prototype sports car has been tested in wet weather in the UK in the run up to its appearance in the Le Mans 24 Hours race
Powered by a 1.6-litre Nissan DIG-T turbo engine , the Nissan DeltaWing features half the weight, half the horsepower and half the aerodymamic drag of a traditional Le Mans sportscar – with front tyres that are only four inches wide.
Wet weather development was carried out at Snetterton with tyre partner Michelin and drivers Scotsman Marino Franchitti and German Michael Krumm.
With the Le Mans 24 Hours just two months away, the Nissan DeltaWing team gained valuable information about the ground-breaking car’s performance in typical European track conditions , having conducted all of its development work so far in America.
Darren Cox, General Manager Nissan in Europe, said: “ The whole Nissan DeltaWing team is still on a massive learning curve. Testing in the States was a stable, predictable way of doing the initial groundwork but this exciting car is going to be racing in the French countryside. Today, the whole team got a taste of the conditions they may well face on June 16/17, so it may not have been much fun in the Norfolk rain, but it’s about the best thing that could have happened for a project and a car that will face an enormous challenge just to make the end of the race .”
Franchitti conducted most of the morning running in conditions that ranged from damp to extremely wet weather – gathering valuable data as to how the car performs. Having only previously conducted some brief wet track running on an artificially damp track at Sebring, with the help of a water truck, today’s on-track action was an important step in the development of the wet tyres for the car.
Michael Krumm climbed aboard for much of the afternoon running – enjoying drier conditions as the team worked on suspension adjustments, braking and gearbox improvements.
The Nissan DeltaWing will make its debut at this year’s Le Mans 24 Hours. Nissan’s involvement in the programme was announced in March, with the manufacturer not only providing the engine, but additional technical resources for the car’s debut.
Designed by Ben Bowlby, the DeltaWing partnership brings together some of the biggest names in North American motorsport, including project managing partner and American Le Mans Series founder, Don Panoz ; racing legend and Nissan DeltaWing constructor, Dan Gurney’s All American Racers organisation along with Le Mans entrant, Duncan Dayton’s Highcroft Racing.
The Nissan DeltaWing will continue its testing programme next week with a two-day test scheduled.