eRacing Magazine Vol 2. Issue 9 - Page 33

The Deltawing has been a car which has ran under the radar for past couple of years. The project was meant to test engineers with a new concept of racing car, and develop new technology for Nissan’s road car division.

The first car was an open cockpit racer deemed for IndyCar racing; an ultra-aerodynamic racer which can accede speeds of 200mph. Nismo star Ben Bowlby was the lead engineer behind both innovative ZEOD and GTR LM concepts.

Nissan and Nismo now have no input into the Deltawing project, now a free standing project which is being competing in the United Sports Car Championship in America.

The original design is now long gone from racing, and is now at rest. When Nissan were running the car, it featured an open cockpit nature, which made it compatible to LMP2 racing, while other modifications saw the car race in America competitively. The new car now run by Deltawing has fared well this year, but the DWC13 has had its fair share of bad luck.

The car is by far the strangest race car to race successfully, but don’t let you fool you. The car has come a long way from the Nissan’s all-black car. The bodywork was designed to be as slippery as the regulations would allow. This therefore created minimal amounts of drag and high amount of downforce.

The front is where this car really comes alive. The 102mm front tyres are right by each other and are only separated by the front impact structure, which is similar to the low noses as seen in F1. The bulkhead is free flowing and blends to the cockpit smoothly. The back sees normal width tyres while the role hoop concept takes its cues from normal LMP2 philosophy.

Nissan also added a vertical fin on the rear deck, adding stability to the rear. Think of it as a sailing boat stern underneath, the water keeps it stable and therefore stops role. The fin here would use the fluid characteristics of air to keep the car planted and it works to full effect.

When looking at the new car, there are many alterations to the bodywork. Most notably is the sealed cockpit, rear spoiler, front wing addition and a new and improved engine.

While Ben Bowlby’s original concept was an entirely different machine, the open top Aston Martin and Prodrive chassis had been replaced with an all new closed monocoque designed and built by Elan. In addition an entirely new operating team, crew, and tyre partner joined the programme for racing in America.

But when power house partner Nissan left, the engine used in the open Deltawing wasn’t as competitive as hoped and thus an all new engine had to be developed from scratch by DeltaWing Racing Cars team and Elan Motorsports. The new turbocharged engine had an in-house block and crankcase machined from billet and was topped off by a Mazda MZR cylinder head featuring direct injection fuel system. With a dry sump designed by Dailey Engineering in America.

Don Panoz