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Delta Wing at the Le Mans 2012 24h race: Super dress rehearsal for future racers

Delta-Wing at the 24h-Race Le Mans 2012
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What did Delta Wing pilots Marino Franchitti, Satoshi Motoyama and Michael Krumm have before the test run Pre-test for the 2 4h race at Le Mans 2012 you don't have to listen to everything: your car will slow down miserably with the narrow front wheels! And the trolley won't turn into the curves three times! With the low engine output of just under 330 hp, you will never achieve top speeds of over 300 km /h!

Delta Wing Nissan faster than LMP2 racers

There were a lot of experts at work. Hopefully these experts will now also take note that the concept is not working that badly. With a lap time of 3,47.980 minutes, the Delta Wing Nissan not only left five LMP2 cars behind, but also positioned itself almost exactly where the demonstration vehicle should be according to the Le Mans organizer ACO. 'And we more or less reeled off both sessions with a set of Michelin tires and never tried to drive a really fast lap,' said Marino Franchitti after the pre-test. The tank was also always well over half full. The times came smoothly and as if by themselves, in addition one reeled 54 laps - significantly more than most of the works teams in the LMP1 class.

This is the future of prototype racing

The Delta Wing car was awarded the 56th place on the grid in Le Mans to demonstrate what the future of prototype racing could look like. The Delta Wing only has to meet the safety requirements of the LMP regulations and the basic dimensions. In order to show what could be possible in the future, the Delta Wing dispenses with downforce through overflow, i.e. through wings, because that creates air resistance and this has to be overcome with a lot of engine power. Instead, the delta wing gets almost all of its downforce from the underbody. That is good downforce, as aerodynamicists say, because it hardly costs any air resistance. Due to the low air resistance, the Delta Wing only needs 330 hp from a 1.6-liter four-cylinder turbo engine from Nissan to achieve high top speeds in Le Mans. In the pre-test, the Delta Wing managed 306.9 km /h. The small engine uses half that of most other racing engines and it has to accelerate a car that is only half the current oneLMP1 racing car weighs.

Dress rehearsal for the 24-hour race was successful

You rarely have a race team after saw as many proud faces at the pre-test as at Highcroft Racing. Team principal Duncan Dayton said: “The dress rehearsal was an excellent one. The car has never driven on this track and we quickly found a setup for good drivability. We can now use the collected data to fine-tune it. ”In contrast to the testing phase, the rocker switch of the six-speed gearbox now also worked perfectly in Le Mans. One drawback, of course, remains: Because the differential with torque vectoring produced by EMCO repeatedly gave up its ghost during the test phase, the pilots now have to get by without the congenial diff system. “Our partner EMCO simply ran out of time to implement the desired modifications before the race,” said Team Principal Dayton. In terms of driving dynamics this is certainly a disadvantage, but it is better to drive without the diff than to risk an early retirement in the race because of the diff.

The ACO would like the Delta Wing to achieve lap times between 3.35 and 3.45 minutes runs - so about LMP2 level. “I'm pretty sure that we could move exactly in this window,” believes Marino Franchitti. “Le Mans is not an easy track because you need top speed on the one hand, and downforce on the other when braking and cornering. I was pleasantly surprised that we were able to find a good voting window very quickly. ”In the test sessions and in qualifying on Wednesday, the team only wants to work towards a good racing performance. You shouldn't expect spectacular lap times - but a solid performance in the 24h race in Le Mans .


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