The DeltaWing DWC13 cuts back on its TUDOR races in 2014, but the team are still encouraged with the progress of the car.
The No. 0 Deltawing leading the No. 50 to the hairpin at Sebring.
By John Dagys
While having been entered as a full-season entrant, the DeltaWing DWC13 is now set for a partial-season program in the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship, based around the four-race Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup, plus select additional rounds.
Team manager Dave Price confirmed that the revolutionary prototype won't be making the trip to the streets of Long Beach next month but will return at the following round at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in May, prior to additional outings this year at Watkins Glen, Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, Road America and Road Atlanta.
"Originally we were looking at doing all of the races and [Don Panoz] decided to focus on the North American Endurance Cup rounds and add a few races around it," Price said. "That said, we've ended up with seven races. It was never our intention to do them all. Clearly, we're better suited to some circuits than others at the moment."
Price said that Andy Meyrick, who was recently confirmed as one of Bentley's drivers in the Blancpain Endurance Series, will be able to contest all of the teamâs scheduled rounds with Katherine Legge, except for the Six Hours of The Glen in June.
Gabby Chaves, who drove the opening two rounds alongside Legge and Meyrick, is likely to fill-in for that race. Price said the 20-year-old rising open-wheel star will be on standby for the season, although Chaves' Indy Lights program will take priority.
After leading its first-ever laps outright, the chrome-liveried prototype coupe nearly got to the finish at Sebring but was involved in a late-race accident with a GT car. It came after battling alternator and mechanical issues early on and mid-race.
"After Daytona, which was quite a trial, the problems we had at Sebring were quite unexpected," Price said. "They were more with outside components. The first failure was an alternator failure, which never happened before.
"Sebring offers up some challenges of its own because itâs so bumpy. With this car being so light, we did experience some problems later on due to the circuit, really."
Price, though, has been pleased with the car's rate of development, with further work to still come.
A test at Roebling Road in Savannah, Ga. is scheduled for mid-April prior to the Monterey round, while an endurance test is being planned for June in preparation for the Six Hours of The Glen.
"In terms of our reliability development, I'm really pleased at the moment because most of it seems to be taking shape," he said. "We had some gearbox issues at Daytona that we didn't experience at Sebring.
"It's starting to take shape. I think we now need to finish races and just prove that the technology works. We're running a lighter car, using less components, using less fuel.
"The technology of the car gave me the opportunity to run at the front of the race for a couple of laps at Sebring, clearly because there was no point in stopping for fuel, because we didn't need much compared to everyone else."