After being sideswiped at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in June and suffering a a similar accident during a practice session last week, the Nissan DeltaWing was in danger of becoming known for its crashes more than its racing prowess or unique appearance. That's why we hoped the racecar, competing in only its second race, would finish the 1,000-mile endurance madness of Petit Le Mans.

Thankfully, the Nissan/Highcroft Racing team did more than just that on Saturday, running a flawless race at Road Atlanta and finishing in fifth place overall. The result could have been even higher if pass-around periods during full course cautions would have gone the team's way.

Despite finishing in the top 10 in qualifying, the DeltaWing was relegated to the back of the grid for the start of the race thanks to its unclassified status, but that changed quickly as the car went from 42nd to 8th in its first stint.

Drivers Lucas Ordonez and Gunnar Jeannette drove a smooth and steady race up to fifth place, the car's speed and efficiency helping greatly here. The DeltaWing has just half the weight and half the aerodynamic drag of a typical ALMS prototype, meaning the team could go further between pit stops and change tires less often.

Scroll down below to watch a video detailing the DeltaWing's historic finish at Petit Le Mans or check out our photos from the race in the gallery above.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 20 Comments
      Classic_Engr
      • 2 Years Ago
      Congratulations to everyone on the DeltaWing! A 5th place finish on the first real go! All with less tire changes and fuel stops. Amazing. Shhh, you hear that? It's so quiet. That's the deafening silence from all of yesterday's uninformed naysayers. Remember? The benchracers who said it couldn't even compete? Looks like the hard data and actual results proved them wrong. Ahh, sweet music to an engineer's ears.
      mrx19
      • 2 Years Ago
      Congrats to the Nissan team. Racing desperately needs this type of innovation. Fans are sick of the cookie cutter cars in all formulas (including NASCAR).
      gasaraki88
      • 2 Years Ago
      Wow, it looks so agile and light in the race. It also looks kinda cool.
      FreeThinker
      • 2 Years Ago
      Maybe it's because it's so different, but it's visually interesting to watch the Deltawing go 'round the track. Good job! I can't wait to see it run in person.
      Siafa Alvin
      • 2 Years Ago
      I will never, ever get tired of watching the DeltaWing run.
      snap_understeer_ftw
      • 2 Years Ago
      I like Gunnar......very cool dude and very funny
      Carzzz
      • 2 Years Ago
      looks like a jet, sounds like pet, races like vet.
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        StephenT
        • 2 Years Ago
        I was there too and I saw the Delta Wing start from the rear of the pack and then within about 4 laps or so it had made it's way up to the GT leaders. That's when I knew this car had to be pretty quick. Later I moved from the turn 10 complex over to where the cars go into turn 1 and it was very fast through there.
          Lynchenstein
          • 2 Years Ago
          @StephenT
          I wonder when it'll be banned for being too fast - it's happened before in F1 at least.
      Klep
      • 2 Years Ago
      I figured this thread would be filled with more taste-less twerps saying "but it's soooo ugly!!1!" I'm glad to be wrong. Congrats on making the rest racing have to sit up and pay attention. Innovation like this is not common enough these days.
      chirowolf
      • 2 Years Ago
      The Wing looks so cool weaving through the turns. way to go Nissan
      turboawdftw
      • 2 Years Ago
      other cars crash into it because thats the only way they know they can secure their victory... for this car to have such a relatively low power engine, the results are great. i hope they are able to field another couple of cars next year.
        Lynchenstein
        • 2 Years Ago
        @turboawdftw
        I honestly think the other cars don't see it. Notice how low to the ground it is, it's relatively narrow, and it's painted black. They've added some day-glo orange paint to alleviate some of this - I hope it's enough.
      ryanandrewmartin
      • 2 Years Ago
      ...and I was supposed to go to Petit Le Mans FINALLY this year but moved to SC and couldn't fit it into the schedule. Bah! Congrats nonetheless.
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