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Nissan’s New Wingman

Nissan and NISMO name Super GT champion Satoshi Motoyama as the third and final driver of Nissan DeltaWing, as the team gears up for the 24 Hours of Le Mans this June.

Satoshi Motoyama, the final pick for Nissan's DeltaWing at Le Mans 24 Hours

Motoyama, a three-time Super GT winner, will join Briton Marino Franchitti and German Michael Krumm behind the wheel of Nissan DeltaWing, an experimental project that aims to change the course of endurance racing on the French classic.

Nissan DeltaWing undergoes rigorous testing in the remaining months before 24 Hours in order to complete the round-the-clock race with just half the fuel and half the number of tire changes of a traditional sportcar on the Le Mans circuit. The car also measures in at half the weight and with half of the aerodynamic drag.

Earlier this week, Motoyama, who has raced for Nissan since 1996, took to the Snetterton circuit in Norfolk, UK, for his first spin in the Nissan DeltaWing.

Motoyama said: “I am very excited about joining the Nissan DeltaWing project for this year’s Le Mans 24 Hours and would like to thank Nissan, NISMO and the other DeltaWing partners for giving me this great opportunity. 

“For me, it will be the first Le Mans 24 Hours since 1999, but I am fully ready to race at La Sarthe this year.

”Nissan DeltaWing is very innovative and beyond any racing technical regulations; we will run in the discretionary “Garage 56″ class at Le Mans, where no classification will be given. But there will be no disappointment and compromise, since our aim for this project is to prove this innovative racing technology and demonstrate the future of motorsports. It will be a truly challenging and exciting experience for me and the team.

NISMO #23 Nissan GT-R Motoyama shares with DeltaWing teammate Michael Krumm

“Along with Michael Krumm, my fellow partner in SUPER GT and Marino Franchitti, I am really looking forward to driving the car at Le Mans, and showing everyone what Nissan DeltaWing can do. As usual, I appreciate all the support from great fans.”

As the engineering team continues to test, Nissan highlights critical milestones in its DeltaWing series of six behind-the-scenes episodes. Last month, the radial car underwent wind tunnel tests. The second video in the series highlights “expectation day” for the team, when the 4-cylinder, 1.6 liter, DIG-T turbo-charged engine takes its own seat in the car.


Watch the video here: 

Follow the series on Nissan Europe’s YouTube page.


Coco Masters

Producer, Global Media Center

Cars, Design, Motorsports, People, Technology

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