The Nissan DeltaWing is set to race in North America for the first time at the finale of the 2012 American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón.
The pioneering, dart-shaped Nissan DeltaWing will compete in the 1000-mile Petit Le Mans powered by Mazda on October 17-20, 2012, at Road Atlanta. The revolutionary race car was designed to perform like a contemporary sports prototype while cutting weight, fuel consumption and tire use by half.
Monday’s announcement came at Nissan's North American headquarters in Nashville, Tennessee, with Nissan Americas Vice-Chairman, Bill Krueger, on hand.
Nissan became a founding partner in the DeltaWing project in March, and the team then faced a major challenge to get the experimental Nissan DeltaWing car and its specially developed 1.6-litre DIG-T Nissan engine, ready for the grueling Le Mans 24 Hours.
The project provided a test bed for Nissan to develop future innovations that can be filtered into the company's global motorsport programs as well as future road products. This will continue to be the case at Petit Le Mans, with new technology being tried during the race and further development work carried out by partner, Michelin, on its bespoke tires, specially built for the Nissan DeltaWing.
The Nissan DeltaWing project, with ALMS founder Don Panoz as managing partner, will compete for the first time since its June debut at Le Mans. It retired from the French endurance classic after six hours, following contact with another car.
The team believes that the 1000-mile/10-hour Petit Le Mans is the perfect event for the Nissan DeltaWing to not only give fans the race finish they desire, but also demonstrate its prowess on a more traditional track, as opposed to the high-speed Le Mans circuit, which also incorporates public roads.
Spaniard Lucas Ordonez is set to race the car at Road Atlanta, along with American Le Mans Series 2011 PC class champion Gunnar Jeannette.
Panoz has hinted that this may be the first of many races in North American for DeltaWing. It’s feasible that the car could be part of the new unified North American sports car championship for 2014 when ALMS merges with GRAND-AM.
The Nissan DeltaWing team comprises a group of key partners including American motorsport entrepreneur Panoz; designer Bowlby; project patron and IndyCar team owner, Chip Ganassi; tire supplier, Michelin; Dan Gurney's All-American Racers organization; and Duncan Dayton's Highcroft Racing team.
The 1000-mile/10-hour Petit Le Mans powered by Mazda is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. ET on Saturday, October 20, from Road Atlanta. ABC's broadcast begins at 1 p.m. ET on Sunday, October 21. Full, live coverage starts at 11:15 a.m. ET on ESPN3.
The Series' website offers additional content such as live in-car cameras, and timing and scoring for all users around the world. Viewers outside the US can watch Petit Le Mans and all ALMS races live on ALMS.com.
Visit ALMS.com for current and future event information including tickets and area accommodations.