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Nissan DeltaWing crashes at Le Mans

The inaugural race of the Nissan DeltaWing ended in disappointment today, as the revolutionary racing car crashed out during Le Mans 2012.

The DeltaWing was running well until it was shunted into a wall by a Toyota.
The DeltaWing was running well until it was shunted into a wall by a Toyota.

The DeltaWing had been enjoying an impressive run, having been on the track for six hours and 15 minutes, completing over 1005km. However it met its end when ex-Formula 1 driver Kazuki Nakajima rashly swerved his Toyota TS030 hybrid car into the side of the DeltaWing, sending it skidding across the grass and into the wall on the exit of the Porsche Curves.

DeltaWing driver Satoshi Motayama was unhurt during the accident and stayed with the car for 90 minute trying to make repairs. Sadly, the damage was too extensive for the driver, who is the only person allowed to work on the car whilst it’s out on track, to repair.

“I was trying to let the leaders by and not interfere with their race but the Toyota swung across and hit me very hard,” said Motoyama. “Once I was on the grass there was nothing I could do. The Nissan DeltaWing was in the wall very hard.

“I was very determined to try to get the car back to the pits,” he continued. “The crew could give me instructions, but I am the only person who can touch the car. We tried for a long time to find a way to get the car back to the pits, but the damage was just too much.”

The Nissan DeltaWing was allowed to race at Le Mans as part of a special “innovative technology” class. The car featured less power than its more conventional counterparts, but is lighter and creates less drag.

You can watch the accident for yourself by clicking play on the video below.


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