The Nissan DeltaWing has grabbed headlines, turned heads, and divided opinions wherever it has gone.
For Nissan, a company known for delivering innovation that excites, this project has gathered great momentum throughout the season, providing excitement for fans of motorsport but has also caught the eye of non-motorsport fans intrigued by the car’s unique design.
Here we look back at how it all started – a timeline of DeltaWing development.
August 2008 Ben Bowlby begins investigating new IndyCar concepts in preparation for the new rules package scheduled for 2012.
December 2008 Bowlby initially comes up with the DeltaWing concept.
February 2010 The DeltaWing is unveiled for the first time at the Chicago Auto Show. In IndyCar form, it forms a new proposal to replace the previous Dallara chassis used since 2003.
July 2010 IndyCar decides against selecting the DeltaWing as its new car for 2012.
September 2010 Ben Bowlby has his first meeting with American Le Mans Series officials including the man who would go on to become the DeltaWing – Project 56 Managing Partner, Don Panoz.
October 2010 Ben Bowlby has his first meeting with 24 Hours of Le Mans organizers, the Automobile Club de l’Ouest including club president, Jean-Claude Plassart.
November 2010 Ben Bowlby had his first meeting with Dan Gurney to discuss the DeltaWing concept and whether All American Racers could build the DeltaWing.
April 2011 Ben Bowlby had his first meeting with Highcroft Racing’s Duncan Dayton at the Long Beach Grand Prix IndyCar/ALMS weekend regarding becoming the entrant for the DeltaWing.
June 2011 The DeltaWing was announced as the recipient of “Garage 56” for the 2012 24 Hours of Le Mans.
July 2011 Drawing office established at All American Racers (AAR) in California.
September 2011 Construction of the DeltaWing commences at AAR.
September 2011 Michelin announced as first technical partner for the project.
October 2011 Scale model wind tunnel testing begins at AAR.
November 2011 Key suppliers including EMCO Gears (gearbox) and Performance Friction (brakes) announced.
January 2012 The DeltaWing’s first engine arrives at All American Racers.
February 2012 The first Michelin tires for the DeltaWing arrive in the U.S.
February 2012 The full-scale DeltaWing enters the WindShear wind tunnel in Charlotte, NC to correlate the computational fluid dynamics data with actual wind tunnel numbers.
March 2012 Alex Gurney, Test driver and son of DeltaWing constructor Dan Gurney becomes the first man to test the car at Buttonwillow Raceway in California. Gurney is joined Marino Franchitti at the debut test.
March 2012 Nissan is announced as OEM technical partner for the Project 56 – DeltaWing assault on this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans.
March 2012 The Nissan DeltaWing makes its public debut with demonstration runs at the 60th annual Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring – the opening round of the 2012 American Le Mans Series and World Endurance Championship.
May 2012 Nissan’s inaugural GT Academy winner, Lucas Ordonez, received his best ever birthday present this week when he was selected to join the test team for the Company’s revolutionary motorsport experiment, the Nissan DeltaWing.
June 2012 The revolutionary Nissan DeltaWing completed its first running on the famous 8.5-mile Circuit de la Sarthe – the home of the upcoming 80th running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
June 2012 The Nissan DeltaWing, the most pioneering motorsport innovation for a generation, retired from the Le Mans 24 Hours tonight after six hours, 1005km and a valiant team effort to get the car running again.
October 2012 Mission accomplished! The Nissan DeltaWing had one goal entering its North American debut at Petit Le Mans – score a race finish. The team not only completed the 1000 mile journey at Road Atlanta, but American Gunnar Jeannette and Spaniard Lucas Ordoñez demonstrated stunning pace throughout the race to finish fifth in the endurance classic.
December 2012 Nissan DeltaWing wins Autosport’s Pioneering and Innovation Award. DeltaWing also gathered a collection of awards including the Evo Magazine (UK) Innovation Award; Automobile Magazine’s Racing Car of the Year and a Popular Science “Best of What’s New” Award.