An image posted on Nissan UK’s facebook page yesterday, strongly hinted that a Nissan engine will power the Highcroft Racing DeltaWing project – perhaps the oddest looking racing car since the Tyrell P34 “six-wheeler”.
According to the DeltaWing project spec sheet, the engine is a 4-cylinder 1600cc liquid intercooled turbocharged engine that will produce approximately 300 horsepower at 8,000 rpm and weigh just 70kg.
The announcement made yesterday was short and suitably elusive, merely saying that “Nissan will be launching an exciting breakthrough in motorsports innovation on 13/03/2012”.
At the same time Highcroft Racing posted a message on Twitter yesterday;
“London calling. Big news coming out of the UK tomorrow. #lm24 #deltawing”
and followed up this morning with;
“More to be revealed today. Very exciting news ahead. #lm24 #deltawing”
accompanied by the following image:
Perhaps we’re jumping ahead of ourselves, however the timing of both teasers look more than just coincidence.
Scottish driver, Marino Franchitti was announced last month as the first DeltaWing driver for this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans, and said in a recent interview, “It is so different from everything I have ever seen and everything that I have known a racing car to be – my initial reaction was “what is this?” – it really takes your breath away.”
It kind of feels like when the first rear engine F1 car hit the track, or the first car with a wing, or the first ground effects car
“When you look at the people behind the program like Ben Bowlby, Don Panoz, Duncan Dayton and somebody like Dan Gurney who is a hero of mine – if they have faith in this program, then that gives me a lot of confidence.
“I am so excited about getting the opportunity to drive the car. I have no doubt in my mind that it is going to turn, but I am really looking forward to finding out how it is going to feel and how it will work as a package.
“I have nothing to compare this against. Like the car itself, I will be going in with a clean sheet of paper and will start exploring the limits.”
“It is not something that has been done before and it kind of feels like when the first rear engine F1 car hit the track, or the first car with a wing, or the first ground effects car – the DeltaWing will be so new and unique and I am really honored to be given this opportunity,” Franchitti said.
To hear the nig news first-hand, tune into Radio Le Mans TODAY at 10:50am (UK time) – 5:50am (US Eastern).