DELTA WING STARTS TESTING
Ben Bowlby was in an ebullient mood when I talked to him a few weeks ago after the Delta Wing prototype ran its first laps at Buttonwillow Raceway. The car was driven that momentous day by Alex Gurney, Erik Comas and Marino Franchitti and all three were delighted with the novel experience.
“The feedback was it’s got better straightline stability than anything they’d ever driven,” Bowlby enthused. “They said it was like a completely stable arrow. You could lock the rear brakes without having any control issues. The brakes are very powerful and the changes of direction were described variously as brilliant and amazing. In fact, the cornering capability at low speed on very hard tires was beyond our expectations. So that was really good. There was absolutely no understeer, none at all. So it was a pretty good first run.
“It was actually better than I thought,” he added. “The tire temperature balance, the brake bias and temperature balance, the traction, the braking and straightline stability, the high-speed grip--all those things, it did what we thought it was going to do. From a dynamic standpoint we haven’t come across one element that isn’t what we expected. In fact, it’s even better.”