June 12, 2012
Satoshi Motoyama Returns to Le Mans
June 12 – Sepang, Malaysia – Driver Satoshi Motoyama spoke with the Global Media Center in Malaysia ahead of traveling to Le Mans 24 Hours and a turn at the wheel of the Nissan DeltaWing.
Q1. The race is coming close. What was your impression of driving the car in tests at Le Mans?
This is the first time in 13 years since I last raced in Le Mans, what I did first at the tests was to remember and relearn the course. I could recall from memory faster than I imagined, including the performance of the car, which I drove for the first time, and I was able to finish the test drive without any trouble.
Q2: How many turns at the wheel will you have in the 24-hour race?
As we will join the race with three drivers for the 24-hour period, each driver will basically take care of eight hours in total. One stint at the wheel will be less than an hour because the fuel tank is not so big, so each driver will take turns driving after two or three consecutive turns.
Q3: The Nissan DeltaWing is an experimental project to seek direction on future motorsports. What do you expect from this car?
On the recent test day, we could complete an eight-hour drive without changing tires. This car has very good mileage and I think we could get a variety of data from this test.
Personally, I would like to know how fast this car can go if I drive the car very hard as if it is a time trial. I imagine that the car is as fast as the Top Five models in LMP2 class. That’s why I have a feeling of running at full power. This car doesn’t need many tire changes during the race, and DeltaWing has many interesting points.
Q4. In the Nissan Gallery in Yokohama there will be a public viewing overnight and J-Sports will broadcast the race on its channel. Many people will be able to enjoy the race with our live-streaming. Could you give the fans a message ahead of the race?
The Nissan DeltaWing is catching major attention, not only from Japan but also all over the world, surprisingly. Many drivers familiar with Japanese fans will join the race from Japan. As Nissan and the NISMO name is on our car, and Michael Krumm and I will join the race, please keep cheering for us, although it’s a very long 24-hour race.