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Nissan Ceases Involvement With DeltaWing Project

As Reveal 2013 Panoz Plans

Nissan confirmed today that it will not continue with its partnership of the DeltaWing motorsport project with immediate effect. 

That announcement came after Marshall Pruett at revealed details of the proposed programme to bring a revised version of the DeltaWing car to a part season in the 2013 ALMS where it will run, with a new engine, in the P1 class.  The car is being run by a new in-house race team under veteran team boss Dave Price.

Pruett reports that the original open car will race at Sebring with a new Mazda based engine, a twin turbo billet blocked 1.9 litre four pot currently pushing out c.345 bhp on the bench.

Thereafter a new coupe version of the car is in build with race outings currently planned at both Laguna Seca and Baltimore – Panoz is undertaking a production run of three new coupes and 40 race engines according to the Speed story.

Pruett also reports that original project partners AAR, Highcroft Racing and even Ben Bowlby are not currently involved in the project and neither too are Michelin confirmed as being engaged, potentially the most significant technical partners of all in the original Nissan DeltaWing project, though Firestone are named in the story as likely collaborators.

In terms of public recognition though it’s undoubtedly Nissan that were the driving force behind the public recognition that the project garnered.  Their statement reflects much of that as the project now moves into a new, and as yet unclear future

”Nissan was instrumental in the ground-breaking DeltaWing project, which aimed to demonstrate the current real-world viability of efficient motorsport by completing the famous Le Mans 24 Hours using half the fuel and half the tyres of any of its counterparts.

”Described as a “game-changer” and widely acknowledged as the most revolutionary racing car to be built in a generation, the Nissan DeltaWing was the brainchild of British engineer, Ben Bowlby. It was also described as “the world’s first social media racing car” due to Nissan’s innovative approach off track.

”The car’s performance at Le Mans and its subsequent 5th place finish at Petit Le Mans endurance race in the USA proved to the doubters that the pioneering and hugely innovative technology produced by Nissan and the other partners in the project delivered on its promise.

”Nissan produced a lightweight, down-sized version of its 1.6-litre DIG-T engine for the Nissan DeltaWing. Combined with innovative chassis and aerodynamics, this engine produced the same lap times as its fellow Le Mans entrants, using half the fuel from its vastly smaller engine capacity.

”Darren Cox, Director of global motorsports for Nissan, says: “The Nissan DeltaWing was an exciting project that challenged all conventional thinking and that is why Nissan put its support behind it. We are committed to developing innovative and exciting cars both on the track and on the road.

“Nissan wishes Dr Don Panoz and all the other partners involved in the DeltaWing all the best for the future and we look forward to supporting their progress from the sidelines at future races.”