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All- American racing car of the future unveiled

June 11, 2011 - Indianapolis

Deltawing has unveiled an all-American racing car of the future which is set to compete at the prestigious 24 Hours of Le Mans next year.

The sanctioning body for the race, the Automobile Club de l'Ouest (ACO), established a 'Garage 56' program that allows one experimental vehicle to join the traditional field of 55 cars each year to highlight new automotive technologies.

DeltaWing's proposal for a lightweight, aircraft-inspired single-seater was earlier rejected by the Indycar racing series in favour of a more traditional open-wheel racer to be used by all teams from the 2012 season.

Instead of dropping the idea, DeltaWing chief designer Ben Bowlby turned his idea into a two-seat prototype.

The DeltaWing design will be developed by a new partnership known as Project 56, which includes legendary American driver, Dan Gurney, American Le Mans Series owner Dan Panoz and two-time defending Alms lmp2 class champion, Connecticut's Highcroft Racing.

The car will be engineered by Gurney's All-American Racers in California and fielded by the Highcroft outfit, the Fox News reports.

It employs an unusual tripod-like layout, with two narrow tires tucked close together in front that give it the impression of a three-wheeler. Its target weight is just over 1,000 pounds and it possesses extremely efficient aerodynamics.

DeltaWing spokesman Bill Lafontaine said he expects its performance to fall between the top two prototypes, LMP1 and LMP2, despite being powered by an engine producing just 300 horsepower, as compared to the 575 horsepower motor used by the leading teams from Audi and Peugeot.

The team is also in talks with several engine manufacturers and tire suppliers, and hopes to begin on road testing in a couple of months.


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