More than a couple of years back, the IndyCar group team owners unveiled a prototype of code named DeltaWing that was intended to transform the IndyCar racing platform forever. Some people mocked the designed, terming it as an experiment that was not practical. Currently, the developers have achieved a section of their agenda after completing the initial race that came with a desirable placement too.
The test DeltaWing participated and completed the 1,000 miles within the 24-hour period allocated. The experts behind the wheel in the long and grueling race were Lucas Ordonez and Gunnar Jeannette.
The previous time when Nissan had ventured to participate in the race with its odd-looking car, it was thrown out after only six hours since it rammed on another prototype. The situation was no better even this time round since the team had to rebuild the car completely. Jeannette had rolled over in it during the test stage after he was hit by a GTC-class Porsche. It was challenging, but the team managed to get the car fully complete on time for the race day. Since then, things have been quite smooth sailing.
After the dust vanished, the DeltaWing passed the line at the sixth position, but it was later ranked on the fifth position overall because the P2 driver was nullified because of exceeding the highest allocated.
And what makes this car so exceptional to the extent of attracting particular attention? Firstly, its design is completely different from the ordinary cars we are used to seeing taking part in these competitions. It resembles a Batmobile more than instead of the traditional IndyCar. Its weight is almost 50% that of many IndyCars, and it also yields less than 50% aerodynamic drag. This implies that the car can use a weaker engine than their predecessor and achieve a higher performance level too. The smaller engine used also makes it more fuel efficient without lowering its performance level.
The DeltaWing comes with a 1.6L 4-cylinder engine that comes with a turbocharger and direct petrol injection. It creates a minuscule – regarding IndyCars – 300 hp, which is approximately 50% less what other cars use. The design has proven to be a real testimony, because the car has the ability to perform excellently, even when it has a little power.
The design of the car was created by Ben Bowlby, and it was introduced in the 2012’s 24 Hours of Le Mans. It is expected to run under the name of Project 56 that is comprised of Duncan Dayton’s High Croft Racing, Ben Bowlby’s DeltaWing Racing Cars, Dan Gurney’s All American Racers and Don Panoz, the International Motor Sports Association.
This project was jumpstarted in January 2009 when Bolby began designing fresh IndyCar series automobiles that were intended to be introduced in the field in the beginning of the 2012 season. With financial support provided by Chip Ganassi, the entrepreneur, and owner of Chip Ganassi Racing major squad, the prototype was announced in February 2010 during the Chicago Auto Show. Ganassi possesses the car, including its patents. Back in July 2010, IndyCar preferred Dallara design instead.
Bowlby worked in tandem with Don Panoz to take the idea to the representatives of the Automobile club de l’Ouest who are also behind running the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Their application turned out successful after they were granted an opportunity for participating in the event in 2012.
In spite of the doubts surrounding the project, the Delta Wing successfully managed to make its debut at the Buttonwillow Raceway Park on 1st March 2012. Its triumph was a major shakedown.
There are plans for the DeltaWing to participate in the 2012 Petit Le Mans. Panoz expressed optimism that the car would be allowed by the LMP2 and LMP1requirements of the American Le Mans Series in 2013. There are also speculations that it might substitute Oreca FMM09 like the LMP Challenge spec car.
The DeltaWing designer intended to come up with a car that had an insignificant aerodynamic drag, to facilitate a bit faster straight and corner speed than the previous models. The Dallara IndyCar features a combination of oval and the street/road courses featuring over 50% less engine power, fuel consumption, and weight.
Just like its name insinuates, it features a delta wing shape with abnormally narrows (0.6 m) fore track; as well as, a more conventional 1.7 m backtrack. The car does not have front or rear wings. The downward force originates from the downforce. This Nissan designed engine would be a 4-cylinder turbocharged direct injection.