The new and highly experimental Deltawing from Nissan has passed its first wet test as it continues its preparations to take part in this year's iconic Le Mans 24 Hours race.

It was the first opportunity for the Deltawing development team to test its groundbreaking new vehicle in the wet and the session threw up some interesting data, helping the team to fine tune the model alongside tyre provider Michelin.

Drivers Michael Krumm and Marino Franchitti took to the track at Snetterton in Norfolk on Wednesday (April 18th) and put in some much-needed practice behind the wheel of the Deltawing – which weighs just half the amount of a typical Le Mans vehicle, has half the horsepower, but crucially, half of the aerodynamic drag.

Its front tyres are only four inches wide and this coupled with the arrow-shape chassis means it is able to cut through the air much more easily than a typical car. In addition, the vehicle benefits from Nissan's innovative 1.6-litre DIG-T turbo engine to deliver blistering performance.

To date, all of the Deltawing's testing has taken place in the dry at race tracks in the US, but this latest test was much more akin to the conditions the drivers are likely to face come race day.

Darren Cox, general manager for Nissan in Europe, said: "Today, the whole team got a taste of the conditions they may well face on June 16/17, so it may not have been much fun in the Norfolk rain, but it's about the best thing that could have happened for a project and a car that will face an enormous challenge just to make the end of the race."

Nissan is one of the world's most popular vehicle manufacturers, employing more than 12,500 members of staff across the globe. The firm's design centre is based in London and its research and development facilities are situated in Cranfield, Bedfordshire.

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Posted by Mark Thompson

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