Since 1997, the National Electric Drag Racing Association has been America’s official electric drag racing timekeeper and sanctioning organization. This year NEDRA is launching its inagural Points Championship Series, based on a bracket racing format that focuses on giving EV drivers a racing series they can compete in, whether they drive a stock Nissan LEAF or a purpose-built electric dragster.
“With a bracket racing format consistency and driver skill are the winning combinations,” says the press release. “Not everyone can achieve a record-setting low ET, but attention to details like tires, tire pressure, state-of-charge, launch technique, documentation, etc… can make any Leaf, Tesla, or -other- electric vehicle owner a formidable competitor. These are the folks we want on board. It is primarily driver skill and skill at maintaining vehicle consistency in addition to actually acquiring timeslips than makes for a winning combination.” You can check out the full details of the racing series here.
Electric cars and drag racing may seem like strange bedfellows, but don’t tell that to legendary racer Don “Big Daddy” Garlits, who is attempting to be the first to go 200 MPH in an electric car in the quarter-mile. We’ve also seen how the Tesla P85D can give even the pinnacle of American muscle, the 707 horsepower Challenger Hellcat, a run for its money. The instant torque of electric motors gives EVs a tremendous off-the-line advantage in drag racing, and I won’t be surprised if more big names in the world of 1,320 competitions jump ship to EVs eventually.
There’s a growing community of electric car racers, and while not everyone can afford to convert a tiny British EV into a 1,000 horsepower straight-line monster, the bracket-racing style allows even the humblest electric car to compete for the championship. Maybe if I can find a good deal on a Nissan LEAF and strip out all the extra, unnecessary bits (goodbye airbags), I’ll try competing myself. Dare me?