Highcroft's Deltawing *Update: granted ALMS 2013 full entry! *

Discussion in 'Motorsport' started by Hun200kmh, Jul 4, 2011.

  1. Hun200kmh

    Hun200kmh

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    As many here know, I have been an enthusiastic supporter of the DeltaWing ever since the project was announced last year. Unable to watch the race yesterday, I was gutted, to say the least, when I got news of the DW's tragic fortune.

    I almost shed tears today (sure had a lump in my throat) when I saw MOTOYAMA's efforts captured in video, and his sadness, head down, in the scooter that took him away.

    There are no second chances for garage 56, so I have no idea if the DeltaWing will ever race again. I hope it does, but I know nothing about it.

    So, to end, I'd just like to share the team's press conference this morning. Worth listening to:

    http://soundcloud.com/highcroft-racing/nissan-deltawing-le-mans-press

    And their own written account:

    http://www.deltawingracing.com/news...hrills-le-mans-fans-despite-early-finish.html


    And to make an end without acrimony (in motorsports :censored: happens too) I'll share also here a tweet from Highcroft, with the picture that came attached to it:

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2012
  2. lbsf1

    lbsf1

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    If this project is forgotten now I will be so upset. It was engineers trying new idea's and experimenting and it seemed to be going all so well. I so hope they get another chance somewhere.
     
  3. sumbrownkid

    sumbrownkid

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    After all that hardwork put into it, only to end up being smashed by a Toyota.

    Though it was polite of Toyota to apologize for the incident.
     
  4. GTPorsche

    GTPorsche

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    This won't be the last time the Deltawing will be seen on the track. Just give it until 2014....
     
  5. Ardius

    Ardius

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    What happens then? The FIA/ACO suddenly allow the full use of ground effects and narrow front wheel bases? Not happening.

    The DW has an invitation at Petit Le Mans I believe? I think at the moment its limited to invitations or replacing the FLM class.
    I can't see them changing the regulations so dramatically to allow it to compete in LMP1 or 2.
     
  6. Hun200kmh

    Hun200kmh

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    The career of the DeltaWing in WEC sanctioned events it is over I'm afraid, 2014 regs are out and there are no DW shaped cars in them.

    In the ALMS we don't know. In Japan we don't know. In some spec FIA (or american governing body) sanctioned series we don't know. But it'll be hardly "doable".
     
  7. F1 fan

    F1 fan Premium

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    Really sad to hear that. Would like to see what they can do when better prepared.
     
  8. R1600Turbo

    R1600Turbo Premium

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    Didn't one of the Speed reporters say that a highly positioned Audi official was seen talking to the Highcroft people at LeMans?
     
  9. niky

    niky Moderator

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    I sincerely hope development continues. At least let them do side-by-side laps in the ALMS.
     
  10. lbsf1

    lbsf1

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    The doesn't necessarily mean much, no matter what team I worked for I would have gone and had a look at the deltawing its so fundamentally different that pretty much any engineer would find it fascinating. I wouldn't read to much into that, my guess is that it was just a chat.
     
  11. prisonermonkeys

    prisonermonkeys Premium

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    If it's true, I doubt there's much more to it than Audi showing interest in what DeltaWing achieved.

    I really think the DeltaWing needs its own series. Indycar made a mistake in opting for the Dallara chassis - it was too conservative, and the general consensus is that the car is pretty ugly. But the DeltaWing got a lot of attention at Le Mans, and even if it crashed out early, it still completed 75 laps when a lot of people thought it wouldn't be able to turn a corner.

    I could see a DeltaWing spec series taking place, or even a DeltaWing-inspired series for experimental racing cars.
     
  12. niky

    niky Moderator

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    A Deltawing-inspired (but not spec) series would be great. Sort of a "LeMons" for manufacturers.

    Throw all the rules out the window except inlet restrictor, maximum width and cockpit standardization... and give teams a budget cap for car development. I think we'd see some pretty cool stuff getting put on track... and it would attract a heck of a lot of attention.
     
  13. HELLAFLUSH240SX

    HELLAFLUSH240SX

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    If Audi is intrested this could be good for Toyota.
    DW Audis would surely stop their LMP1 domination.:sly:
     
  14. prisonermonkeys

    prisonermonkeys Premium

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    The problem lies in convincing them to commit to it because it means developing an entirely new car. I think that the easiest way forward would be to give everyone a spec chassis and a budget cap for development and then tell them to go from there. So they will all start with the same car, but they develop it on there on.
     
