The experimental Nissan Deltawing racing car hasn’t had the best of luck in its short life. It came to a grizzly end whilst competing in its first race at the 2012 Le Mans and has recently come to an even messier demise at a recent test event at Road Atlanta.
Its testing adventure began well enough. The car was being piloted admirably by driver Gunnar Jeannette, who was scything through the field, passing cars like a true pro. He swooped past what appeared to be a Porsche 911 GTC before slipstreaming neatly down the inside of an LMP2 vehicle and pulling up behind a phlegm green 911 GTC.
After biding his time at a left-right chicane, the Deltawing driver spotted the Porsche had a poor exit off the corner and engaged maximum warp. The surge of speed carried him effortlessly alongside the Porsche driver who, over-compensating for his botched bend, swerved into the little Deltawing’s racing line, collecting it in the process.
The heavy shunt caused the poor Nissan to flip onto its back before it crunched sickeningly through the dirt and into a wall, which was never going to budge. The damage was severe, the car registering a 7G deceleration, but luckily Jeannette was unarmed and alert enough to express his dissatisfaction with the Porsche driver, whose car emerged relatively unscathed.
Nissan’s mechanics are a hardy bunch and have already set about rebuilding the car for the Petit Le Mans race that will follow this test session.
Gunnar Jeannette said: “Not the best of practice sessions, unfortunately. Everything was going well… I followed a GTC car through [turns] 10a and 10b and I had a run on him exiting the corner before the bridge and pulled almost completely past. He cut over to take the apex and made heavy contact with the left-rear of our car that sent me for a bit of a ride. Luckily, the guys built a very strong car.”
Apparently, while the damage looks fairly catastrophic, the Deltawing team has stripped it down and is now busy replacing the busted bits with spare parts that are already on hand.
Watch the carnage for yourself in the video below and read about the Deltawing’s revolutionary design in our Deltawing vs Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird feature.