The DeltaWing Racing Cars team is looking forward to competing in its first Rolex 24 at Daytona following three successful days at the Roar Before the 24 test sessions.
Drivers Andy Meyrick, Katherine Legge and Alexander Rossi logged 226 over the eight sessions, including a night session on Saturday evening. The fastest time for the DeltaWing, a 1:40.508, came on Saturday afternoon, with weather conditions changing throughout the weekend. The conditions ranged from cold and blustery to warm and sunny, allowing teams to prepare for the sort of weather variation to be expected over the Rolex 24 weekend.
“The team has worked very hard and we’ve definitely improved the car and the reliability in the short off season,” added Legge. “We had a list of things to go through this weekend; getting Alex comfortable in the car, working on traction, trying to put less stress on the car – we got through them in very good shape. Reliability is key for the 24 and we’ve really had that this weekend. There are obviously situations we deal with at Daytona that we don’t encounter at the shorter races, like running at night. It was very busy during the night practice Saturday, because of course everyone was on the same sort of program, so I didn’t have a clear lap. But that’s how the race will be as well, so it was good to experience that.”
The test saw Rossi in the cockpit of the DeltaWing for the first time, as well as his first laps on the legendary high banking of Daytona. He will once again serve as the Caterham F1 reserve driver for 2014, but after stints at the 2013 Le Mans 24 Hour, his interest in sports cars grew and led to his addition to the DeltaWing squad.
“I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised,” said Rossi. “The feedback and sensation we get is like any other race car, even though it doesn’t look like any other race car. But the most difficult thing here was the traffic. When I’m trying to learn a new car, I try to experiment, but I really couldn’t here because I could never do the same corner the same way on to successive laps. So you put it all together in a 30-lap run and try to figure out what worked and what didn’t. But it’s become more like second nature now. I’m really looking forward to coming back here and putting all our eggs in the basket and seeing what the performance of the car can be.”
“We were good at the November test as well,” concluded Team Manager David Price, “so we made the improvements we knew we needed to make and they’ve proved to be quite successful. We’ve had three trouble-free days and we’re competitive in our times so we’re happy with the results. We will continue to work on our reliability and our fuel consumption, but we’ve been working on that this weekend and it seems to be paying dividends. Andy and Katherine have had a good amount of time here now and Alexander has gotten on it and he’s proved to be very competitive in the car. So we’re very pleased.”