The Experimental DeltaWing Gets Pit 56 at Le Mans


The unique racing car has yet to confirm its participation in this year's Le Mans 24 Hours.

DeltaWing, the American racing car managed by the Project 56 group, was allocated pit box no. 56 for the forthcoming 24 hours of Le Mans race. The team has yet to confirm its participation in the race. Pit box no. 56 is traditionally reserved for technically advanced and unique racing cars, and there is no doubt that the DeltaWing meets these criteria. The DeltaWing is a project that aims to improve car performance by reducing consumption of oil, fuel, tires and other expandable materials and components.

This 4m long and 2m wide machine is characterized by a long nose and a very narrow front. A 1.6-liter turbocharged engine developing 300hp at 8,000 rpm will propel the car through a 5-speed gearbox. Downforce is generated solely by the bottom of a car. The car's weight is just 1,047lbs and it has no wings. 72.5% of the car's weight is carried by the rear wheels, an unusual phenomenon for a racing car. The fuel tank holds just 40 liters of fuel (though the car's frugality should compensate for that). The DeltaWing will race outside the Le Mans classification but must meet all the of safety regulations.

The car's performance is required by the Automobile Club de l'Ouest to be accepted to run in qualifying. The car was supposed to be completed by the end of January. It was developed by CFD simulation instead of in a wind tunnel simulation (a method that hadn't succeeded in the Virgin F1 project). The team has to build every component from scratch and every component should be very light in order reduce wear and tear. Dan Gurney's AAR team is involved in the project and builds the car that will be run by Highcroft Racing, an American Le Mans series winning team.

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