After first watching the scary crash of the Nissan DeltaWing at Road Atlanta yesterday, we were worried that the one-off racecar wouldn't be ready for Petit Le Mans on Saturday. We needn't have worried, though, as the car has been quickly repaired by the Highcroft Racing Team in plenty of time. In fact, the car will be running in the night practice session later today and in the practice and qualifying sessions tomorrow.

The quick turnaround is due to the fact that the crash didn't cause as much damage to the car as initially thought. Ben Bowlby, the car's designer, tells us that while the accident looked severe it didn't compromise the integrity of the chassis.

"There was skin damage to an enormous number of parts – both sides of the nose, the side pods, the tail, one mirror – were all damaged, but the chassis wasn't other than a few scratches," he tells us.

The suspension system and engine have also been swapped out so as to have a fresh start before the race. In all the repairs took right around 24 hours.

You can see our photos of the fully repaired Nissan DeltaWing in the gallery above, and check back this weekend for more coverage of the car and Petit Le Mans.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 26 Comments
      Klep
      • 2 Years Ago
      I love it. Not just because it throws out all assumptions about what a race car "should" be, but also because of how many of you hate it. "It's ugly." Um, no, it's honestly not at all.
      mcdull
      • 2 Years Ago
      Good job but definitely should get a piant job. Even though I wish it susccess but it would be hilarious if it would retire the 3rd time in 3 races.
      Drakkon
      • 2 Years Ago
      I came expecting to see a few posts of 'sorry, I shouldn't have said all those ignorant things about the DW last week' but I don't see any.
      Claud
      • 2 Years Ago
      Well, I for one don't get it!............Why triangle?????
        SAAj
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Claud
        The shape minimizes frontal area to lower drag. This allows the car to achieve a better horsepower:speed ratio, especially at higher speeds, as well as obvious improvements in fuel economy.
          johnnythemoney
          • 2 Years Ago
          @SAAj
          Drag is influenced by the total frontal area of an object, which in this case is not significantly smaller because of its shape. The front is smaller but the overall size when looking at the car from the front is very similar to any other LMP. What it does though is reducing its drag coefficient with its shape and removing all the aero devices to generate downforce (wings and winglets) and reduce front tires' rolling friction. The smaller size of the car (the front end specifically) means lower weight, which means that it can turn generating less friction hence using smaller tires, without also requiring massive front downforce to battle inertia, because of the lower mass. Somehow, I don't think its peculiar performance and specs are bound to its triangular shape. I suspect in fact that an LMP car with an engine as small as this, developing as much power/torque as this and therefore requiring less rear tires' surface and somewhat less performing structural parts (so lighter), without those larger wings and with similarly sized tires but placed at the usual width, would produce very similar performance, both in terms of speed and fuel economy. So design an LMP car with maximum reduction of energy required to move it, and allow it to have half their current weight (such as the case of the DeltaWing) while using a 1.6 liter petrol engine with no massive rear wing and smaller front tires. But make it the usual "shape". I owuldn't be surprised if it was as fast and frugal as this one. Not to get away any credit to its project, which I still think its pretty neat (indeed Nissan was quick to jump on it).
        BipDBo
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Claud
        It's a shame you got downvoted so much. It's a key question if you haven't been following this car from the beginning. You definately have the right to ask it without being lambasted. The main benefits are aerodynamics and weight. This car has a much lower drag coefficient than the Indy cars it was designed to replace and much lower weight than the LMP cars that it's racing against now. The DeltaWing holds its engine very far back so it's weight distribution is much more over its rear wheels than even an Indy car which is around 60/40 front to rear. The Delta Wing is 72.5/27.5. It has a special differential utilizing an electric motor than provides torque vectoring at the rear wheels, which whips it around turns. Also, to make racing more interesting, the wide rear end was intentionally designed to encourage drafting of two Deltawings, boosting the speed significantly of both cars. The weight distribution and the torque vectoring make the narrow front with skinny front tires work, and according to its lap times, work very well. The end result is a car with an engine with half the power that consumes half the fuel of these LMPs, but is performing head to head with them, at least until someone takes it out.
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        Sir Duke
        • 2 Years Ago
