DeltaWing Concept Sportscar to Challenge 2012 Le Mans 24 Hour

Sporting half the weight and horsepower of a traditional racing car, a DeltaWing concept is to tackle next year’s Le Mans 24 Hour race as an additional 56th entry. The 56th place on the grid is reserved for a technologically innovative car to participate "outside the classifications" – a vehicle showcasing new applications and unique technologies previously unseen in the world's greatest endurance race.

The concept sportscar by Project 56 is targeting competitive performance with only half the horsepower of the leading contenders. It does this through halving the amount of aerodynamic drag of traditional racing cars as well as a similar reduction in weight.

The Project 56 Group is in discussion with engine partners to provide a 1.6-liter turbocharged power plant for the project – producing approximately 300 horsepower.

Eliminating the use of traditional wings, downforce for the DeltaWing is generated solely beneath the car by the contoured underbody.

"The secret to the DeltaWing car is simplicity and efficiency,"
designer Ben Bowlby said. "We really have to applaud the ACO for having the foresight to create this opportunity for an entry like ours. We believe this is a true automotive innovation which could be the catalyst for changing the way people look at not only racing car design, but automotive design as a whole."

"The DeltaWing project really represents a unique opportunity for all automotive industry sectors,"
Highcroft Racing's Duncan Dayton said. "It is so new and exciting, and such an interesting departure from the traditional race car development path – it is highly relevant to the future.

"Given that the world is concentrating on efficiency and green technologies in an attempt to achieve sustainability, this project in my opinion will help promote the direction that is being adopted throughout the entire automotive industry,"
added Dayton.
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