  15. Nessy

    Nessy

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    I think i'd partly echo Prisoners on this, i highly doubt we'll ever see the DW compete at Le Mans again, unless there were more that adopt a similar design (narrow gauge front,wider gauge rear, no wing), while i admire the ingenuity of the DW.. i find that running it at Le Mans, was a bit like running a high performance racing bike at a F1 GP. Don't get me wrong, i was pleased to see it run at Le Mans, but making contact with other cars was only a matter of time (imo, even if it wasn't the fault of the DW), the whole way it has to take it's racing line slightly different, as well as braking considerations and the unknown of wet weather, i feel doesn't gel well with the cars of other competitors. If we do see a return to Le Mans of a ground effect car it would probably be a mixture of LMP2 and DW maybe a wee bit like this 2006 Fioravanti lf1 concept.. albeit with fully enclosed wheels.

    [​IMG]
     
  16. prisonermonkeys

    prisonermonkeys Premium

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    I've heard talk that Highcroft want the Deltawing to replace the Oreca FLM09 as the spec chassis for the Le Mans Prototype Challenge. I don't know much about LMPC, though, only that the FLM09 is three years out of date and has nothing to really differentiate it from LMP2 cars, which is a problem given the strength of the LMP2 field.
     
  17. homeforsummer

    homeforsummer Premium

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    That's where I think you're missing the point. It isn't different for different's sake, it's different in areas that are incredibly relevant to endurance racing - efficiency, simplicity, and durability as a result of the first two. Those are all things that everyone competing at Le Mans strives for, whether it's a privateer team running a 458 or Audi spending millions developing the pinnacle of hybrid, diesel, AWD prototypes.

    I think the car's performance at Le Mans - in terms of tyre and fuel use, as well as outright speed - was evidence enough that the format works well. It's just a real shame we didn't get a chance to see whether it would have made a full 24 hours.

    What's deceiving about it? As an extension to what I've said to The Cracker above, many of the Deltawing's attributes are entirely relevant to road cars. It uses an essentially road car engine as a start - modified of course, but essentially it's a 1.6 turbocharged unit from a Juke. Many of the mechanical bits are apparently off-the-shelf Nissan bits. And it's an exercise in making something lighter and less powerful without necessarily sacrificing performance.

    It's only marginally less relevant than the GT-class cars, and far more so than the LMPs.

    I never claimed it was. My point is that the DW is different to see if it works. On the best evidence we have, it appears to work quite well.

    As by far the crowd's favourite at the event (Highcroft's pit garage had a bigger crowd than Audi's on Friday), the DW has done that job pretty well too.
     
  18. Ardius

    Ardius

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    But the point you are missing here and it seems everyone seems to quickly forget, is that none of this is unique to its design.

    You can put that Juke engine in a "normal" LMP design.
    You can put ground effects on a "normal" LMP design.
    You can save a shed load of weight on a "normal" LMP design.
    etc etc

    Sure there are elements of the DeltaWing designs that are road-relevant. But those elements are not as a result of its wheel-base design. All of the points that have been mentioned can be applied to a wide-wheel base design.

    Using a road engine is not revolutionary. Using ground effects is not revolutionary. Nor is putting all of them together and matching the pace of the back-end of the LMP2 class.

    I'd argue the fuel effiencey of this car is a result of the ground effects, lower weight and smaller engine and I am preferring to have the wheelbase design compared a bit more fairly with a comparable wide-wheel base design. I believe you can make the same car do the same things without having to resort to the Reliant Robin concept.
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2012
  19. Hun200kmh

    Hun200kmh

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    Ardius, I think you are missing this important point. The DELTA shape is not supposed to be a gimmick. You might "distrust" Ben Bowlby on this, but he says that a rectangular car built with ground effects will not be as drag (therefore fuel) efficient as a Delta shaped car. According to him, The DELTA shape is a case of form following function, not just doing differently for the sake of it.

    So, basically, what you have is:

    ground effects, no wings, litle drag - been there, done that

    lightweight - been there, done that

    1.6 inline 4 turbo - been there, done that

    delta shaped car, structurally different from anything else, allowing a more fuel and tyre efficient racing.

    Never been there, never tried that


    A litle OT to show a curiosity I just found, btw ... apparently Mr. Bowlby never liked wings, not even when he was starting

     
  20. Ardius

    Ardius

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    I didn't say it was a gimmick - I'm pointing out that the constant comparisons people keep making with LMP1 and 2 are not fair comparisons and the "benefits" the design presents are not necessarily all down to its shape.

