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Nissan DeltaWing Crashes In ALMS Petit Le Mans Practice

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Nissan DeltaWing crashed in practice at Petit Le Mans. Image via @bjunqueira (Twitter).

Nissan DeltaWing crashed in practice at Petit Le Mans. Image via @bjunqueira (Twitter).

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Ill-fated is perhaps the best descriptor for the Nissan DeltaWing project at this point. First it failed to beat out the new Dallara offering as the next spec chassis for IndyCar, then it was taken out just hours into the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and now it has ended up on its lid after what appears to be heavy contact with a GTC car in practice for the Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta.

The accident, according to Racer, happened as the DeltaWing crossed under the bridge just before the high-speed downhill sweeping turn 11. The DeltaWing, piloted by Gunnar Jeannette, was struck in the left rear by at GTC Porsche driven by Peter LeSaffre, spinning it and causing it to roll over. The resulting damage can be (partially) seen in the image above, via Bruno Junqueira's Twitter feed. The impact maxed out at 7 g, according to the onboard datalogging--a significant, but not incredible, impact.

Fortunately, the teams says it will be able to repair the car and be back on track for more testing tomorrow, posting to its Twitter account, "The @NissanDeltaWing team is working on the damage and we expect to be back on track in the morning." To hear Jeannette's thoughts on the crash, visit the official DeltaWing team site.

As the American Le Mans Series season closer, and formerly one of the stops on the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup (dropped this year in favor of Bahrain for the new World Endurance Championship), Petit Le Mans is no small beans in the world of global endurance racing. Running well and finishing would be a significant feather in the DeltaWing's cap.

Regardless of the outcome of the race, we'll likely see the DeltaWing contesting many more races during the 2013 ALMS season, as it recently met approval for competition from IMSA.
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