DeltaWing IndyCar coming to the 2012 Le Mans

Article by Christian Andrei, on June 10, 2011

The Le Mans 24 Hour race organizers have invited the Project 56 group to participate in the 2012 race as the 56th entry. This group offers a unique concept that delivers extreme performance with half the weight and horsepower of a conventional racecar.

For this feat, several famous names in the industry have come together, including DeltaWing Racing Cars LLC as the designer; All American Racers (which is owned by 1967 Le Mans winner Dan Gurney) as the manufacturer; and Highcroft Racing (American Le Mans Series championship winning racing team).

Its key advisor is American Le Mans Series founder Dr. Don Panoz. Le Mans racing governing body, Automobile Club de l'Ouest, has picked out the Project 56 group to fill the 56th place, which is reserved for a technologically innovative car to participate "outside the classifications." In other words, this is a vehicle that has new applications and distinct technologies that haven’t been seen before in this race.

Rather than boosting performance by raising horsepower and aerodynamic downforce, the DeltaWing concept aims to use efficiency gains found outside contemporary regulations to cut fuel consumption without compromising performance.

This experimental car will attempt to achieve a competitive performance but with only half the horsepower of the leading competitors. It is able to do this by cutting in half the weight as well as the amount of aerodynamic drag that traditional racing cars have. Talks are ongoing between the Project 56 Group and engine partners to supply a 300hp 1.6-liter turbocharged power plant for the project.

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