The DeltaWing coupe continued the tradition of radical innovation established by its roadster predecessor, showing speed and performance in its first race action at Circuit of the Americas, round eight of the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón
Drivers Katherine Legge and Andy Meyrick had looked forward to pushing the car in race conditions for the first time. The DeltaWing took the green flag for the two hour, 45 minute race under bright blue skies and very warm temperatures, with Legge starting from the third position on the grid. Legge kept the DeltaWing in contention until she pitted for fuel and tires on lap 28. Meyrick took over on lap 53 and was working his way through the field when a gear selection issue stopped his progress on lap 66. In true performance fashion, the DeltaWing recorded its fastest lap of the week during the race, with a lap time of 2:03.266, on its way to a third place finish in the P1 class.
Tire partner Bridgestone brought both the “hard” compound tire the DeltaWing took to the race lead last month at Road America, and a new compound specifically designed for greater durability. Meyrick and Legge were encouraged by the performance of both car and tires.
“The balance was good,” said Meyrick. “It was a very good race car. I could put lap after lap in and it was good in traffic. All the issues that other drivers talk about with coupes, we just don’t have – the visibility was perfect and I could easily double stint the car since the cockpit was so comfortable. The huge step that we’ve made is the cooling – not just for the driver, but with the Élan engine cooling as well. We are able to push the car harder and harder now. I’m very encouraged by our performance this week – the car’s shown tremendous pace.
“We used the race to try out a new compound from Bridgestone and that was a nice improvement as well, I was able to easily double stint. So we’ll take away some positives; it’s a very good starting point.”
“We know where we’re at with the coupe now,” agreed Legge. “We’ve got a platform to build on. The race was also a really good tire test, as we tried different compounds of tires and found a good direction to take. It was cool in the cockpit, there is great visibility – it’s a good car to drive.”
Legge also noted the terrific fan reaction the DeltaWing has received in Austin – a city known for its environmental awareness.
“The fan reaction in Austin has been phenomenal. People here are very aware of sustainability issues and how racing can be at the forefront of development, for road cars and technology. It’s been great to see the reaction the car has received.”
Next up for the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón is the Oak Tree Grand Prix at Virginia International Raceway October 3 – 5. Live streaming of the race is scheduled for October 4 at 3:35pm, with the race at 2:00pm on October 5 (both on ESPN3.com). The race telecast will be Sunday, October 6 at 5:30pm (all times Eastern).