Top Gear meets the DeltaWing
Sam Philip goes on track with the car that could rewrite racing... or end up on its roof
Posted: 23 May 2012
In 2008, sick of poring over IndyCar's ever-expanding rulebook to figure out which gaps in the regulations might yield a few milliseconds per lap, and concerned that motor racing was becoming increasingly out of touch, Bowlby began to investigate the possibility of a racer with IndyCar pace but using - instead of a 600bhp naturally aspirated V8 - the FIA's then-nascent ‘world engine', the 300bhp, 1.6-litre turbo four-cylinder now employed in the WRC.
Bowlby rapidly realised that, to design a race car with half the power but all the speed, he'd have to rip up and set fire to the How to Build a Racing Car manual. Balancing that equation would require a car half the weight of a conventional racer, generating half the drag. On the plus side, he calculated, such a racer would also burn half the fuel and put only half the wear on its tyres.