        Pearlie..: Its not just you, a delta-winged aircraft (origin of the name Delta Wing) has wings that are TRIANGULAR in shape. Triangular wing on the left, triangular wing on the right when combined on the fuselage of the aircraft, the result is what's known as a Delta Wing. The Concorde and the space shuttle were both delta-winged aircraft. Delta wings are the preferred configuration for supersonic aircraft. Back to the Nissan delta wing, the car is a combination of two right angle triangles placed back to back. If you were to cut the car in half (longitudinally) you would end up with two triangles. As in flight, the Delta wing works well at really high speeds, but only in the intended direction. Upset its perfect path, this thing will always go ape-****. This configuration though much cleaner and more aerodynamic, is much closer to top-fuel dragster than road course racer. I think its amazing that it is as accomplished in cornering as it is, but it would much rather go straight. Drag strips and Bonneville Salt flats is where this design would be at its zenith. Folks, this car will have many more spectacular crashes in the future. Where as other can recover from skirmishes that will occur during a road race, the Delta-Wing design will most likely not recover. It has a much lower tipping point than say a car that sits at almost a perfect four-square stance.
        Stang70Fastback
        • 2 Years Ago
        It's just you. What you are seeing is an illusion generated by the triangular shape of the car, which makes it appear as though it is triangularly shaped.
        KaiserWilhelm
        • 2 Years Ago
        What is this I don't even
        Drakkon
        • 2 Years Ago
        pearlie, I don't think they got the joke. Ironically, if it was an autocross CRX with 325mm front tires and 215mm rear tires, no one here would question it.
      Kevin Dunsky
      • 2 Years Ago
      Paint it a different f***ing color! why dont they understand that black is a difficult color to see? This was a major complaint from many drivers in the last race this car was in!
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        Sir Duke
        • 2 Years Ago
        As in flight, the Delta wing works well at really high speeds, but only in the intended direction. Upset its perfect path, this thing will always go ape-****. Just wait until they blow a tire at high speed.
        rtkewley
        • 2 Years Ago
        Right, because both DeltaWIng crashes to date were caused by it...no, wait, it's the EXACT OPPOSITE of that...
      caliperson18
      • 2 Years Ago
      I really don't know much if any of the rules and regulations of Le Man's but I'm curious as to why not have a center oriented seating position like F1s? Aside from the obvious advantage, I think safety would also be something to consider. Having some more "padding" between the driver and the side of the car in case of a crash or side collision with another driver or wall.
      T-Mille
      • 2 Years Ago
      (Insert fitting music:) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aXCM0lZxh4U
      Drakkon
      • 2 Years Ago
      OK, no time to go read the rule book on this BUT!- ACO went nuts on Peugeot having too much extractor above the tire. Now it was the FRONT tire and the argument was if the tire exploded, there was too much gap between the extractor fins that would allow the driver and other cars to be hit by the debris. Again, not sure if that was only regarding the front tire, but they wanted to keep an exploding tire contained in the body work. All of the early press shots of the DW show closed rear fenders. The racecar is open wheel with fairings in front & behind the tire. What happened to the rule? Is it front tires only? Does the rule apply and someone forgot? I don't see other LMP cars in the field with open rears.
      GeeDavy
      • 2 Years Ago
      While this thing is a marvel of technology and uses half the power and half the fuel as others I really don't care too much about the environment when it comes to racing. Race cars are not the big problem, it's the millions of cars driving around and the giant factories that would rather buy clean air credits than figure out how to reduce pollution that are the main cause of problems. Formula 1 has been downsizing engines in part to reduce fuel usage over the course of about five hours of running a weekend but it doesn't seem to care that every team travels with a fleet of semis. I want to see cars running fast and sounding great and if it means I need to ride a bike to let them pollute, so be it.
        Classic_Engr
        • 2 Years Ago
        @GeeDavy
        It's not just about the environment, it's about overall efficiency. The ultimate goal--achieving the same racing speeds and lap times with less than half the horsepower in a vehicle that is less half the weight yet just as structurally robust is simply more efficient. It requires less work not only on the part of the engine, but every dynamic component on the vehicle (suspension, brakes, etc). If the reach that goal, it would be brilliant.
          Classic_Engr
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Classic_Engr
          err, make that meet with--AHH---never mind. LOL
          Classic_Engr
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Classic_Engr
          err, always "met" with opposition. Too much coffee.
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