Bad news from the experimental Nissan DeltaWing camp. Yesterday during a practice session for this weekend’s Petit Le Mans race at Road Atlanta, a Porsche smacked into the Nissan DeltaWing, flipping it over. Thankfully, the driver was fine, and the team expects to be back on the track tomorrow.
As I’ve written time and again, the Nissan DeltaWing is one of the most important racing innovations of our time. Using half the power, half the weight, and half the fuel of most racing cars, the DeltaWing’s radical design allows it to compete with much more powerful cars. In fact, it had posted the fifth-fastest lap time of 1-minute and 13.686 seconds at Road Atlanta during practice sessions
Unfortunately at turn 11 the Nissan DeltaWing, driven by Gunnar Jeanette, was smacked in the back end by a Porsche. This flipped the DeltaWing and gave Jeanette a bit of a scary ride. As you can see in the video above, he was visibly upset with Porsche driver, throwing his hands up in exasperation.
The DeltaWing has not had much luck with accidents, having been knocked out of competition at the 24 Hours of Le Mans earlier this year by one of the Toyota Racing TS030 hybrids. But Highcroft Racing, the team backing the Nissan DeltaWing, says that they’ll be back on the track tomorrow despite what appears to be some fairly serious damage to the race car. You can’t keep these guys down.
This is after all what these teams are trained for, but it can’t help but be more than a little disheartening to see this amazing racing machine pushed around by the other cars. It’s also scary seeing how easily the DeltaWing flipped in the video.
Regardless, the Nissan DeltaWing team is forging ahead, and I look forward to catching all the racing action this weekend as the ALMS season draws to a close. Next year, things get serious with the DeltaWing competing for points. Maybe the other racers are just scared of the competition the DeltaWing represents?