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Nissan Darting into LeMans with DeltaWing racer

Revolutionary design could reshape motor sports.

by on Mar.14, 2012

Nissan has put its name on the DeltaWing racer as its title sponsor.

Over more than a century of motor sports, the racing world has often been transformed by dramatic shifts in design.  Today, aerodynamics can play as significant a role as the powertrain in a race car – as fans of the Formula One world can readily attest.

Is the DeltaWing project ready to unleash the next big revolution?  The dart-like concept, which has more visually in common with a fighter aircraft than a NASCAR or even an Indy racer, is set to get its first big test during the unforgiving 24 Hours of Le Mans thanks to the project’s latest sponsor, Nissan.

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The Japanese maker says it is “aiming to change the face of endurance racing forever” with what has now been renamed the Nissan DeltaWing.  That’s no minor boast when you consider what the exotic concept will be going up against, including the likes of Audi’s latest diesel-powered monster, the R18 eTron Quattro.


Basking in the Glory: the Amelia Island Concours

No “trailer queens” here, please.

by on Mar.17, 2011

A rare barn find, a 1950 Allard J2 Le Mans.

A chill breeze whips through the pre-dawn darkness, an out-of-tune generator noisily providing the power for the sole spotlight marking the start of the “Dawn Patrol.”  Passing cups of coffee and sharing old war stories, folks like Hans Wurl and Jeff Orwig wait for the signal that will begin the day’s events.

“Go, go, go,” shouts the woman in the day-glo vest, waving her yellow flag as if chasing away a swarm of hornets.  Within seconds, a score of ancient engines have fired up, a 1937 Duesenberg Town Car Cabriolet leading the procession down onto the field.

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By the time the sun has risen high enough to boil the dew off the beach grass, most of the old machines have taken their places, the majority getting there under their own power – “trailer queens” not being favored here.  But a few must be towed to their spots on the manicured golf course greens, like Don Prudhomme’s impossibly long old rail dragster.