Nissan's DeltaWing managed to score a fifth place finish in the 1000-mile Petit Le Mans despite encountering a major crash during the test session when it got hit by a GTC class Porsche.
The DeltaWing did an amazing job in its first race ever considering that it started at the back of the grid of 42 racers despite qualifying with a time fast enough for the top 10. The organizers deemed that the car should start from the back as it was an unclassified entry. The Nissan DeltaWing breezed through the 1000-mile Petit Le Mans, taking fifth place overall in the tough 10-hour race. Both Lucas Ordonez and Gunnar Jeannette excelled themselves, putting in clean and fast stints throughout and delivered the first race finish for the headline-grabbing car.
“What I am most pleased about is that while the car obviously passed all the virtual and actual FIA crash tests prior to running at Le Mans,” said Nissan’s Darren Cox. "We've unfortunately tested the car in real world incidents twice now and in both cases the car has done it job in protecting the driver. We'd rather not do it again but we've certainly shown the concept works and it is very safe."
The opening stints were a thrill for the team who watched Gunnar climb from the 42nd place right up to eighth, then watched Lucas triple-stint his way to third. Nissan DeltaWing features half the weight, half the horsepower and half the aerodynamic drag of a typical Le Mans sportscar so it was no surprise to then see Gunnar complete a quadruple stint without changing tires!
“This has been an incredible journey for me,” commented Lucas after the race. “Every time I race for Nissan they give me new challenges and I think this was the biggest one yet. It certainly felt like a huge responsibility but it was also a great deal of fun."