The DeltaWing design will run a partial schedule in this year’s American Le Mans Series (ALMS), however the new year brings several changes to the revolutionary program.
Unarguably the largest change will be switch in engine away from the 1.6 litre Nissan based unit that powered the car on its race debut at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and again when it appeared at the final round of the ALMS – Petit Le Mans – last October.
The replacement will be a 1.9 litre Mazda derived engine, custom built for racing by DeltaWing Racing Cars principal Don Panoz’s Elan Power Products company. The increase in engine capacity – though the base Mazda unit is actually larger still at 2.0 litres – brings a 50 horsepower hike in comparison with the Nissan engine, which also weighed more as the cars already phenomenal power-to weight ratio improves further.
Both mean that while the original project, when turned to endurance racing, was intended to mirror the performance of an LMP2 car the DeltaWing will score points in the P1 category of the ALMS, starting with next month’s 12 Hours of Sebring.
That race is intended to be the final, factory run, appearance of the open top designed with Panoz developing a closed cockpit coupe design in-house, with three new chassis having been commissioned.
The debut for the closed top car is intended to be the ALMS mid-May round at Laguna Seca with a third – and as yet final – 2013 appearance in Baltimore in August.