New DeltaWing flies at Le Mans
DELTAWING GOES LIVE AT LE MANS: Nissan's DeltaWing does some low-flying during testing at the Sarthe circuit in France ahead of this weekend's 24 Hour of Le Mans endurance race..
LE MANS, France - The revolutionary Nissan DeltaWing has completed its first laps of the famous Le Mans Circuit de la Sarthe ahead of this weekend's 80th 24 Hours of Le Mans.
The car, invited to compete under the Frnch Automobile Club of the East's "Garage 56" classification that showcases new and innovative technology, completed 54 laps with drivers Michael Krumm, Satoshi Motoyama and Marino Franchitti.
The team, Nissan said on Monday, had a virtually trouble-free day and completed every lap but one on a one set of Michelin slicks. The odd one out was a lap on wet tyres during a rain shower.
Motoyama did the fastest lap - 3min47.980, well outside the 3min25 range of the race in 2011. The Nissan DeltaWing technical, team led by concept originator Ben Bowlby, believe the car is comfortably within reach of its target pace of 3min45, as requested by race officials.
With Motoyama not having raced at Le Mans since 1999 and Krumm since 2005, both drivers had to complete a mandatory 10 laps to qualify for the race.
Both easily achieved that goal, Motoyama completing 19 laps and Krumm, 24. With Marino Franchitti handling most of the pre-event testing and development, the Scottish racer only handled 11 laps on Sunday - the team taking the opportunity to get his Japanese and German team mates accustomed to the car.
HALF OF EVERYTHING
Krumm was the first to drive, handing over to Motoyama who completed the morning session. Franchitti kicked off the afternoon and was at the wheel during the wet lap before continuing the driver rotation to Krumm and Motoyama who closed the day.
The unique Nissan DeltaWing has half the weight, half the power and half the aerodynamic drag of a typical prototype and is expected to enjoy significantly lower tyre and fuel consumption than other cars in the race. It is power by a
Powered by a 225kW, 1.6-litre Nissan DIG-T turbocharged engine and has specially developed Michelin tyres which are only 10cm wide at the front.
The team planned to return to the UK to complete final preparations for the 80th 24 Hours of Le Mans before returning this weekend for its pre-event technical inspection at the Place de la Republique in the town of Le Mans.
Official practice will start on Wednesday (June 8) afternoon.