Roll hoop shows effects of crash (photo courtesy Bruno Junqueira via Twitter) Scroll down this page for in-car video of the incident.
The Nissan DeltaWing's U.S. race debut at this weekend's Petit Le Mans has gotten problematic after the unique car suffered a crash during testing Wednesday at Road Atlanta.
The DeltaWing, with Gunnar Jeannette at the wheel, was struck in the left rear by a GTC Porsche driven by Peter LeSaffre as he went under the bridge. The car was damaged by the ensuing rollover and impact with the wall but the team expects to be back on track Thursday at Road Atlanta. The team subsequently revealed that the car sustained a 7g impact.
"Not the best of practice sessions, unfortunately, for our little Nissan DeltaWing," related Jeannette, who was uninjured in the accident. "Everything was going well and all the changes we were making had been positive. Unfortunately, I followed a GTC car through [Turns] 10A and 10B and in following him expected that he saw me. I had a run on him exiting 10B before the bridge, pulled basically almost completely past and he cut over – to probably try to take the apex for not seeing me. We made heavy contact with the left rear of our car which sent me for a little bit of a ride. I've always dreamed of being a test pilot but not in a racecar!
"Luckily the guys built a very strong car and I think that while the damage looks to be bad in photographs, the car actually took the impact quite well. We have all the spare parts to fix it and have an excellent crew that are already going to work."
Despite the disappointing end to the day, the Nissan DeltaWing team were encouraged with the performance of the car, which wound up sixth-fastest overall on the day.
Porsche driver LeSaffre's version of the incident:
“I had no place to go,” he said. “I was tracking out on the curb. My steering wheel was straight, and he whacked me. There is quite a bit of traffic and a lot of turns where you should not pass even if you're in a P1 car. It comes down to being patient. The race, especially in our class with eight cars, is going to be a tough one.”
Later Wednesday, Highcroft Racing put together a detailed series of on-board cameras capturing the crash as it happened. The results, both from Jeannette's point of view and from Martin Plowman's, who was trailing immediately behind in the Conquest Endurance Morgan Nissan, are below.