With only two months left before June's 24 Hours of Le Mans the experimental Nissan DeltaWing began its European testing at Snetterton this week. Marino Franchitti and Michael Krumm shared driving duties on the day.
Franchitti – younger brother of Indycar standout Dario – was aboard the 1.6 litre engine, turbocharged car for much of the morning session, steady rain falling allowing the team to work on wet set-up and tyre development with Michelin, tyre partner for the project.
“Mother nature really did us a favour today, because it was great to get another run in the wet,” said Franchitti. “The day allowed us to try the wet tires in a real world situation – we didn't have to wet the track at all, it was a proper wet, rainy day.”
“The day has really given us some important data and provided Michelin with some clear direction for future development. The engine and gearbox were really strong – it was a proper testing day when we were really able to get down to business doing damper work, brake work – all in all, it was a very positive test and we're now very much looking forward to the next run.”
The weather improved from what Franchitti described as “monsoon conditions” for the afternoon when German Michael Krumm took over driving duties, the team dialling in suspension, braking and gearbox improvements.
“We've made some changes to the car including the steering which is now a lot better,” Krumm said. “Everyone was wondering before the car ran whether it would turn – in fact it probably turned too well and we have made some improvements in that area.”
“It is great to kick off the European testing, because Le Mans is looming fast. Sebring was obviously a lot warmer and sunnier, but the conditions we had today could be exactly like you face at Le Mans sometimes.”
Testing for the Nissan DeltaWing will continue next week with a two day test scheduled.