Lucas Ordoñez to Race Nissan DeltaWing at Petit Le Mans

September 17th, 2012 by Andrew Evans

After being cruelly dumped out of the Le Mans 24 hours three months ago, the Highcroft Racing Nissan DeltaWing will see its return to competitive action in October, with a GT Academy driver at the wheel.

Lucas Ordoñez will be familiar enough with the DeltaWing, having raced alongside the car at Le Mans this year on his way to an 8th place class finish as well as being one of the car’s official test drivers. It’s not his first run at Petit Le Mans either, as he finished third in class in the Signatech LMP2 car last year.

As for the DeltaWing, the Le Mans race provided vital data about the car, designed with the aim of being as quick as an LMP2 car while using half as much fuel and half as many tyres. When the car was squeezed off the track and into an early retirement after 75 laps, it had indeed rivalled the LMP2 laptimes while running twice the fuel economy (10.7mpg to 5mpg) and was still on its original tyres.

Just like the Le Mans race, DeltaWing’s entry will be ineligible for classification and racing as an invitation at Road Atlanta. However, following the recent restructuring of North American sports car motorsport, rumours abound of DeltaWing’s participation in the entire 2013 ALMS season too.

Qualifying for Petit Le Mans occurs on Friday 19th October, while the 1000mi/10 hour race starts at 1530GMT/UTC on Saturday 20th.

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  1. Oct. 2, 12:29am

    I kinda don’t like the Deltawing design. It looks like a car that is for fleeing from the battlefield.

  2. Sep. 19, 7:48pm

    I thought they destroyed the Deltawing…
    Everything I know is a lie.

  3. Sep. 19, 1:57am

    Check out this video posted in Nissan News Room featuring the Delta Wing including an interview with L.O.

  4. Sep. 19, 12:43am

    Here me out on this, I’m going somewhere with it so don’t throw me out by how this starts. I don’t think the DeltaWing should be aloud to enter racing under the ALMS, or the WEC, or Grand-AM or where ever else it may try to run. Again, stay with me because I’m not slanting out the DeltaWing or anything. Right now what is happening is a car that falls nowhere under the ACO sanction is being aloud entry for the race but it’s not competing for anything. It’s unclassified, what it does doesn’t count. So this totally different form of car is showing up, running for, and influencing the outcome of the race. Just look at the Le Mans incident the DeltaWing was in this year. Yes that Toyota eventually failed anyways, but let’s say the even lower visibilty Audi R18 the Toyota was racin with had been the one to clip it, and let’s say it caused a good amount of damage to it. Then a car contending for overall rights was just taken out of the race by car running around out there for nothing, it isn’t in a class and it results don’t even count. It doesn’t seem right to competing.

    The thing I know alot of people would say is to allow the DeltaWing homologation level with the LMP’s, and many would say it results should just count anyways. This couldn’t be done either because the car is so different. You could say it should get the same engine as an LMP. But remember the monocur of the DeltaWing? Getting the same speed with twice the fuel efficiency, half the tires and half the power. You give it an LMP engine and it butchers everybody. Besides that the car would fail to meet almost all of the areas of the LMP rulebook, such as height and width dimensions, wheel base rules, wheel size, undertray aero rules, body aero rules, the car must be a designed 2-seater, the mandated fender air holes, minmum weight, among others. You can’t just let a car all of a sudden come out here and let it compete for overall when it follows none of the rules that the other entered competitiors have followed the whole time. If you made it as fast as LMPs it still isn’t fair because its design is a big corner advantage not the superior tire and fuel milage, it would pit alot less then it’s oponents. If you made it so it was ballasted to a fair weight, gave it a fair engine and fuel cell considerin it’s aero package, and all the otter stuff to make it perform so we can say its absolutely even to the LMPs, then what have we got? We have a car we can comfortably allow to run but we can’t, but now the DeltaWing totally defeats the purpose of showcasing it’s brilliant, and it is brilliant, technology and we just have a differently shaped car that is harder for other drivers to see. Plus I still don’t believe that it is safe. You mean to tell me that if the DeltaWing is stopped on track and is nailed at 200 mph by another car with twice the mass, that the driver’s legs are fully protected in that skinny, thin nose? Look at pictures of the DeltaWing at it’s first test at Sebring right after the 12 Hours. There are shots of it running with the R18. Look how small it is compared. Then consider how low the R18 is compared to a GT Corvette.

