Powered by a 300-hp Nissan four-cylinder, and riding on four-inch-wide front tires, the DeltaWing driven by Gunnar Jeannette had been running at competitive speeds with the prototype class during practice at Road Atlanta when a Porsche 911 GTC car struck it with a force the engineers later said measured 7Gs. Jeannette was not injured thanks to his roll bar.
After an all-night build session, the Highcroft Racing team behind the DeltaWing says they'll be ready to race, a preview for an expanded racing season next year. But the wreck only stirred up questions already circling the DeltaWing's suitability, with its lighter weight and needle-nose shape making it easier to tip on the track.
NASCAR Sprint Cup points leader Brad Keselowski took to Twitter last night with his concerns, saying the DeltaWing was "not a race car" and "a strange experiment from car designers who don't get racing." He added: "I'm all about moving forward...the future of racing relies on drastically evolving the drivetrain...efficiency and reducing the aero dependency w/o compromising aesthetics to our respective fan base(s)." No one who's crashed at 200 mph as many times as Keselowski has would argue with the benefits of a steel safety cage, but the DeltaWing will need to keep its tires right side up this weekend to tamp down similar doubts.
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