Oct. 19 - Braselton, Georgia - The innovative Nissan DeltaWing has qualified 10th fastest for the 15th running of the annual Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta tomorrow. This comes after the car was badly damaged in a crash during a practice run earlier in the week. With the Nissan crew working around-the-clock, the team was able to get back on track and ready to finish what was started at this year's 24 Hours of Le Mans in France.

Nissan DeltaWing Driver Gunnar Jeannette recorded a fastest time of 1 minute, 12.850 seconds for the 2.54 mile circuit. The American racer will drive with Spaniard Lucas Ordoñez tomorrow.


"Gunnar did exactly the job we were looking for today. We are exactly where we needed to be - smooth and consistent, taking no extreme risks in any way," said Ben Bowlby, Nissan DeltaWing designer. "We ran our exact race package today, the engine, tires, bodywork - we have a very good package for tomorrow's race."


The Petit Le Mans is an endurance race that lasts 10 hours, or 1,000 miles. Nissan already proved that its DeltaWing could compete with LMP2 cars at a high-speed circuit such as Le Mans; now, the Nissan DeltaWing will compete on a more traditional, twisty road circuit at Road Atlanta.


"We're solidly in the P2 field which is exactly where we expected to be and I'm very pleased with the car," said Jeannette. "It doesn't have the ultimate pace of a qualifying set-up on it; but I think, for a race car over 10 hours, the car will be very comfortable and give us the perfect tool to complete our goal. The car has been a huge hit with the fans so far this week and both Lucas and I are really looking forward to the race."


The road to this point has not been without challenges for what some are calling the most unique racing car to take to the track in decades. There was the accident earlier this week, and also the crash at the 24 Hours of Le Mans where the Nissan DeltaWing was forced off the track and wasn't able to finish the race.


"This race is extremely important for us because it is 10 hours of continuous running which we are greatly in need of to learn more about the car in traffic, changing conditions and testing reliability," said Bowlby. "It is an incredibly important learning experience and for the team to complete the entire race tomorrow is our absolute priority."


Tomorrow's race will be the first North American event for the Nissan DeltaWing, which features half the weight, half the horsepower and half the aerodynamic drag of a typical Le Mans sports car.

Issued by Nissan