The Claro/TracFone DeltaWing Racing Cars team plans to keep its Road America streak alive this week, as the DeltaWing has finished in the top six in both of its races at the historic Midwestern road course. The team returns for this year’s Continental Tire Road Race Showcase eager to revisit last year’s late-season form.
The team first visited Road America in 2013 with the open-top DeltaWing roadster. Taking advantage of the wet-to-dry conditions which highlighted the car’s straight-line speed, Katherine Legge put the DeltaWing into the overall race lead, becoming the only female driver to hold the overall lead in an American Le Mans Series race. The DeltaWing finished fifth overall, which was a great result for the DeltaWing roadster’s last race. The DeltaWing Coupe debuted at the next ALMS race, held at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas.
The team returned to Road America last season on the heels of a fire at the previous race in Canada that damaged the DeltaWing tub beyond repair. Despite having only four weeks to put a new tub into service and re-install systems, the team finished eighth overall and sixth in the Prototype Class.
This year, the team returns to Road America after the Canadian Tire Motorsports Park event, but with vastly different results. Qualifying seventh and running as high as fifth in the race last month, the DeltaWing coupe paced within a half second of the leaders before earning an eighth-place finish in the Prototype Class.
Both Legge and Memo Rojas have significant history at Road America. Rojas traveled from Mexico City as a youngster to race formula cars here. He also won the Rolex Grand Am Series race in 2012 on his way to the championship. Legge earned a podium in a Formula Atlantic race in 2005 and scored a third-place title finish. However, many may recall Legge’s spectacular Champ Car crash in 2006 that fortunately left her only with bruised knees - and a deserved reputation as one tough race car driver. Nonetheless, Legge joins Rojas in ranking the track among the best.
“This is one of my favorite tracks in the world, despite the massive shunt in 2006,” said Legge. “I finished on the podium my first time here, then I had the big accident the very next year, so it was important to me to come back in 2013 and get the podium finish. But it’s not just the on-track performance that makes Road America so special: it’s an amazing track, with its length and its scenery. And the fans here are great; they’re so knowledgeable and passionate. Every driver loves coming here!”
Rojas echoed that sentiment. “Road America is my favorite track in the U.S., period. I’ve driven here since I started racing in the U.S. in Formula Ford and Barber Dodge and I’ve always done really well here. It’s long, of course, but it also has everything you could want: fast corners, slow corners, long straightaways, elevation changes. The scenery is so beautiful - when you’re driving on the back stretch between the trees, it’s amazing. The track is also very technical, you have to have a good setup to do well here. You have to get the setup right to go fast, you can’t just muscle a car around and expect to go quick. If we can have reliability, as we have had in the past here, we should get a good finish.”
The DeltaWing coupe will take to the track for practice sessions Friday at noon and 4:15 p.m. CT, and Saturday at 9:15 a.m, with Prototype Class qualifying at 4:50 p.m. Saturday (live on IMSA.com). The two hour and 40 minute Continental Tire Road Race Showcase takes the green flag Sunday at 2:05 p.m. The race will be live on FOX Sports 1.