Posts Tagged ‘Petit Le Mans’

Nissan’s DeltaWing scores an impressive result at Petit Le Mans

Nissan DeltaWing

Nissan’s fan-favourite DeltaWing racer scored its first ever race finish, taking fifth place overall in the gruelling 1000-mile Petit Le Mans race at Road Atlanta this past weekend, despite starting from the back of a 42 car grid. The DeltaWing enjoyed a relatively quiet race compared to the drama of the preceding days. In practice the car was taken out by a GTC class Porsche, momentarily knocking the DeltaWing onto its side, fortunately driver Gunner Jeannette was unhurt in the incident.

The race was on to fix the car in time for further practice sessions on Thursday, and in true endurance style the Nissan DeltaWing was soon back in action and ready for Petit Le Mans. “What I am most pleased about is that while the car obviously passed all the virtual and actual FIA crash tests prior to running at Le Mans,” said Nissan’s Darren Cox. “We’ve unfortunately tested the car in real world incidents twice now and in both cases the car has done its job in protecting the driver. We’d rather not do it again but we’ve certainly shown the concept works and it is very safe.”

Despite qualifying with a time fast enough for the top ten, the DeltaWing was relegated to the back of the grid for the start of the race. Organisers deemed that the car should start from the back as it was an unclassified entry. Read the rest of this entry »

Nissan DeltaWing returns to action at Petit Le Mans

Nissan DeltaWing

The Nissan DeltaWing team has declared ‘unfinished business’ after being unceremoniously shoved off the track and out of the Le Mans 24 Hours in June. The fan favourite team has announced it will return to finish what it started at Petit Le Mans.

The dart-shaped Nissan DeltaWing, which captured the attention of 240,000 Le Mans 24 Hour fans three months ago, will race again at next month’s American Le Mans Series (ALMS) finale at Road Atlanta, USA, on October 17-20. Led by Nissan Americas Vice-Chairman, Bill Kruger, the announcement took place yesterday at Nissan’s North American headquarters in Nashville, Tennessee.

Designed and built with the aim of completing the Le Mans 24 Hours using half the fuel and half the tyres of contemporary sports prototypes, the Nissan DeltaWing was forced to retire from the French endurance classic after six hours, following contact with another car. Japanese racer, Satoshi Motoyama, tried heroically to repair the damage by the side of the circuit for 90 minutes, before finally having to admit defeat, and garnering massive support for the team from fans.

Existing race commitments mean that all three of the Nissan DeltaWing Le Mans drivers − Motoyama, Marino Franchitti and Michael Krumm − are unavailable for the prestigious Petit Le Mans ALMS race. Nissan’s original GT Academy champion, Spaniard Lucas Ordonez, is set to race the car at Road Atlanta, along with American Le Mans Series 2011 PC class champion Gunnar Jeannette. Read the rest of this entry »

Disappointment for Audi & McNish at Petit Le Mans

Audi R18Allan McNish’s run of atrocious luck in this year’s Intercontinental Le Mans Cup (ILMC) continued this weekend at Petit Le Mans.

McNish, together with Tom Kristensen and Dindo Capello, retired his Audi R18 TDI on safety grounds with 90mins to run in the 1,000-mile race – the penultimate round of the ILMC.

The McNish/Kristensen/Capello car started from fourth place on the capacity 53-car grid with McNish aiming for a fifth personal Petit victory and Audi’s 10th in the annual 394-lap race around the undulating 2.54-mile Road Atlanta circuit.

But Kristensen lost a lap, and dropped to 41st after 37mins into the race following an unscheduled pit-stop to replace the front nose bodywork section and a punctured left tyre following contact with a GT car. Read the rest of this entry »

Aston Martin secures second consecutive podium at Petit Le Mans

Aston Martin 007 LMP1 car at Road AtlantaAt the final round of the American Le Mans Series, and the penultimate Intercontinental Le Mans Cup round, Aston Martin Racing scored its second consecutive podium as it finished third overall, and the best-placed petrol car at Petit Le Mans. The 007 LMP1 car finished just one lap behind the 2nd placed diesel car.

Despite a strong entry that included five competitive diesel racers, the petrol-powered V12 DBR1-2 ran flawlessly throughout the 1,000 mile race to dominate the unofficial petrol category with a clear four-lap margin to the nearest challenger.

Mexican ace Adrian Fernandez powered the Aston Martin Racing machine over the finish line more than nine hours after the race got underway to score the team’s second consecutive podium result in the series, adding to its outright victory at Laguna Seca two weeks before. Read the rest of this entry »

McNish & Audi aim for more success at Petit Le Mans

Audi R18Allan McNish is hoping for an upturn in fortune when the Scotsman returns to a previous happy and successful hunting ground in Road Atlanta and the annual Petit Le Mans race, which marks the American début of the Audi R18 TDI.

The Dumfries-born racer bids for his fifth and Audi’s 10th victory in the annual 1,000-mile race on Saturday (1 Oct) – the penultimate round of the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup.

McNish has endured a difficult season to date, having posted a third (Spa), two fourths (Sebring & Imola) plus a seventh (Silverstone) from the previous five races.

The double Le Mans 24 Hour race winner is partnered by Tom Kristensen and Dindo Capello, in what is the third longest race of the ILMC that concludes in China in November. Read the rest of this entry »