It’s safe to say that the DeltaWing’s first year of competition hasn’t quite been smooth sailing. After being crashed out in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in June, the car was involved in another incident this week during testing at Road Atlanta. As you can see in the video clip, the DeltaWing makes contact with a slower Porsche GTC car, then gets turned on its side and slides down the track in a rather awkward and scary fashion. Fortunately its driver Gunnar Jeannette was not seriously hurt, but the crash has generated lots of discussion about the DeltaWing’s safety.
Some say the DeltaWing’s unique shape makes it very hard to spot for other drivers, but there’s even more concern about how that narrow shape reacts to contact with other cars. The crash in the video doesn’t quite look like your typical Sports Car incident. On the other hand, many have come to the DeltaWing’s defense, saying the car is no different than other prototype racers and stressing the importance of driver awareness.
For this week’s poll and discussion, we are asking for your thoughts on the matter. Is the DeltaWing too dangerous to race?
Safety is not the real issue here. It is the car's disgraceful design! But hey, we gotta get it off the track somehow and playing the safety card is one way, I guess.
It just needs a higher roll hoop, maybe paired with a front roll structure.. (to cover the driver's helmet) like the regulation introduced to Formula 1 in the late 70s.
Just curious, what makes this any more dangerous than any other open cockpit racecar? Why does it need a cage? Formula 1, Indy, ALMS, have open cockpit cars, no cages, and nobody is crying.
damn that shit is crazy, you could lose your bloody head off
it at least needs a small cage to cover the driver
I hope somebody ban this thing from racing is obviously an unsafe design, also i hope nobody gets hurt racing this piece of sh..t!!!
I believe in the safety of the deltawing. Todays exists so many rules and regulations for the race cars and i don`t think what nissan gonna crete a car whitout that`s specifications and put the driver`s life in iany risk. that looks like more bad luck for the drivers.
Just to make this clear!
Too all the people who think this car is hard to see on a race track:
Firstly: I see it perfectly fine on the race track in the video :P
Secondly: have you raced with a DeltaWing before? Highly doubtful. Unless you have, you have no basis to say it's hard to see on a racetrack. Any car can be hard to see on a racetrack if its in a blind spot.
Thirdly: This crash is not a matter of "Not seeing the car" The Porsche lost traction at the crest of the hill @ 1:21 and slid into the DeltaWing. Its simple physics people. Its a part of racing... shit happens!
I'd also like to say i voted NO. But it could use some safety improvements around the drivers head.
From the video shown the driver seemed to be very safe he was in your words "...not seriously hurt" so it would seem to be plenty safe.
There's an element of danger in any automotive race. The Delta is for all intensive purposes experimental. I'm tired of the safety nannies always coming in and trying to say what's O.K. and what isn't. In a round about way a race car driver is the same thing as a test pilot. There's going to be an element of risk in it, and in the long run, it's going to benefit the masses. It seems like people have forgotten that the technology on the track eventually makes it into our street cars. I applaud Nissan on the DeltaWing, and wish more companies would push the boundaries in racing.
@jakeyorath I suppose open wheel racing should be banned, they can fall over after wheel to wheel contact at the wrong angle.
Is this journalism? Doesn't look like it. Dreadful article inviting uninformed speculation. Show the 10 hours of the Nissan Deltawing slicing through traffic during the race at PLM. Why not show the same Porsche take out the leading Muscle Milk car, and ask the question 'are green cars dangerous'. You'll get as insightful a response.
@jakeyorath I was so impressed by that car. I didnt really get to appreciate it at Le Mans. It is unbelievable.
The driver looked unscathed from the crash. He just looked frustrated with the Porsche driver. Although it might not be a bad idea to incorporate some type of framework around the drivers head so its not dragging on the ground during a roll-over. Looks like you could break your neck way too easily.
Paint the damn tiny ass car anything but black, and it'll be more visible and make it that much more safe.
