June 17, 2012
DeltaWing in the Mirror
To watch the full Nissan DeltaWing press conference:
June 17 – Le Mans, France – Nissan DeltaWing was called an answer in search of a question, but at Le Mans 2012 the query seems to be “What if?”
On Sunday morning drivers Michael Krumm, Marino Franchitti and Satoshi Motoyama gathered at the Nissan media hub to discuss the car’s epic run, which ended late Saturday in the wake of a collision with another vehicle.
DeltaWing subsequently hit a barrier, and after a valiant track-side repair effort by Motoyama for over an hour, its Le Mans’ run stopped at 105 kilometers, although clearly not its impact on the sport.
Krumm, the first driver for the team at Le Mans who finished a lap in 3.42, said the car dubbed “the Batmobile” and once deemed unlikely to even qualify for the endurance race would have finished it.
“Satoshi showed us all what the Japanese working spirit is like. It’s not in his character to give up.”
“The last time I was at Le Mans my car broke down, but this time it was 10 times tougher to fix,” he said. “I was listening to everyone’s advice through the Le Mans fence on how to fix it and was very motivated, as I wanted to hand off the car to Marino.”
Franchitti, the main development driver for DeltaWing, said the car was only just finding its potential.
DeltaWing designer Ben Bolby added that the takeaway from the Le Mans experience was the huge potential for the car ahead.
“Clearly innovation is enchanting, is cool, and you can feel the support here at Le Mans,” he said. “In brief, there is more potential in the car.”
To watch an interview with driver Satoshi Motoyama:
To watch highlights from DeltaWing repair efforts: