When Dr. Don Panoz, the man largely behind the DeltaWing Coupe , saw the BladeGlider Concept , he probably didn’t take too kindly to its design, something he believes infringed on the look of the DeltaWing project.
Apparently, Panoz believes Nissan did just that, and he’s taking to the courts to issue a cease-and-desist order on the BladeGlider and the ZEOD RC — another car that bears a striking similarity to the Delta Wing project. While this piece of news might come as a surprise to a lot of people, it was actually months in the making for Panoz, who already had reservations when Nissan came out with the ZEOD RC, months after pulling out of the DeltaWing project.
And with the BladeGlider bearing the same design — the long nose cone, the narrow front track, and the wider rear track — Panoz knew that action needed to be taken, and take action he did, naming Nissan motorsport boss, Darren Cox, and former DelaWing colleague, Ben Bowlby, as part of the lawsuit.
Now, filing a lawsuit and seeing something done about it are two different things. Panoz accomplished the first one pretty easily, claiming infringement of intellectual property rights on Nissan’s part. The second part, though, will still be a matter of how the courts treat the issue.
What we do know is that this battle between Nissan and DeltaWing is just getting started.
Click past the jump to read about the 2012 NIssan DeltaWing and the 2013 Nissan BladeGlider Concept
Nissan has dropped from the DeltaWing program, but this doesn’t spell the end of the racecar. Rather, DeltaWing Racing Cars announced the first details of its new DeltaWing Coupe that will compete in the American Le Mans Series later this year, possibly as early as at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in May.
The new DeltaWing Coupe has been specially designed to comply with the new 2014 LMP1 regulations and will include a new tub and wider driver greenhouse, and, of course, its new hardtop configuration. On the coupe version, the driver will sit in the middle of the cockpit, rather than on the left- or right-hand side.
Under the hood, the coupe will receive a new turbocharged 2.0-liter engine developed by Elan Motorsports Technologies. No official specifications have been released just yet, but we are hoping to see at least the same numbers as in the previous version: 300 horsepower, a sprint from 0 to 60 mph made in 3.3 seconds and a top speed of 196 mph.
Nissan DeltaWing is an amazing car that already scored great awards, like Popular Science’s "2012 Best of What’s New." The unique racecar is generally known as a Nissan project, but, in fact, Nissan is the company that offered the 1.6-liter engine and the body work only.
Today Nissan confirmed that it will not continue with the program, effective immediately. This leaves Don Panoz, the DeltaWings’ main man, loses one of the the most essential parts of his project: the engine. Don’t fret, however, as Panoz has announced that the DeltaWing will get more body and engine configurations.
The first change is a new 1.9-liter twin-turbo engine derived from Mazda’s MZR powerplant, which is set to be used in the Delta Wing used for next month’s Twelve Hours of Sebring. Additionally, a closed-top version will be unveiled in May at the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
Despite Nissan dropping the program, Don Panoz will continue with the car’s development and has hopes to produce three new units.
Though the Nissan DeltaWing has not done too much in the racing world yet, it certainly has gained its share of notoriety. The latest notoriety is likely one of its biggest achievements, as it was named to Popular Science’s "2012 Best of What’s New" list, which is included in the December 2012 printing of the magazine.
Popular Science releases this list every year, which contains 12 different categories and covers 100 new technologies, so making the cut is quite the achievement. We have certainly enjoyed watching the DeltaWing grow ever since it was just an unusual concept on a piece of paper, so its inclusion comes as no surprise to us. Even with its unusual proportions and relatively low power output, the DeltaWing has already run in the 2012 24 Hours of Le Mans, the Petite Le Mans and is set to run as a classified car in the 2013 American Le Mans Series.
While the 24 Hours of Le Mans race didn’t turn out too well, the Petit Le Mans ended very well, with the Delta Wing placing in the top five.
A belated congratulations to the DeltaWing crew on its fifth-place finish at the Petite Le Mans and a huge congratulations to it for this awesome recognition!
Click past the jump to red Nissan’s full press release on the award.
The rising gas prices have been impacting all of us for many years, but the world of racing seemed almost immune to these price hikes for many years. Well, with the price of fuel teetering in the $4-per-gallon range, even racing circuits are feeling the pinch at the pump. With this pinch and racing series also wanting to become more eco-friendly, they have almost all been looking into ways to modify their cars to fit this mold.
IndyCar and F1 have been at the forefront of these changes, and these changes spawned the birth of the DeltaWing in an attempt to infiltrate IndyCar in 2003. The DeltaWing was ultimately rejected by IndyCar, but its developers didn’t stop there, as they slowly worked toward getting it a spot in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, which it finally achieved in 2012. The Nissan DeltaWing, unfortunately, did not finish the 24 Hours of Le Mans , but its strong start did show that it had definite potential.
Now with the DeltaWing scheduled to run in the 2013 American Le Mans Series and taking home fifth place in the 2012 Petite Le Mans, the DeltaWing and its builders are well on their way of realizing their dreams. So what makes the DeltaWing so great?
Click past the jump to read our full review and learn what makes this odd-looking racecar so special.
The Nissan DeltaWing will race as a classified car in the 2013 ALMS, but a hiccup at the Petit Le Mans endurance race at Road Atlanta in Braselton, Ga, almost nipped those plans in the bud.