This is tabloid journalism at its finest. Idiotic poll and some truly mind numbing comments, but actually pleased to see there are a good proportion of people sticking up for the delta wing. These sorts of questions shouldn't be bases on one freak incident.
and you guys wonder why this site no longer has any credibility in the paddock.... Bring back Booksie or Blackmore
The "safety" jihad has ruined racing more than enough in the last 40 years. In the 60s, racing drivers died ALL THE TIME. It was a dangerous sport meant for the ballsy and the ones who were genuinely willing to play a high stakes game that meant they could lose their lives. Its also no coincidence that the 1960s was the absolute pinnacle of racing, in driver talent and ballsyness, and in the quality and extremeness of the cars being fielded. Of course, after a few too many fatal accidents, the FIA et all began to crack down on racing in all its forms. Now, anytime somebody dies, which has become front page news and also very rare, there is a pogrom to try and change rules or shut things down. ITS RACING. If you want to be coddled in absolute safety, go play xbox. Be one of those "professional" Gran Turismo players. There are still thousands of people out there willing to get in a racecar and risk it all and push themselves to the absolute limit. Stupid rule changes in the names of "safety"and "equality" have made almost all racing series significantly more boring and less meaningful than they were at their peak. I don't care about the stupid Deltawing, but there is no denying that this pussified reactionary attitude of cars being "too dangerous" has already wreaked enough damage on the world of racing.
There's nothing any more 'unsafe' about this car than any other, and motorsport is a dangerous sport in itself
It's plenty easy to see and avoid, no more than a F1 car
It's track performance(handling) as told by the people who've actually driven it, is almost exactly like a LMP1 cars
Although it has no wings, it produces downforce in the same way 60% of a F1 cars is
the Delta Wing is basically a lightened, less-powered, LM Adapted, and wingless F1 car
Saying this is Unsafe is saying F1s are, and calling the blame onto the Deltawing is saying that the Porche had Nothing to do with this Crash(basically)
Less weight, means less inertia, which inherently will make things a little less stable, just the way physics works. But calling it unsafe? Then bikes, gokarts, and other lightweight race paraphernalia are all unsafe by definition.
And it's hardly empirical evidence to call this race car unsafe, or that it will flip over all the time.
Case in point the 911's have the engine in the back and are known to be like driving a sledgehammer backwards, if the rear becomes unruly you quickly making way trough the undergrowth next to the track buttocks first. This is a known factor with the 911's, so every driver makes up for it in their driving style.
The delta is probably no different, it takes some getting used to. (granted after a rear-tire high-flip, you're reduced to a passenger)
No. Every race car driver knows the risk involved in racing. The question of is it too dangerous to race is a question you ask the driver.
As a Nissan fan, I think this is the most hideous race car in existence. Also, it is not adapted to racing normal cars.
are you serious with this survey. arent you guys the one that was being a fucktard about the old technology was cool because its unsafe and shit. why is the delta wing a bad thing then.
Seriously. You guys say it isn't dangerous because the driver wasn't injured? That's so typical, only if something bad happens it's time to change something.
It is obvious that the Deltawing IS more dangerous than other cars. You can see it harder in the mirror, it is lighter and flips over faster, it has no wings that prevents flipovers, moreover its front is so thin, it is more like a three wheeler in its behaviour, which is bad for stability in dangerous and extreme situations.
I don't care if it is a noble project or something unique, we must stay true to its potential downsides, too. Safety is number one priority in motorsports today and due to its structural disadvantages compared to conventional 4 wheel cars, this doesn't belong onto a race track imho.
What everyone is seeing is what you see on the streets of America on the daily. Big "heavy" cars smashing the little one... had the deltawing weighed 1000lbs more it would have likely been a much smaller incident resulting in a 180* spin and some body damage. at LeMans you saw the larger car shove the lighter one off the track. I dont think it has anything to do with its shape, its the fact that its a short car that is blacked out and will appear on your rear bumper out of seemingly nowhere coupled with it not weighing anything is the "problem". The drivers just need to be more aware of their surroundings. I think some of them need to do some open wheel racing and less at the local amusement parks gokarts.
@SPEEDHUNTERS You should be promoting such a concept which is cutting edge & open when most racing series are becoming increasingly 'spec'!