    Here’s the point though, and the part you DeltaWing fans won’t despise me for, lol. The DeltaWing is to different to compete with Le Mans cars, for the reasons I gave, it was never meant for indycars, I couldn’t see it any F1 type deal or anywhere. However, it is a totally new breed of car and I can respect that. What the totally new and different DeltaWing needs is it’s own spec series. In it’s own spec series it doesn’t have to be restricted or tightly confined to try to make a drastically different car fit. In a DeltaWing spec series they can fully unrestricted the car to show us it’s full potential, because they have been telling us it’s got way more there if the ACO allows them to use it. Then they can truly showcase the DeltaWing’s revolutionary technology unrestricted. If they just started up a league and ran it by itself it would be a long road to draw a following, support, and get the word out there of what the car is doing. Therefore, the dream scenario would be to go around as a support series with the merged ALMS/Grand-Am Series in 2014. It gets all the draw from the major event, because like the way they mergw or not the unified ALMS/Grand-AM series will be a tour de force in GT/endurance racing world. So yeah, it gets all the draw from the big endurance series, gaining publisity and keeping it in the publuc eye of the motorsports comunnity, and can finally run in a manor where it is fully unrestricted and can show it’s full potential. So what do you think? DeltaWing Spec Series 2014!

    • Sep. 19, 12:53am

      Oh yeah, and in a spec series you know the DeltaWing will have place to run all the time. No more one-off appearances here or there where it’s results dint even count. Now all the DeltaWing and Motorsports have a place they can always follow and watch the DeltaWing race at. A DeltaWing spec series just seems perfect :)

    • Sep. 19, 1:50pm
      Deko Wolf-GTPT

      Finally someone makes sense out of the Deltawing. All I have heard so far is either “kill it”, or “it’s better than everything else”.

      I can agree with you 100% on everything you said. However, ACO have allowed weird and wonderful prototypes in Le Mans before, and that’s why the Deltawing wasn’t any different.

      Before we can get a Deltawing class, the original Deltawing must first be developed to a standard, and that can only happen if tested in real racing situations. It’s another chicken and the egg situation.

      On a lighter note, I can only wish there where more people like you in the world of motorsport.

    • Sep. 19, 11:12pm

      Thank you, and I agree it would take some sponsorship funding to do the proper testing, I would imagine they could get stir it up though, since the technology of the DeltaWing applies to a whole new market of sponsors that focus their advertising on green technologies and such. There have been opportunities for green technologies before but this would take those opportunities to a whole new level. But yeah, still would take some work.

    • Sep. 20, 3:41am

      I agree with you. You’re not the only one!

  5. Sep. 18, 10:08pm

    You have to love the Delta Wing it fresh new exciting and cutting edge tech. Not your grandfathers race car. It’s alway exciting to hear when new things are being developed that could completely change the game… Go Delta Wing lol

  6. Sep. 18, 9:51pm

    ALMS is dead…

  7. Sep. 18, 9:12pm

    I can’t wait to see the car at Road Atlanta next month. =- ]

    • Sep. 18, 10:01pm

      I agree that should be pretty exciting

  8. Sep. 18, 3:20pm

    Note to self: stay away from toyotas

  9. Sep. 18, 2:44pm

    I want to see a red bull in real life racing through de la sarthe rather than the nissan batwing lol

  10. Sep. 18, 2:35pm

    The more I read about this car, the more I want it in Gran Turismo. It would be interesting to feel it through the game’s physics.

    • Sep. 18, 10:03pm

      Husky I with you, I think it would be interest to get behind the wheel of this machine.

  11. Sep. 18, 1:37pm

    Anyone up for a redbull-delta wing concept collaboration….x2013?

    • Sep. 18, 11:46pm

      No, lol, sorry. The styling of the DeltaWing I find undesirable, but after that I don’t even care to have a Red Bull 2013. The car is actually to fast, lol. It’s super quick with high corner speed so it means less time under breaking which means passing opportunities are at a minimum. Plus it’s super delicate as it is so you can’t real get bold with it. It could be fun, if we had even 1 track for the car, because it’s obviously in a league of it’s own speed wise it needs tracks built to it’s straight line speed and cornering abilities if we want any prayer of it being race-able. On most of the tracks the competition is as good as running LMPs at Kart Space I. It would have been fun if they made the speed a tic above LMPs, like reaching almost 240-ish on the Mulsanne Straight (with chicanes), and give it the cornering ability of a Ferrari F1 car with the ease and comfort of the Schulze Motorsports Nissan GT-R 24H Edition. That would still be by far the quickest car, but you could do more racing with it and it would still fit most of the tracks in the game. That’s what I wish they did with the Red Bull. I mean look at it now, nobody ever uses them online. It was suppose to be the perfect race car so you think people would want to run it, but they don’t because it just isn’t fun.

