Don Panoz has issued a letter to DeltaWing fans, explaining the decision.
Dear DeltaWing Racing Cars Fans,
The Claro/TracFone DeltaWing Racing Cars team went to the 2015 Rolex 24 at Daytona with high hopes for a terrific showing. The DeltaWing Coupe demonstrated impressive on-track performance and quick lap times.
Unfortunately, the race did not go as planned, and like you we are extremely disappointed with our final Rolex 24 result.
Along with the team, I greatly value each and every DeltaWing fan and treasure your loyalty, enthusiasm and support. With this in mind, I’d like to share what happened leading up to this year’s race.
In the end, (new gearbox) didn’t arrive until after The Roar, forcing the team to use the old EMCO gearbox at The Roar and to go into the race with an untested new component.
Don Panoz on issues with EMCO
EMCO Gears has been a trusted Panoz racing supplier, having supported many Panoz racing cars and Panoz teams over the years. This relationship factored into our decision to go with EMCO Gears to supply the DeltaWing Coupe’s transmission.
While the DWC-13 coupe race car proved to have competitive pace capped by a fourth place finish at Petit Le Mans, recurring gearbox issues compromised our results. We reached out to EMCO in June 2014 to order a new gearbox to remedy the issues and improve reliability.
The new gearbox was scheduled to be delivered to the team on November 15, 2014, which would give us ample time to test the new component.
Reason behind issues
We were disappointed when the due date came and passed and even more alarmed to learn our key EMCO Gears contact retired and the engineer assigned to this project left the company. EMCO Gears repeatedly adjusted the delivery date. Finally, the new gearbox was promised for delivery in time for The Roar Before the Rolex 24. In the end, it didn’t arrive until after The Roar, forcing the team to use the old EMCO gearbox at The Roar and to go into the race with an untested new component.
Unfortunately, there were still more issues with the gearbox during the practice sessions before the race. Through the resourcefulness and engineering talents of the team however, we managed a great qualifying performance, starting fifth from the inside third row. As everyone could see during the first hour of the race, DeltaWing was highly competitive, running as high as fourth. Ultimately, a final gearbox failure ended our Rolex 24 at Daytona efforts.
I personally want our fans to know we are a resilient and resourceful group of road racing professionals. We have immediately begun examining solutions and rest assured, we will work very hard over the coming weeks.
Once again, thank you so much for your continued support. Your passion is the fuel that continues to drive DeltaWing.