Despite scoring a very impressive time - it was only 4/10ths of a second slower than the fastest P2 car in sixth place on the time-sheet - the Delta Wing was struck violently in the left rear wheel by a Porsche GTC class car. The car scraped down the road on its side and then rolled over before suffering a heavy impact with the wall and landing back on its wheels. The impact was measured at 7Gs on the team’s telemetry system, but luckily, driver Gunnar Jeannette was not injured thanks to the car’s carbon-fiber survival-cell.
The DeltaWing suffered serious damages first from the Porsche’s hit, then from the rollover and wall hit. The good news is that, in less than 24 hours, the Nissan DeltaWing team managed to repair the car and it is now ready for Saturday’s Petit Le Mans event - the final round of the 2012 American Le Mans Series..
We all witnessed history, as the eco-friendly, 300-horsepower Nissan DeltaWing competed in the 2012 24 Hours of Le Mans , and actually competed well until it was disabled following an accident. In that race, the DeltaWing was more of an honorary entry, running as “unclassified” and not really eligible to win even if it had crossed the finish line with the best lap time.
That is all about to change come the 2013 American Le Mans Series, as the DeltaWing will be a part of this series as a classified contender. This means that it can earn points and can theoretically win the championship title. In addition to that big news, we get another glimpse of the DeltaWing in action as it runs the 2012 Petit Le Mans race as an unclassified entrant at Road Atlanta on October 21st.
IMSA will use the DeltaWing’s performance in the 1,000-mile Petit Le Mans to setup rules for this unusual craft and also to classify it properly. We’ll keep a close eye on how the DeltaWing does in Atlanta and what rules ALMS places on the Nissan-sponsored racecar.
The DeltaWing , which most people know as the “Nissan ” DeltaWing, took a run at the Le Mans series and was doing well until a wreck put it out of commission. What some people may not know is the fact that the group that put together the DeltaWing were originally attempting to put it into play in the INDYCAR series. That never happened, and the rest is history.
With the Indy Lights series gaining some notoriety and its base chassis, the Dallara , getting on in age, Indy is now seeking a new manufacturer to build a base chassis to replace its aging unit. Now the entire group, less Nissan, is pitching the Delta Wing to become the successor to the Dallara. To achieve this task and even be considered for Indy Lights, the group needs to fit the DeltaWing with the required paddle shifting capability, upgraded data systems, and alternative fuel considerations.
Overall, the DeltaWing looks like it would be a shoe-in, if it can get those few requirements taken care of. However, there are five or six total entrants trying to win this spot in the Indy Light series, so the Delta Wing group needs to focus on getting the car perfect, so they can get it into the circuit.
For now, this is just another pipe dream for the DeltaWing, but so was its entrance into the 24 Hours of Le Mans race. It succeeded in getting into that race, though it didn’t last for more than half of the race.
We’ll keep you updated on this race to the Indy Light series and let you know once Indy makes its final decision.
Look in any dictionary and find the word “dedication.” Next to that word, paste in a picture of Nissan Delta Wing driver, Satoshi Motoyama, as that is all of the definition you need of being dedicated to a particular craft. After being slammed in to the wall by a rookie Le Mans driver and his vehicle becoming disabled, Motoyama had two choices, give up or fix it yourself.
See, in Le Mans there is a rule against the pit crew coming out to help repair any disabling damages to a car – a ridiculous rule in our opinion – but there is no rule against the driver trying to fix said damages. So Motoyama, with his mighty Phillips screwdriver in hand, went to trying to breathe life back into his disabled experimental car, with his pit crew not too far away telling him what to do at each step.
Motoyama removed body panels, in an attempt to free the apparently stuck wheels, but that just wasn’t working. After exhausting all of the team’s ideas, Motoyama conceded to the fact that the Delta Wing was not going to finish the race. After months of testing, tuning, and more testing, this experimental rig didn’t get the opportunity to complete the race, despite a pretty successful debut, where it sat near the middle of the LMP2 class with a fastest lap of 3:42.612.
Fortunately, there were plenty of cameras available to capture Motoyama’s valiant efforts and he certainly earned the respect of his peers and us in the media with his efforts. Check out the above video to see his attempts to get the Delta Wing back on the road and you’ll see just how important this race was to the Delta Wing team.
We have a feeling that this is not the last time we see the Delta Wing. It ran very well against the LMP2 class and may have earned an even higher fastest lap position, had it not been so heavily damaged.
The 24 Hours of Le Mans has always been one of the most dangerous races in the motorsport world and on top of that, it also has the illustrious reputation as being the ultimate pinnacle of endurance racing.
Just like every other Le Mans, this year’s race was no different when it came to spectacular crashes with Anthony Davidson being involved in an incredibly-brutal incident just 5 hours into the 24 hour enduro.
After coming down at top speed along one of the track’s many straights, Davidson attempted to overtake a stunning Ferrari 458 Italia racer driven by Piergiuseppe Perrazini on the inside line around a slight right hand bend in the straight.
Unfortunately, Perrazini failed to notice Davidson coming up on his right-hand side and unknowingly side-swiped him, sending Davidson’s No. 8 Toyota TS030 flying into the air Mark Webber style, before both cars smashed into the wall.
Fortunately, both the drivers managed to escape the crash relatively uninjured, but unfortunately that wasn’t the final incident of the race.
After months of development, the sole Nissan DeltaWing competing in the event made an early departure from the race after being hit on the left side by Kazuki Nakajima and his Toyota TS030, sending the DeltaWing and its driver, Satoshi Motoyama into the oncoming wall.