The Claro/TracFone DeltaWing Racing Cars team came out of the box swinging at the start of today’s Rolex 24 at Daytona, setting the early speed pace and battling among the leaders before transmission issues ended the day in the second hour.
The team and drivers Andy Meyrick, Katherine Legge, Gabby Chaves and three-time Rolex 24 champion Memo Rojas were hopeful at the start of the endurance classic. The DeltaWing coupe had shown good speed in the recent test session at Daytona and in qualifying, despite transmission issues that limited track time. Meyrick took the wheel for the start of the first race of the 2015 TUDOR United SportsCar Championship after qualifying in fifth position. He battled into fourth position and was aiming at third when a tire puncture sent him into the pits. Returning to the field in 15th, the DeltaWing coupe set the quickest race lap with a time of 1:41.021 on lap 22 and held fifth position when the team decided to take advantage of a caution period to come in for fuel and tires. Meyrick was headed toward the front again when transmission issues caught up with him.
The team will return to its Braselton shop this week and begin preparations for the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, the second race of the Tequila Patrón Endurance Cup, on March 18-21.
“You have to be respectful of your own car and everyone around you at the start of a 24-hour race. It was a bit of a game of poker at the start, to figure out where we were fast and where our positives and negatives were. The puncture put us out of sequence but it was clear that we had the pace to run at the very front and lead the race. From a drivability point of view, it really does feel like an endurance race car, which is a step forward. So for that, it’s encouraging.
“I’ve become accustomed to how resilient and hardworking this team is. With a brand new component in the car and not much room to maneuver, they’ve gone above and beyond. To qualify so well and to run so well shows that they’re the real heroes. The season looks really strong as soon as we get over these teething issues. We’re very disappointed, but there’s lots of positives to take away.”
Claro Video and TracFone Wireless, Inc., are subsidiaries of Mexico’s largest telecommunications group América Móvil. Claro (the name means “bright” or “clear”) is an innovative VOD streaming service, while TracFone operates as a mobile virtual network operator.
DELTAWING RACING CARS
Under the guidance of Managing Partner Don Panoz, DeltaWing Racing Cars builds and maintains the revolutionary DeltaWing coupe. The radically innovative sports car prototype takes efficiency to a new level, as the DeltaWing® architecture vastly reduces overall mass and drag. The result is a race car that is approximately half the weight, requires roughly half the horsepower and uses about half the fuel of its competitors. The unique efficiency approach is changing street-legal vehicles as Panoz works to take the DeltaWing® platform from the racetrack to tomorrow’s roads. The DeltaWing team operates out of Braselton, Georgia.