      Btw, when you say “collaborate with DeltaWing” you want “collaborate with AAR (Dan Gurney’s All American Racers)”. They were the ones wit the idea, designing, and development of the car. It’s 100% their engineering, just like how the Corvette is 100% Chevrolet’s doing. I would say Ferrari 458 as an example to but they got their suspension from Cadillac, lol.

  12. Sep. 18, 1:32pm

    am i the only one that noticed that the deltawing picture on the news thread looked like it was gt5 modeled and at spa possibly?

  13. Sep. 18, 12:12pm


    • Sep. 18, 3:54pm

      Oh yeah…. TODAY IS MY BIRTHDAY, true story :)

    • Sep. 18, 10:00pm

      Happy birthday to both of you

    • Sep. 18, 11:47pm

      Why thank you good sir :)

  14. Sep. 18, 9:07am

    I think what’s really hysterical and iironic is that Lucas’s co-driver, Gunnar Jeannette, is a pro race driver who’s a Forza Motorsport fan and someone who’s helped T10 develop the driving physics of FM4. In other words GT’s poster child and FM’s pro race driver consultant are forming together to race in the DW come October.

    • Sep. 18, 9:30am

      Which makes this news even more badass! :D

    • Sep. 18, 11:33am
      Pit Crew

      Gamers may be bias, but Real world Racing is Universal.

      Multiple cultures climb Mountains like the K2 (Godwin Austin) and Mt Everest. They may differ Religiously and Politically but out there (Racing) and up there (Mt Climbing) it’s about one goal, Survival of the Fittest (Fastest).

    • Sep. 18, 11:48am

      Poetry (wipes tear from eye)

    • Sep. 18, 12:22pm

      good info cuco !

    • Sep. 18, 9:59pm

      That is so cool and ironic at the same time. I’m sure that they will both try to represent and get the best lap times.

    • Sep. 18, 11:50pm

      Lol, tpark is right. All the drivers say how they go for the best lap time, it’s what the driver’s shoot for to get braving rights on each other. Kind of a separate note but on topic to this post, I wish PD showed best lap of the race for online races at the bottom of the screen below the results list.

  15. Sep. 18, 7:54am

    I dont get it. Intriguing design yes, beautiful, no. Sorry just not a fan of this batmobile.

    • Sep. 18, 9:00am

      Agreed, I hate the way this thing looks. Yes I am amazed at the tech, but when something looks this dumb, I don’t care what it can do.

    • Sep. 18, 9:32am

      It’s okay that you two don’t like the Deltawing which is both your opinions, but take it easy of what you say about its looks please…

    • Sep. 18, 11:08am

      This is a Racing car for a racing event, how the car Its look it doesn’t matter, is what this car is capable to do on a track. This it’s not an elegance contest….

    • Sep. 18, 11:19am

      Take it easy on how it looks? I thought saying it looked like the Batmobile was very generous, because it’s way easier to say it looks like a big black item of genitalia. Technology is great but looks like trash. I think it was Auto Week magazine that put it the best. They had an article after Le Mans this year where the author said “You could almost here a collective ‘what the Hell!?’ from the crowd everytime the DeltaWing went by. However, the DeltaWing looks as sleek and stylish as a D-Type Jag compared to next years unclassified entry at Le Mans, the (shivers*) GreenGT. It looks like an over-emphasized Hot Wheel, or a fish the got the bends, truly the singal ugliest thing I have seen in my entire life and I sincerely hope that there is a fire that burns down the teams entire headquarters just so it can’t make it to track. It’s that bad!