@jakeyorath That article and some of the comments below make me sad - just sensationalism and misinformed rubbish.
@jakeyorath and I like seeing fans opinions in such an instant and obvious way. On and off line debate has really helped with future plans
@jakeyorath I'll take 80:20. was the split I felt talking to fans in terms of general support. the 80 are so passionate and convinced.
This survey is absolutely ridiculous. Go back to covering drifting - at least you can pretend to be experts at that and no one will notice. The Deltawing clearly isn't dangerous, as Gunnar was not even scratched. Perhaps we should ask about speed differentials in sportscar racing, or the wisdom of hosting a ten hour multi class race at Road Atlanta. We shouldn't be scaremongering about what is a very interesting and fairly noble project.
It finished the race 5th overall, with some red accents to make it more visible.
Seems the driver was perfectly fine. So I would say it isn't dangerous, but it is prone to being flipped over due to its exaggerated triangular shape. The other issue is its low height compared to other vehicles making it hard to see. Make a class so it's only ever on the track with other cars similar to it and that particular visibility issue is gone thus reducing the chances of the flipping issue happening. It all ties together.
Looked to me less like it 'tipped over' and more like it was 'thrown over' by the force of the impact and possibly by the rear tyre contact propelling the Deltawing upward. It's only 575kg with fuel and driver so it makes sense that it could be easily 'thrown.' The drivers head did look to be in a rather precarious situation and I would feel unsafe being upside in the Deltawing but I assume that it has to comply with the same roll-over safety requirements as the LMP cars.
It appeared to tip over way too easy. I've seen cars get together like that many times. The front end doesn't normally tip that easy.The Delta is about as safe as a 3-wheeler ATV.
Pfft - It's the other drivers on track, not the car. This car will come into its own when it gets its own race series and class. I can't wait to see what it's truly capable of.
@JuanVRobles I know man. It could drive too close to the edge of the Earth and NOBODY KNOWS WHAT'S UNDERNEATH
@Tankslider In fairness, Peter Lesaffre (involved here and with Muscle Milk) did not much wrong against Luhr - Luhr tried for a gap that simply wasn't there. A marginal call that didn't pay off. However, agree 100% on the traffic point.
Your arguments saying that it's more dangerous are completely wrong. It's not harder to look in the mirror unless you're Kazuki Nakajima. Proof: It withstood a good couple of hours at Le Mans where EVERYONE saw it on their mirrors, except that TS030-drivng fool. The fact it's lighter is a stupid argument because, according to you then, an F1 car is even MORE DANGEROUS!!!! It doesn't flip over faster because, as said by multiple people in here and in everywhere else in the internetz, that's the way cars react when being punted that way at that speed, and it happens to the DW and to spec Miatas. It does have the sharkfin demanded by racing regulations, so that's another of your arguments rebutted. And it's not a three wheeler in its behaviour because it has the same front-end grip a four wheeled, wide wheelbase car has. The fact it can be driven by it's drivers that just came out of LMP2 cockpits proves the behaviour is nothing out of this world.
So, yeah. You fail at arguments.
Safety is number one priority huh. Then why don't we have everybody race around on peddle powered tricycles instead of being so close to those hot, dangerous, highly-stressed mechanical time bombs known as engines? Tool. Pushing "safety" at all costs belongs in a daycare, not on a racetrack. If drivers are too afraid to race they are more than welcome to go find another job. There are thousands upon thousands waiting to take their place.
@lindsaymorle @jakeyorath in most cases 20% don't like you / something - never will 20% do - always will. It's the 60 you need to convince
@IamDarrenCox @jakeyorath Good comments Jake. Interesting that some people still think it's a 3-wheeler. #reliantrobinjokesdontwork
@MikeMehnert Apparently you've never watched a spec Miata race....
@lindsaymorle @jakeyorath just spotted the comments. Great debate that is self regulating AND then JO steps in with real facts boom. Thanks
@IamDarrenCox @lindsaymorle @jakeyorath So many misinformed armchair 'experts' pontificating on that article.