The futuristic DeltaWing racer, originally proposed as a new chassis for Indy Car, last saw action at this year’s running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. A fan favorite (because everyone loves an underdog), the Nissan-powered DeltaWing was retired by a crash early in the event.
Despite an epic attempt by driver Satoshi Motoyama
to get the car moving under its own power, the collision with a Toyota LMP1
and the safety barrier had created too much damage, and the car was forced out of the race. It looked like the DeltaWing’s brief moment of motorsport glory had come and gone.
That may not be the case after all, as Autoblog
is reporting the DeltaWing chassis (sans Nissan power) has been submitted as a replacement platform for the Indy Lights series. Considered the feeder series for Indy Car, Indy Lights’ current chassis was designed by Dallara a decade ago.
According to reports from Racer
magazine, five or six companies have submitted platform proposals for the series, including one from Dan Gurney’s All American Racers
and Elan Motorsports Technologies, the designers of the DeltaWing project.
As the first requirement for a new Indy Lights chassis was that it have a “forward-thinking” and “exciting” formula, the DeltaWing would certainly fit the bill. We’re not sure skills learned piloting other formula cars would be entirely applicable to the DeltaWing, which would likely further level the playing field in Indy Lights.
Likewise, the ability to drive a DeltaWing at speed wouldn’t necessarily translate into the ability to immediately be fast in the IndyCar Dallara DW12 chassis, either. If Indy Lights is about training the next drivers for IndyCar, we’re not sure the DeltaWing makes sense.
On the other hand, if Indy Lights is about attracting a new fan base, no other chassis will do that quite as well as the DeltaWing.