    • Sep. 18, 11:36am
      Pit Crew

      I’ll drive it. The view from the in car cam will make up for its exterior shortcomings (If there are any)

    • Sep. 18, 11:46am

      Lol, the drivers seat is always the safest spot when it comes not looking at ugly cars

    • Sep. 18, 6:44pm

      Beauty is different to everyone, personally I think it looks amazing :)

  16. Sep. 18, 4:48am
    Valentino Rossi

    I would love to see this car in gt5 I would spend hours driving it

  17. Sep. 18, 4:15am

    This car could be a great in the GT5 endurance races if they’re able to translate the fuel and tyre economy into the game. Maybe it will be in GT6 :)

    • Sep. 18, 11:21am

      I remember before spec 2.0 when tire rates were more accurate and you could do a stint on softs without pitting 4 times without needing fuel.

  18. Sep. 18, 3:34am

    Best news in motorsport for a while now, can’t help but love the deltawing!

  19. Sep. 18, 3:16am

    O, snap don’t get side swipe homey!

  20. Sep. 17, 11:13pm

    I’m going this year, but i won’t get to get up close to the Delta Wing because I will miss the first 30 minutes to an hour of the race. It’s a shame because I ABSOLUTELY LOVE when the cars come flying around the first turn. It is the best noise ever!!!!

    • Sep. 17, 11:24pm

      I know what you mean! Attending a major racing level event is unreal. I was at Belle Isle for the indycar race this year and had seats in the front stretch stands, right at the line. It’s UNREAL when they come scream up the straight at max speed, hit the limiter, and jump hard on the brakes for turn 1. I get that some people just don’t watch racing on tv, it’s just not their thing. But if you can’t enjoy it in person your just down right unmanly!

  21. Sep. 17, 10:19pm

    Wow, I’d love to see how he handles this thing. After an early retirement at Le Mans, I’d like to see this thing finish at Road Atlanta.

  22. Sep. 17, 9:58pm

    That’s great!! I’m going to be there. It was my Christmas gift from my father.

  23. Sep. 17, 9:05pm

    I honestly don’t know how that thing grips at the front. It makes no sense.

    • Sep. 17, 9:58pm

      Thats what makes it so interesting.

      what a lucky guy

    • Sep. 17, 11:10pm

      The car grips in the corners as a result of it’s aerodynamics and light weight design. The DeltaWing is much lighter then the traditional prototype race car, which is why the smaller wheels are still able to turn the car. The car is able to grip in the turns, make speed on the straights, and go it on less fuel and a smaller engine because of the aerodynamics. The trick is that Dan Gurney’s All-American Racers (they designed it, not Nissan, so give Dan Gurney his due!) found a way to have a low downforce body, meaning lower drag for greater straight line speed, but keep the car stuck to the ground by the aerodynamic of the cars under-tray. So essentially they are getting alot of downforce with very little drag and lower weight.

    • Sep. 18, 12:43am
      Pit Crew

      Hopefully we will get a chance this race minus the Toyota “engineering”

    • Sep. 18, 12:47am

      Talking about Toyota’s new rear wing or hybrid efficiency in general Pit Crew?

    • Sep. 18, 11:25am
      Pit Crew

      Lol, talking about how the Toyota wrecked the DeltaWing haha :)

    • Sep. 18, 11:44am

      Gotcha lol

  24. Sep. 17, 8:46pm

    Lucas is moving up, it’s just insane

  25. Sep. 17, 8:26pm

    Awesome to see the DeltaWing back at it after its unfortunate early exit at Le Mans.

  26. Sep. 17, 8:21pm

    it’s gonna roll on the last turn.

  27. Sep. 17, 8:16pm

    BADASS!!! Imo this news rocks! Luck with the DeltaWing Lucas. :D

  28. Sep. 17, 8:04pm

    Yes! Deltawing is back in action!

  29. Sep. 17, 7:59pm

    So, deltawing for GT6 anyone?

  30. Sep. 17, 7:51pm

    Lucas you’re going to have a blast!!

  31. Sep. 17, 7:46pm

    Cool! Good luck and have fun Lucas!

    So uh…. When do we GT5 players get a try at the Deltawing? lol

    • Sep. 17, 7:57pm

      When we buy GT6 ;)

      Actually, I have no idea, but it would make for part of a worthwhile DLC if you ask me.

  32. Sep. 17, 7:43pm

    Wow congratulations to him. It will be great to drive that race car.

    Lucky bastard!! hahaha

    Good luck Lucas!!

  33. Sep. 17, 7:42pm

    That is freaking awesome!

    • Sep. 17, 7:43pm
      Mac K

      It is

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