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Tesla-Based Racing Series Gets FIA Approval

Tesla-Based Racing Series Gets FIA Approval

It’s a big step forward, but there’s still quite a few details left to sort out

The Federation Internationale de l’Automobile, otherwise known as the FIA, just gave the all-Tesla Electric GT World Series racing series its blessing following passing marks from the series’ cars in recent crash testing. Approval from the FIA, the same organization that keeps Formula 1 in check, gives the upcoming racing championship some serious clout, and moves it that much closer to becoming a reality.

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Tesla Model S Storms Pikes Peak; More EV Racers Expected

Tesla Model S Storms Pikes Peak; More EV Racers Expected

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.

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First Electric GT Series to Kick Off In 2017 with Tesla Model S Race Cars

First Electric GT Series to Kick Off In 2017 with Tesla Model S Race Cars

Tesla Model S goes racing

The world’s first electric GT championship will commence in 2017, Electric GT Holdings, owner and promoter of the series, has revealed today. The new championship aims to become the first 100 percent zero emissions race series for GT cars and hopes to gather 10 teams consisting of two vehicles on the starting grid for the 2017 season.

Details are scarce as of this writing, but Electric GT Holdings announced it plans a seven-race season with events in Europe, America, and Asia. Race tracks mentioned by the promoter include Barcelona in Spain, Estoril in Portugal, Donington in England, and Mugello in Italy.

Competitors will race identical cars in the first season, with Electric GT’s choice being the Tesla Model S. Already tested on the Catalunya and Jarama circuits in Spain, the race-spec model will have improved suspension and brakes, a new cooling system, and reduced curb weight. Output will sit at 416 horsepower and 443 pound-feet of torque, 54 horses less than the rear-wheel drive P85 model it is based on.

"We chose the Tesla model S simply because it is one of the best cars ever made, and certainly one of the best 100 per cent electric cars," said Paya. "We are convinced that sharing its impressive circuit racing potential will help to inspire many people towards sustainable transport."

While the series will begin with as one-make championship, other companies will be welcome in the future, as the plan is to "promote sustainable mobility" by watching "commercially available models you can see on the streets racing on circuits around the world."

The Electric GT Championship will join Formula E, a zero emissions series using Formula One-style single seaters. Formula E ran its first season in 2014-2015.

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2011 Tesla Roadster Race Car

2011 Tesla Roadster Race Car

At this year’s Race Of Champions, Tesla wanted to prove that electric cars could race too, so they brought a racing version of their famous electric Roadster. Not much was done to the car in preparation for the race because, well, the Tesla can already make it to 60mph in less than four seconds and has a top speed of 125mph. All Tesla needed to do was prepare the interior for a safe and proper race.

The Tesla Roadster racing version received a rollcage, special signalized tow elements, and an electric circuit kill switch, while the driver and passenger seats were stripped out. A new driver’s seat made of carbon fiber was added to complete the interior.

"I’m lucky to have had a ride in the Tesla Roadster and I was really impressed. It’s silent but blindingly quick! I’m proud that The Race of Champions is leading the way in promoting green technologies in motorsport and it was fantastic to see – but not hear – such great drivers pushing the Tesla hard around this track," said IMP President Fredrik Johnsson.

Piloting one of the first ever electric vehicles to race in the Race of Champions was Formula 1 World Champions Sebastian Vettel and Alain Prost.

Press release after the jump.

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