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When it comes to endurance racing, the emotional strength and will to succeed is often the edge teams need to come out on top.
Satoshi Motoyama, one of three drivers that piloted the Nissan DeltaWing in last weekend’s 80th running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, has shown us just how powerful that will to succeed can be.
After coming into contact with a Toyota LMP1, which later on would suffer a similar fate, Motoyama and the DeltaWing he was piloting was sent straight into a barrier, causing damage to the area around one of its rear wheels.
This video shows Motoyama's heart-rending attempts fail to re-inject life into the DeltaWing after a two-hour struggle, after which it was forced to retire to Garage 56.
Unfortunately for Motoyama and the rest of the Nissan DeltaWing team, Le Mans’ governing body stipulates that a car is automatically retired if it’s unable to return to the pits under its own power.
The full Nissan DeltaWing team - Anne Proffit photo
The rules do allow the driver to touch any part of the car while it’s still on the track, which is why we see the pit crew only instructing Motoyama on how best to repair his stricken racer.
“The accident occurred in a high-speed corner and the car hit a concrete wall,” said Motoyama. “If I could get the car back to the pit, the team could fix the car and rejoin the race, so I tried everything I could but, since the powertrain damage was particularly serious, we couldn’t revive the car.”