24 HOURS OF LE MANS
The DeltaWing made its debut in the 2012 24 Hours of Le Mans as the Garage 56 entrant, for new and experimental technologies. When it was announced in June 2011, there was considerable skepticism over whether the car could turn corners. But in a mere matter of 12 months, DeltaWing Racing Cars not only eliminated the doubt but turned the car into a fan favorite across the globe.
The DeltaWing easily achieved the lap time target requested by the Automobile Club de l’Ouest of 3 minutes, 45 seconds around the Circuit de la Sarthe. While the car was struck by a Toyota prototype, the car grew more popular thanks to the efforts of driver Satoshi Motoyama attempting repairs for more than an hour and a half.
At Le Mans, the DeltaWing completed six hours with drivers Michael Krumm and Satoshi Motoyama, before contact with that Toyota forced them off the track. Krumm (3:42.55) turned in the car’s fastest qualifying lap and Motoyama (3:42.60) the fastest race lap.
The car made its first race start with half the weight, half the power and half the aerodynamic drag. Average fuel usage was anywhere from 3.6-3.9L per lap, with a max RPM limit of 7,300, a max speed of 309 kph (192 mph), 320 NM of max torque (236 lb. ft) and 244 KW max power (328 bhp).
PETIT LE MANS
The DeltaWing made its second race start, first in the U.S., at the October 2012 running of Petit Le Mans in Road Atlanta, in Braselton, Ga. Like at Le Mans, the car ran unclassified.
Drivers Gunnar Jeannette and Lucas Ordonez raced 388 laps and finished sixth overall, and was promoted to fifth when a car that finished ahead was issued a post-race penalty.
For Road Atlanta, the DeltaWing was set up aerodynamically with more overall downforce by adding fixed gurneys along the rear bodywork trailing edge. To regain front balance, extensions were added to the vortex producing the leading edge of the underwing.
For the lap length of 4.087 km, Jeannette’s fastest race lap came on lap 259 at 1:14.41. The total average fuel usage was 1.02L per lap, and 1.20L on the fastest lap. The max RPM limit was again 7,300 with a max speed of 285 kph (177 mph) on the downhill straight, 320 NM of max torque (236 lb. ft) and 244 KW max power (328 bhp).