Next weekend’s Petit Le Mans powered by Mazda will be the first race in North America for the Nissan DeltaWing, but it won’t be the last.
The American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón and sanctioning body IMSA revealed Friday that the revolutionary new prototype would compete as a fully classified car in the 2013 ALMS season.
As it did at this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans, Nissan DeltaWing is set to run unclassified at Road Atlanta as a factory-backed entry. The unique car features half the weight, half the horsepower and half the aerodynamic drag but all of the performance of a typical Le Mans prototype.
IMSA will collect and analyze race data at Petit Le Mans to create the rules for DeltaWing to compete as a championship-contending car in the ALMS for customers. That is expected to come less than a year from the car’s worldwide debut that occurred in June at Le Mans.
The 1000-mile/10-hour Petit Le Mans will provide a stark contrast for designer Ben Bowlby and the DeltaWing team—including drivers Gunnar Jeannette and Lucas Ordonez.
The 2.54-mile Road Atlanta is dramatically shorter, tighter and features more elevation changes than the 8.5-mile Le Mans circuit.
The 1,000-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 with qualifying coverage beginning at 1:50 p.m. ET on Friday, October 19.
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.