This is a brilliant article full of tidbits about physics and tech and what it’s like to drive Road Atlanta:
What’s the DeltaWing like to drive?
Well, it doesn’t do what you expect. This is a very good thing. Everything you know about cars shaped like triangles tells you that it must be hideously unstable and, with that narrow front, very prone to understeer. It must therefore handle like a Robin Reliant. But the DeltaWing is neither unstable, nor lacking grip at the front end. The physics behind this is simultaneously simple and yet difficult to get your head around. Basically (very basically), tyre grip is matched to weight and since the front of the car has no weight, it needs comparatively less grip. Ben Bowlby, the man whose brainchild the DeltaWing is, proved this by picking the nose up.
He did what?
Lifted the front of the car clean off the ground. By himself. But the front only accounts for 28 per cent of the DeltaWing’s sub-500kg kerbweight, so the front wheels can be as narrow as those fitted to an old 2CV. Literally. In fact the spare tyres they use when pushing the DeltaWing around the paddock are old 2CV tyres.
For those of you who love everything from the Prancing Horse, here’s footage of the hardest track-only 599 ever built:
Revealed last December at the Bologna motor show, the 599XX Evo is, naturally, the hardest 599 ever built, and we’ve just got our hands on this video footage of the bewinged monster doing some rather brave laps at the Suzuka circuit. It was there as part of a track session for Ferrari customers - the ‘Ferrari Racing Days’ programme - which saw over 300 owners run their cars, followed by a hot lap demonstration from Mika Salo in the F2008 F1 car. Why brave? Because it’s quite wet.
Half the power of a traditional race car with half the weight. Oh yeah, and it’s powered by a turbocharged engine from a Nissan Juke:
This is the Nissan Deltawing, a 300bhp, 1100lb race car unveiled today in London and set to compete against Audi, Toyota, Porsche and the rest in June’s endurance epic at La Sarthe.
If you recognise the DeltaWing shape, that’s because the dart-like design - penned by Ben Bowlby and based around an Aston Martin LMP1 tub - was pitched two years ago as a potential 2012 IndyCar chassis.
Nissan picked up DeltaWing’s prototype and fitted it with a direct-injection 1.6-litre turbo based upon the petrol engine found in the Juke.
The maths is disarmingly simple: though it has half the power of a full-fat Le Mans Prototype, the DeltaWing carries just half the weight. It also produces half as much drag - the design does away with conventional wings in favour of ground-effect underbody aerodynamics - and will consume half as much fuel and get through half as many tyres. Useful attributes in an endurance race.
This is what beautiful madness looks like. Via TopGear.com:
Call us romantics, but there’s something majestic about a single seat race car drifting gracefully along a snow-covered circuit; like a ballet dancer on ice.
Case in point, Andy Gülden. He’s the chief instructor of the Nürbürgring Driving Academy, and when faced with the troublesome spot of weather currently plaguing the UK and Europe, he decided against a tiresome moan to anyone that will listen about how rubbish the snow is.
No, he simply strapped himself into the Formula race car and proceeded to have himself a jolly good time. Thankfully, he recorded his snowy exploits so that we too, may enjoy a rare sight - the Green Hell under a blanket of snow.
The path is well trodden: unknown British car manufacturer builds a lightweight track special with “Veyron-rivalling acceleration” and “race-car thrills”. Said lightweight turns out to be built in a garden shed from recovered girders and tin cans by a man with no welding skills. Or fingers.
Not the BAC Mono. This single-seater, dreamt up by brothers Neill and Ian Briggs, is a sculpture of engineering, a miniature masterpiece of exposed carbon fibre and metal and poo-proof Alcantara, all cocooned about a 2.3-litre Cosworth race engine. This is the smartest bit of British sports-car design since the Ariel Atom 15 years ago.Read the rest at TopGear.com
A yearly celebration of Stuttgart’s finest in one awesome photo gallery. Click through to TopGear.com for the rest.