Driver Katherine Legge looks back at her first year with the DeltaWing team
On the heels of a successful two-day test, the DeltaWing Racing Cars team gets back in action this weekend at the Continental Tire Sports Car Showcase at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca – race four of the 2014 TUDOR United SportsCar Championship.
Driver Gabby Chaves and the team completed a two-day shakedown last week at Savannah’s Roebling Road, testing new components and setups for the revolutionary prototype. Chaves - the Indy Lights title contender with two victories this season - will join Katherine Legge behind the wheel of the DeltaWing coupe for the Tequila Patrón Endurance Cup event at Watkins Glen in June.
For Legge, this marks the one-year anniversary of her first race in the DeltaWing sports car prototype. The open wheel and sports car veteran looks back on the learning experiences of the past year, including getting used to the car - and a teammate (fellow Brit Andy Meyrick): “When I first got in the DeltaWing, I wasn’t sure what to expect. It really does feel like a conventional race car to drive, but because it has so little drag and has so much downforce, there are different ways of doing things – for example, there’s less weight transfer, so under braking, it feels more like a parachute has come out than the typical feeling of pitching forward. So it was much easier to get used to than I thought it would be.
“And I’m used to having a teammate now – Andy and I have been racing together for exactly a year. We have very similar feedback, we want the same things out of the car and we have similar driving styles. We also share the same seat so we don’t have to move that around, which is good!
”Because of the number of cars and the tightness of the track, it’s difficult to pass at Mazda Raceway. You’re turning quite a lot of the time. Added to the mix is the fact that this will be the DeltaWing coupe’s first sprint race this year. We don’t have as much time to recover in the short races as we do in the longer events, so everyone has to be on form straightaway. In a longer race, you can be a little more cautious and not take so many risks but in a sprint race, it seems as though everyone is going for it from the start – which can be good and bad. You have to go as fast as you can, but within the confines of making smart choices.”
The test was valuable, said engineer Alan Mugglestone. “We’ve made some refinements to the aero package we put together for the car at Sebring, so we worked on that, specifically on the rear balance. We also revised the exhaust system, working on reliability. It was a good test – the various systems issues that we’ve had on the car have been addressed one by one and it looks like we’ve got a car that we can race at Laguna with confidence.”
The Continental Tire Sports Car Showcase will see a new format for the TUDOR Championship, with Sunday’s races split into a pair of two-hour events. The first race will be for Prototype Challenge and GTD cars, while the second race will feature the Prototype and GTLM classes. Both races will be broadcast live on FOX Sports 1. For news, features and photos, follow DeltaWing Racing Cars on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and DeltaWingRacing.com.