew changed it into a set of rain tires.

The second benefit of the DeltaWing’s technology, its fuel efficiency, was not mentioned, but we are certain that it was far better than the other classes of cars that run in Le Mans. The fastest lap that the DeltaWing pulled off in testing was 3:47.980, which would put it right on pace with the LMP2 class – the second highest class in the race – as the fastest lap in 2011 LMP2 class ranged from 3:42.625 to 3:55.254, putting it square in the middle of the LMP2 pack. Given the fact that it requires less pit stops for fuel and tires, this experimental car just might place highly in the race, if it finishes. We know that it will definitely win its class, as it’s the only entrant in the “Garage 56” class.

This definitely makes this year’s Le Mans, which starts on June 16th, even more worth watching just to see how this experiment pans out.

Posted on by Brad Anderson 4

Not only does the Nissan DeltaWing prototype resemble something out of batman rather than a racer which will take up a grid position at this year’s Le Mans 24 Hours, but it may also suggest what the future of racing could look like. Unfortunately for many motoring enthusiasts, that does include the elongated, tapered front end and the aircraft inspired hind quarters.

However, the effectiveness of this design will not be proven until after the Le Mans endurance race and despite the car being largely experimental, the guys over at Top Gear recently teamed up with English car customizer, Andy Saunders, to produce a replica of the DeltaWing concept.

Andy Saunders is no rookie when it comes to producing the weird and wacky , and his very own DeltaWing will be testament to the belief that what’s worth doing, is worth overdoing. In order to create the one-off piece of art, Saunders will search the scrap heap for components which not only resemble certain elements of the original but can also be tweaked to get the look just right.

So far, Saunders has borrowed the wheels from a Ford Mondeo , the rear axle from a Ford Escort , and has combined components from the Fiat 126 and Morris 1000 bonnet to shape the rear deck of the car.

And that list will continue to grow as the rear pod sections will be created from old Mazda MX-5 bumpers, while the “DeltaWing kick-ups on the rear” will be formed around the air intakes of Australia’s last F1 champion, Alan Jones’ 1975 Formula One racer.

It’s currently unclear what engine, drivetrain, and transmission Saunders plans to utilize for the car, but you can be sure of two things: they’ll be recycled and when finished, the Top Gear DeltaWing will be significantly heavier, less powerful, and slower than the real racer.

Nonetheless, we respect Saunders’ ambition and wish him all the best!

Source: Top Gear

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