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DeltaWing Diary

The Elan (Mazda) engined DeltaWing is still struggling for meaningful pace at Sebring, the car struggling for cooling and with bodywork changes made already during the Sebring meeting.

The car though does have an assured future within the prototype class of the 2014 United SportsCar Racing series alongside the Daytona Prototypes and ALMS LMP2 machinery.

Dr. Don Panoz: “It means there is new technology embraced and accepted to race alongside the current cars,” said Panoz. “It will be a great platform to compare what the DeltaWing is doing against everyone else. For the fans, it will be great to see three different types of cars racing in one class.”

DeltaWing Racing Cars is pressing ahead on development not just with its open-top version, but has also displayed a coupe version at Sebring.

A show car version of the coupe shows off highly controversial styling around a new tub with the car featuring a new wider driver greenhouse, all to ‘comply’ as much as an non compliant car can, with the new 2014 LMP1 regulations.

The coupe is slated to debut in the American Le Mans Series later this year, possibly as early as at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in May.

Besides the new hard-top configuration, the car is set to be fitted with a new engine designed and built by Elan Motorsports Technologies. On the current open-top DeltaWing, the team has updated its engine to a 2.0L turbocharged aluminum block for racing in P1.

“As the season goes forward, and we incorporate the new tub and new chassis with the new 2014 rules, and new engine, we think as with any new program that it will continue to improve in performance,” said Dr. Don Panoz, managing partner, DeltaWing Racing Cars. “As we get close to the latter part of the season, we’ll be capable of getting onto the podium.”

Elan engineer Simon Marshall (right), who has seen the original DeltaWing and this new coupe through all stages of its development, described some elements of the coupe.

“The coupe should be a no-brainer for safety,” said Marshall. “It’s just to remove the possibility of the driver’s head being struck by anything. If the car is upside down, there’s more of a controlled space.”

One of the coupe’s more notable aspects is that the driver will sit in the middle of the cockpit, rather than on the left or right hand side.

“We’ve elected to put the driver in the middle as another way of differentiating this coupe from other ones,” said Marshall. “It’s best for us to put the driver in the middle to protect them. It’s going to be good for visibility as well.”