The DeltaWing will be back on track this weekend at Road America after a massive rebuild to the unique Prototype class entry.
The car was forced out of last month’s Grand Prix of Mosport following a fire in practice, which destroyed the carbon fiber chassis. It resulted in the Georgia-based squad, led by team manager Tim Keene, to rebuild the around its spare tub in the matter of just a few weeks.
“We stripped the car down at CTMP to prioritize what we would have to do when we got back, which saved us time at the shop,” said lead mechanic Paul Taylor. “Once we got back, we went through all the components, even though we knew we weren’t going to be able to use most of them.”
Taylor estimates only 10 percent of the parts on the car at CTMP have been carried over to the new car, which will be driven in Sunday’s Continental Tire Road Race Showcase by Katherine Legge and Andy Meyrick.
“I hate that the fire happened, but we’ll use a clean sheet if we have one,” Keene said. “Since we are putting together a different chassis, it makes sense to put on new components, so we can go to Road America with basically a new car and give it our best shot.”
With the majority of the components manufactured in-house, it gave the team the opportunity to re-think some of the fundamental design aspects of the car.
“Another opportunity presented by this changeover is that we were able to refine a few components, such as the wiring loom, to save weight and at the same time, make the cockpit tidier,” said Keene. “We also updated the door mechanism, to help get the drivers out more quickly, which helps shorten pit stops.
“We don’t have the room to use gas struts like most other cars, so our guys designed a spring mechanism that pops the door open, which helps get the driver out of the car much more easily.”
The team is upbeat heading into Road America, a circuit that saw the DeltaWing roadster have its breakout race last year.
Ideas and plans, meanwhile, are already being put into place for 2015, in terms of what further improvements can be made to the car’s design.
“There’s only so much we can do now,” said Keene, “but we’re already thinking about next year – with the new gearbox and other new components, everything from the bulkhead back will be new next year.
“I feel really good about going to Road America, with all the changes we’ve done. We showed good speed in Canada and I think we’ll be really fast at Road America. If we can execute on our end, I think we’ll be able to turn the wick up a bit.”