    That is all. As I've said before, I'm happy for them to have a go and I would prefer to see it have an equivelant rival to get a better comparison. As it is, its kind of stating the obvious. Of course its more effecient than a LMP1 or 2 - this is not proving anything.

    Its not about not believing it, but rather wishing to see a real test. Think of it as a scientist's perpsective on god. Its not that we don't believe, its just that we wish to have proof.
     
  21. homeforsummer

    homeforsummer Premium

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    It is a real test, the main difference being that people wouldn't bat an eyelid if it was otherwise identical to an LMP-2 car, and as has been said, it may not be able to exploit the smaller engine etc if if was just plonked in a regular body.

    I strongly suspect - as someone absolutely not qualified as an engineer, but able to spot the bleeding obvious - that a 300hp 1.6 might struggle to overcome the downforce of an LMP body, even if you managed to shed its weight. It would also be over-tyred then, but if you narrowed the tyres on an LMP you'd run into other issues.

    Whichever way you spin it the Deltawing is incredibly clever, it's novel, and I absolutely back the decision to find alternative solutions relevant to an endurance format.

    The point isn't solely that it's more efficient. If that were the motivation you may as well run a diesel Mondeo. It's that it's more efficient AND quick enough to trouble the LMP-2s. And, from a purely armchair fan perspective, it's interesting to watch racing.
     
  22. Ardius

    Ardius

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    Why not? Give the LMP2 ground effects and smaller wings and allow it to shed some weight.
    Downforce doesn't necessarily always equal the same amount of drag. It depends how you generate it and how effeciently you generate it.

    If you can generate downforce without using wings, you can reduce the drag significantly, enter ground effects. This is what the DeltaWing uses to achieve its low drag but high grip and it wouldn't work without it (or it wouldn't be nearly as fast).

    Using ground effects isn't clever - they've been around for decades. Its only proving how ineffecient wing-based aerodynamics are - which we all knew already. The reason we have wing-based regulations though is because wings are more stable and safer.

    I realise the speed is part of the point - but the point is get the speed from a more effecient design. Basically all one and the same point. As I've now repeatedly said though, what are you proving by being as fast as LMP2 cars using half the weight, ground effects and a smaller engine when LMP2 are restricted in these either for safety, cost or both?
     
  23. MustangManiac

    MustangManiac Premium

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    This is the whole problem, what you believe does not matter, but you continue to argue your beliefs as facts. Trust me, I am an engineer, you could not drop the motor out of the DW into a P2 car and get the same benefits...period.
     
  24. Ardius

    Ardius

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    And I didn't say you could. What I described is not an LMP2 car seeing as they cannot run the lower weight, ground effects, etc etc.

    How many times do I have to repeat the same points before people read them properly?

    I love how people keep saying "trust me I know" then don't explain further. Please I would love to be shown why I am completely wrong. I'm here to discuss and learn. Not to be told I am simply wrong.
     
  25. GTPorsche

    GTPorsche

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    Take the ground effects away, give it proper downforce and a proper width front and rear and it might get somewhere.
     
  26. Ardius

    Ardius

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    I believe (but I might be wrong) the designer has even said the car wouldn't work without ground effects.
    Putting wings on it wouldn't generate enough downforce and the car wouldn't be as nearly as effecient.
     
  27. daan

    daan Moderator

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  28. Submerged

    Submerged Premium

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    Isn't the point of the DeltaWing concept an experiment to see if the Delta shape of the car, the actual shape of it, a way forward in terms of leading towards other innovation in motor racing and commercial car manufacturing?
     
  29. niky

    niky Moderator

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    This actually describes the spread of the whole field at LeMans... GT-cars and LMP cars really don't mix well because braking points and racing lines are different due to the different levels of downforce and weight... but the drivers are expected to deal with it, anyway.

    -

    Whether or not there's a future for Deltas on the racetrack, I think it's a concept worth visiting... maybe if someone is brave enough to start a series built around them, or if, maybe in 2014 or 2015, they create a sub-class for it... we'll see more.

    At the very least, it should generate much more interest in racing from those who wouldn't otherwise watch the same-old cars drive the same-old races over the same-old tracks year after year...
     
  30. Cowboys965

    Cowboys965

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    Wasn't it supposed to be what the IndyCars could've gone to? :scared: