Delta Wing to race at Le Mans

Delta Wing to race at Le Mans

The radical Delta Wing conceived as the nextgeneration Indycar will race at Le Mans next year.

A two-seater version of the car, overlooked for a new Dallara when IndyCar chose its 2012 one-make chassis, has been awarded the so-called 'garage 56' slot reserved for an innovative and environmentally-friendly project. The Delta Wing was chosen because it is designed to achieve LMP1 levels of performance with half the power output of existing cars.

Vincent Beaumesnil, sporting manager of the Automobile Club de l'Ouest at Le Mans, said: "We are all talking about hybrid and electric vehicles but we want to show that using lightweight technology is an option. To have the same performance [as an LMP11 with half the fuel consumption is huge." The Delta Wing sports car, weighing under 500kg, will be powered by a yet-to-bedetermined small-capacity turbo engine with around

300bhp. The low-drag car generates downforce through underbody aerodynamics and has no wings.

A group has been formed under the Project 56 banner to bring the Delta Wing to the track. Dan Gurney's AllAmerican Racers' team will construct the car, two-time American Le Mans Series winner Highcroft Racing will run it and ALMS founder Don Panoz is a backer.

The aim is to run the car in November. Project 56 wants to race it in the Sebring 12 Hours ahead of Le Mans.

The Delta Wing won the 56th pit at Le Mans over two European projects. Longtime Le Mans entrant Yves Courage, who sold his team to ORECA in '08, is working on an all-electric car, while the Swiss GreenGT group has tested a Group CN prototype with a hydrogen fuel cell powering its electric motors.

Both cars, should they reach fruition, will be invited to race in other events run to Le Mans rules next year.