The full-scale DeltaWing racecar will soon leave its development headquarters at Dan Gurney's All-American Racers in Santa Ana, Calif., to head to the Windshear facility in Charlotte, N.C., for testing.
“The tunnel test is the next step in finalizing the aerodynamics of the design to confirm the car will do exactly what we are expecting,” said DeltaWing designer Ben Bowlby. “We have already completed extensive CFD [Computational Fluid Dynamics] development, simulation testing and scale model wind tunnel work at All American Racers.
"The time has come to bring the real car to life and the first step is to run the car at Windshear at full size on a moving ground plane wind tunnel. We'll have the real Michelin tires, the real suspension, the real bodywork and cooling systems – everything you will see on the car at the racetrack. The plan is to ensure the simulations we have done meet reality.”
The unique DeltaWing car features half the weight, half the horsepower, half the aerodynamic drag and significantly reduced tire use and fuel consumption compared to a traditional prototype sports car. Technical personnel from Michelin, transmission partner EMCO Gears and the DeltaWing engine partner will be on site at the first track test that is scheduled to follow the wind tunnel visit.
“Our goal with the car is to use a small-capacity modern powertrain. An ideal example of this is a 1.6-liter turbo direct injection in-line four cylinder engine,” Highcroft Racing's Duncan Dayton – a partner in the Le Mans program with Bowlby and AAR – explained. “We have an engine in place from a major OEM – we can't reveal details at this stage until the manufacturer is ready to make their announcement. However, we are very excited about what we have, as dyno testing has shown the engine exceeds all of our expectations in terms of efficiency, weight and power.”
“There is tremendous focus in the auto industry worldwide on making vehicles lighter without sacrificing performance, and we hope to learn a great deal from our collaboration with the DeltaWing program,” said Silvia Mammone, Michelin motorsports manager and project leader for the Michelin DeltaWing.