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Nissan to supply engine for DeltaWing Le Mans car

Nissan has signed up as a partner in the DeltaWing project and will supply the engine for the radical lightweight Le Mans 24 Hours contender

Nissan has signed up as a partner in the DeltaWing project and will supply the engine for the radical lightweight Le Mans 24 Hours contender.

Nissan will provide the DeltaWing's 1.6-litre direct injection turbocharged powerplant, which will be badged after the Japanese manufacturer's DIG-T (Direct Injection Gasoline - Turbocharged) technology. The 300bhp engine has already run in the car during the first shakedown of the DeltaWing at Buttonwillow in California earlier this month.

Andy Palmer, executive vice-president of the Nissan Motor Company, said: "As motor racing rulebooks have become tighter over time, racing cars look more and more similar and the technology used has had less and less relevance to road car development. Nissan DeltaWing aims to change that."

Nissan joins an existing group of partners in the DeltaWing programme. They are: Duncan Dayton's Highcroft Racing squad, which will run the car at Le Mans in June; Ben Bowlby, the originator of the DeltaWing concept and the designer of the car; Dan Gurney's All-American Racers organisation, which has built the car; American Le Mans Series founder Don Panoz; and Michelin, which is supplying bespoke tyres for the project.

Long-time Nissan factory driver Michael Krumm, who won last year's FIA GT1 World Championship with the Japanese manufacturer, has joined the DeltaWing driver line-up for Le Mans. Marino Franchitti was the first nominated driver and undertook the shakedown in the US.

The car has been awarded 'Garage 56' at Le Mans, which has been reserved for an experimental vehicle pioneering new technology. It will run as #0 and will race outside the official classification.

The aim of the lightweight car is to achieve a level of performance between an LMP1 and P2 car with 300bhp, almost half the power output of a P1 car. The target weight for the DeltaWing is 475kg, which compares with the 900kg minimum of P1 and P2 machinery.

The DeltaWing will be demonstrated in public for the first time during this week's Sebring 12 Hours event.

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