The Nissan DeltaWing completed a brilliant comeback from Wednesday's dramatic practice crash to qualify 10th fastest for tomorrow's Petit Le Mans - the car's North American race debut.
Gunnar Jeannette recorded a fastest lap of 1 minute, 12.850 seconds for the the 2.54 mile Road Atlanta circuit. The lap was the team's fastest achieved this week and placed the Nissan DeltaWing in the middle of the P2 class pack.
The Nissan DeltaWing features half the weight, half the horsepower and half the aerodynamic drag of a typical Le Mans prototype.
American racer Jeannette will share the car tomorrow with Spaniard Lucas Ordoñez - the inaugural winner of the Nissan PlayStation GT Academy competition.
The top ten performance came after Jeannette was struck by a Porsche GTC class car on Wednesday and subsequently rolled. Cresting the top of the hill under the bridge at Road Atlanta, the Nissan DeltaWing was struck in the left rear and pitched sideways and over.
The team then began a 24 hour rebuild process to put the car back on track last night for evening practice.
The 1000 mile / 10 hour Petit Le Mans event starts tomorrow at 11:30am - Saturday, October 20.
“We're solidly in the mid-pack of the P2 field which is where we expected to be and I'm very pleased with the car.
"It is nice and safe - it doesn't have the ultimate qualifying lap set-up on it but for a race car over 10 hours it is going to be very comfortable for Lucas and I.
"All the crew really did a magnificent job after the accident. We got the car back out last night and the main goal of qualifying was to bring the car back with all four wheels on it and make sure all the crew could get a good night's rest tonight.
"We really have a great car for the race and I'm really looking forward to it."
“Gunnar had a good confident car for qualifying and we're very happy with that.
"The lap time shows we have really good pace despite the fact we didn't try to really push on the car set-up to try to outpace the P2s.
"We were very happy with the balance of the car and the goal is to have a safe and confident car for the race.
"It is great to make it into the top ten and I am really looking forward to tomorrow's race."
BEN BOWLBY - NISSAN DELTAWING
“Gunnar pinned the laptime that we were looking for - smooth and consistent, took no risks and brought the car back to the pit lane.
"That was our absolute race car - race gear ratios, race engine, race bodywork - everything for tomorrow.
"We're absolutely ready to go and we really don't even have to worry about the warm-up tomorrow.
"This race is extremely important for us because it is 10 hours of continuous running that we really in need of to learn about the car in traffic, in changing conditions, reliability and performance terms.
"For the team to complete 10 hours is our absolute priority."
DON PANOZ - DELTAWING RACING CARS
“The performance of the car today was very pleasing and will provide us with more very valuable data in finalizing the race package for the 2013 rules here in the American Le Mans Series.
"Gunnar and Lucas have both done an excellent job all week and our aim tomorrow will be to get the car to the finish line.
"We're not here to interfere with anybody's race - we're here to showcase what the Nissan DeltaWing is capable of. The car really is a great example of what can be achieved when you concentrate on efficiency."
DARREN COX - NISSAN
“We're putting on a great show and continuing to surprise people.
"Firstly, the job the team did to repair the car this week was just outstanding and the car's pace was exceptionally strong.
"The qualifying pace was surprising again. We're not fully wound up for a qualifying set-up - on Le Mans tires, Le Mans aero - yet we're in the middle of the P2 pack.
"This car has a huge amount of potential. We've got a great team working on it and the two drivers have worked fantastically well together all week.
"There is a great atmosphere around the team and we're looking forward to putting on a great show for the fans."