Le Mans »

Q&A - Don Panoz, DeltaWing

ALMS founder, and managing partner of DeltaWing Racing Cars, Don Panoz talks about the upcoming debut for the Nisan DeltaWing car in the Le Mans 24 Hours
Q:
How much are you looking forward to the car's debut in France?

Don Panoz:
The amount of effort that has gone into preparing the car for the 24 Hours of Le Mans has been truly remarkable and a real credit to everyone involved. The level of interest in the DeltaWing has been quite amazing and I am sure the car is going to attract a lot of attention in France.

We are under no illusions about running at the front of the field nor actually making it to the finish. Getting to the end would be truly remarkable, but our goal will be to showcase what could be done. We will be there to showcase the possibilities for the future.

Having a partner like Nissan has been fantastic and they are equally as excited about the next month. This project had a lot of doubters but people like Nissan and Michelin shared our vision for the future and they are all sharing in the exposure benefits which highlight everyone involved as companies who are prepared to question the status quo and look to the future.

Q:
What is the future of the car for after the 24 Hours of Le Mans?

Don Panoz:
We are currently in discussions with our partners regarding that but the challenging scenario is the fact that the car doesn't conform to the current ACO rules so we would need to be invited by the WEC as an unclassified new technology car to undertake any additional races on the world stage.

However, we'd also love to see the car compete in the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón and we're working towards that goal.

Q:
Only one DeltaWing exists at this stage, could we see more cars constructed in the future?

Don Panoz:
That is certainly our plan. The guys at Dan Gurney's All American Racers did a great job in constructing the prototype but ongoing cars will be built at Elan Motorsport Technologies here in Braselton, Georgia.

We have a great pedigree of building cars here including the Indy 500-winning Panoz-G-Force chassis plus the entire field for Champ Car and Superleague Formula.

The DeltaWing that will race at Le Mans will hopefully be the first of many cars to be constructed.

Q:
Where could the car race in the future?

Don Panoz:
As custodians of the American Le Mans Series, we'd love to see the car race in our series and we believe it would be a huge attraction.

We have already had discussions with IMSA regarding a rules framework where the DeltaWing could run against either P1 or P2 cars in the ALMS.




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oldbiker - Unregistered

May 23, 2012 8:46 AM

Whatever happens at Le Mans its simply great to see what some original thinking can achieve. Not since John Cooper got the idea of putting the engine behind, instead of in front, of the driver about 50 years ago have I seen anyone make a really original attempt to explore the relationship between driver,chassis, engine and wheels. Good luck to them !



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