The Nissan DeltaWing completed its first running on the 8.5-mile Circuit de la Sarthe—the home of the upcoming 80th running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The DeltaWing features half the weight, half the horsepower and half the aerodynamic drag of a typical prototype and is expected to enjoy significantly lower tire and fuel consumption. (Earlier post.)
Powered by a 300 horsepower 1.6 liter Nissan DIG-T turbocharged engine, the Nissan DeltaWing also features specially developed Michelin front tires which are four inches wide.
Invited to compete under the Automobile Club de l’Ouest’s “Garage 56” classification that showcases new and innovative technology, the Nissan DeltaWing completed 54 laps with drivers Michael Krumm, Satoshi Motoyama and Marino Franchitti at the wheel.
The team enjoyed a virtual trouble-free day and completed every lap but one on a single set of Michelin slick tires. A sole lap on wet tires during a brief rain shower was the only time the team switched tires all day.
Motoyama completed the fastest lap of the day at 3 minutes, 47.980 seconds. The Nissan DeltaWing technical, team led by concept originator Ben Bowlby, believe they are comfortably within reach of their target pace of 3 minutes, 45 seconds as requested by race officials.
The team will now return to the UK tomorrow to complete final preparations for the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Official practice kicks off on 13 June.
Separately, more than half the LMP2 field—13 out of 20 cars—will be running on Nismo-tuned Nissan power.