Unlocking the secrets of the DeltaWing
Just by going around corners, the radical DeltaWing has proved the majority of its doubters wrong at Le Mans. Stuart Codling talks to designer Ben Bowlby about the science behind it
They said it couldn't be done - that it wouldn't go around corners, for a start. When the ACO announced 12 months ago that the DeltaWing would be the first car to occupy the 'Garage 56' slot, running outside the rules to showcase innovative motorsport technologies, professionals and armchair experts alike united to heap derision upon the project.
Former Lola designer Ben Bowlby and his allies – Highcroft Racing boss Duncan Dayton, racing legend Dan Gurney and US motorsport magnate Don Panoz – persisted, though, and with surprisingly little investment brought the project to fruition. The results are showing already: the DeltaWing has already exceeded the performance targets set by the ACO and demonstrated to spectators around the Circuit de la Sarthe that, yes, it can turn.
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