The DeltaWing project introduced one of the lightest, most aerodynamic, and oddest-looking designs ever to have participated in endurance racing. The car, which raced last year using a Nissan powerplant, had a rough season, but one which was nonetheless productive in terms of practical data regarding super-lightweight design and materials. After the season ended, nearly all of the DeltaWing’s contributing companies ended up abandoning the project, which is now in the hands of Don Panoz, the founder of the American Le Mans Series, who is determined to keep things going for at least another season.
With Nissan gone, The DeltaWing will now be using a Mazda powerplant. The plant has a billet block, direct injection and twin turbos, allowing it to make 345 horsepower and 350lb-ft of torque. That’s slightly more power than the old Nissan engine, and Panoz says says the 2013 will be a little lighter as well. This will bump the car up into the P1 class of the ALMS, which means it will face stiffer competition than it did last year in the P2 class, but such is the price of going faster. The car will retain its unique shape, but only for the first race of the season at Sebring, according to Motor Trend. After that, the car will have a new body which should be largely the same, with the exception of a closed-cockpit design for improved aerodynamics, a trend a lot of endurance race cars are moving toward. The closed-cockpit car will have its track debut at the Mazda Laguna Seca Raceway. There is certainly hope that the car to fare better than it did last year, although it will also be racing without all of its previous backers, so it really could go either way.