The Nissan DeltaWing is set to be perhaps the most eye-catching race cars on display the Autosport International this weekend.
The car will be on display on the Aurora Bearing Company stand (no. 8330, Hall 8) throughout the weekend, the American company having supplied the rod end and spherical bearings for the experimental project.
“Our involvement with DeltaWing has been incredibly rewarding, it’s been an honour to be part of such a significant race car project,” said Aurora’s John McCrory. “Everywhere the car has gone, it’s turned heads, and we’re looking forward to showcasing the concept to fans at Autosport International.”
Designed by Briton Ben Bowlby the DeltaWing began life as a concept for the 2012 Indycar design, only for the US series to opt for the new Dallara chassis that became the DW12. Undeterred the car adapted for entry into the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Nissan supplying four-cylinder, 1.6 litre engine for the project.
The size of the engine – relative to those in the LMP2 cars the project sought to match the performance of – is off-set by the unique low drag, lightweight design of the DeltaWing. Weighing just 575kg it can accelerate for standing to 100mph in 3.3 seconds.
After an unsatisfactory end to the race at Le Mans – swiped off the track on Saturday evening – it was unknown whether the car would race again. However, with Gunnar Jeannette and Lucas Ordonex at the wheel the car completed Petit Le Mans in October in fifth place (though it was running outside the race’s official classification).
“The DeltaWing is a perfect example of motorsport innovation, challenging the status quo and offering an alternative,” said Ian France, Autosport International Show Director. “It’s less than a year since it first appeared in public, and it’s really struck a chord with the motorsport community. We’re excited it will be a part of Autosport International 2013.”
The design is also part of the plans to the unified US sportscar series created by the merging of the Grand-Am Rolex Series and American Le Mans Series. It was announced that the design would be eligible for the premier class in the new championship.
The car has won several awards since its race debut, gaining fan support – look only at the reaction as Satoshi Motoyama tries in vain to repair the car after the Le Mans crash – as well as innovation awards from both EVO Magazine and at the Autosport Awards, where it was also named ‘Racing Car of the Year’, beating more conventional competition from the realms of F1 and traditional LMP designs. Bowlby himself collected a pair of award including the RAC’s Simms Medal awarded for ‘a genuine contribution to motoring innovation by individuals that also exemplify the spirit of adventure’.
The DeltaWing will be just one of dozens of race cars on show at Autosport International. A central display represents the Formula One grid of 2012 while machinery from the top series from around the UK will be interspersed around the Birmingham NEC.