Published in the Sep-Oct 2012 issue of MyLIFE magazine
The LeMans race for sports cars began in France in 1923. It’s a 24-hour race of endurance for both car and driver. In June 2012, a historic change occurred: the entry of the DeltaWing, a car efficiently fueled by something beyond gasoline. The DeltaWing’s power comes from both physics and “Le Mans Shell E10 petro 98RON”—gasoline, yes, but used sparingly.
The tragedy is that the DeltaWing could not complete the race, but not because of any failure stemming from its alternative fuel—it got sideswiped.
For a video of the incident, see youtube.com/watch?v=FJAiZVuC3YI.
Proponents of the efficient use of fuel, particularly gasoline, invested hope in the entertainment factor of sports car racing to show people how innovative automobile design can reduce dependency on the limited resource of crude oil.
Could this be a metaphor for how difficult it is to get the world’s automobile manufacturers—and more important, the world’s consumers of cars, the drivers—to accept transportation that depends less on gasoline and more on physics (i.e., materials and design)?