Modified sedan sets new record in Electric Production class

This past weekend, a modified Tesla Model S set the new Electric Production class record at the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, cresting the summit in 11:48.264. The new record is part of a surge in EV competition at the world-famous motor race.

Piloting the record-setting Tesla was Blake Fuller, CEO of Go Puck, a Florida-based producer of mobile device charging solutions with a history in developing race car battery technology. Fuller first raced at Pikes Peak in 1999, earning the title of Rookie of the Year at the age of 18. In 2002, he took a win in the Open class.

This year, the Go Puck Tesla was the only entry in the Electric Production class. Fuller trounced the previous record of 12:55.591, which was set in 2014 by Roy Richards driving a 2012 Honda Fit EV.

Overall, the Go Puck Tesla placed 65th in a field that included some of the most badass speed machines on the planet, including the 2016-spec Norma M20 RD of Romain Dumas, and the 1,600-horsepower Drive eO PP100 of Rhys Millen.

To put it in perspective, Fuller’s time slotted between two entries from the Time Attack 1 class – the Toyota Starlet of Mikko Kataja (11:48.877), and the Subaru WRX STI of Andy Kingsley (11:55.849), which placed 11th and 12th in class, respectively.

Compared to the leaderboards, Fuller’s time might not seem that impressive, but trust me, it is. The Go Puck Model S is breaking new ground for Tesla’s popular four-door, forging a path towards that holy of holies – racing. What’s more, it represents a critical facet of the real EV Revolution currently taking place at America’s Mountain.

Read on for the details, including a profile of the Go Puck Tesla Model S race car.

Continue reading for the full story.

Why It Matters

Tesla Model S Storms Pikes Peak; More EV Racers Expected Exterior
- image 681220

Forget Fuller’s time – yes, it handily trumped the old record, but that’s not really the point. The point is that EVs are just now being recognized as serious competition for the established ICE status quo. The modern Electric Modified class is proof enough of that.

And even though the Go Puck Tesla placed towards the back of the pack this year, it provided something that the outrageous Electric Modified class couldn’t – a link to the buying public.

While cars like the Drive eO PP100 are technically quite impressive, it’s hard to feel a personal connection with a spaceship. Conversely, the Go Puck Model S is a lot like something you could actually go out and buy from a showroom right now. That’s the whole point of a production class, no matter the series – make the racing real. After all, it’s a lot easier to daydream about being a hero when the car in question is sitting in your driveway.

Why Pikes Peak?

Tesla Model S Storms Pikes Peak; More EV Racers Expected Exterior
- image 681225

Pikes Peak is the ideal place to introduce a Model S race car. The high-altitude highway has all the makings for an epic showdown between internal combustion and all-electric motivation – it’s a no-holds-barred, bare-knuckle automotive slugfest, and innovation is king. The thin atmosphere gives EVs a slight advantage, but the ICE-powered competition has the experience to overcome that deficit, as evidenced by this year’s gas-burning champion.

Check out my piece on the real EV Revolution for more.

What’s Next?

Tesla Model S Storms Pikes Peak; More EV Racers Expected Exterior
- image 681228

It’s difficult to discern exactly what Fuller’s time means going forward. It’s just one data point made from a single run by a car in its inaugural year. Regardless, it does seem to indicate further participation from EVs in future Pikes Peak events. For now, consider it a baseline performance.

The crazy all-electric prototypes rose to prominence in just a few short years – will racers like the Go Puck Model S do the same in the Production class?

Go Puck Tesla Model S

Fuller gave The Fast Lane Car an in-depth look at his Tesla racer. Check it out in the video below.

Based on a production Model S P90D, the Go Puck Tesla received relatively minimal modifications before arriving in Colorado. First, the interior was completely stripped, including the carpeting, paneling, and airbags. The diet cut 800 pounds from the car’s curb weight, but an extra 250 pounds was added in the form of a bolt-in roll cage from Kertz Fabrication. A Sparco race bucket was also installed behind the steering wheel.

The Tesla’s AWD system was kept as is, but traction is upped thanks Toyo Proxes R888 tires, a barely-street-legal race compound made specifically for heavyweight, high-horsepower performance cars. The suspension is the same factory air set-up, including stock toe and camber settings, but Fuller and his team tweaked the ride height a bit. Traction control and ABS were also retained.

The big question is what’s going on with the electricity. The Go Puck website says the racer uses “Go Puck Battery Technology” to produce over 750 horsepower, but doesn’t elaborate much beyond that. Rumors have it the battery is a lightweight, high-performance unit, but the official details are still forthcoming.

Interestingly, due to the remote location of the Pikes Peak Highway, the Go Puck team was forced to visit the nearby Tesla Supercharger station in Colorado Springs to top off the pack.

Even more interestingly, the Go Puck website lists the Model S driver as either “Blake Fuller or Autonomous.” Does this mean we might see a robot competitor at Pikes Peak in the future?

Either way, Fuller says he and his team learned a lot at this year’s event, and intend on improving the race car for future competition. We’ll keep an eye on it and let you know what develops.

Jonathan Lopez
Jonathan Lopez
About the author
What do you think?
Show Comments
Car Finder: