Electric GT Racing Series Selects Tesla P100D As Sole Contender


The Tesla Model S P100D is considered by many to be the “quickest production car” on the planet, capable of blasting from 0 to 60 MPH in just 2.5 seconds. Despite this ludicrous acceleration, however, the Model S has not seen much racing duty outside of the drag strip. The minds behind the Electric GT racing championship want to change that, however.

The enterprising all-electric racing series has tapped the Tesla P100D to serve as the primary race car for the Electric GT, shelving plans to use the slower and older P85+. Dubbed the Electric GT V2.0, the modified Model S will benefit from a stronger suspension, improved brake cooling and steering, as well as adding FIA safety features that include a race-ready rollcage.

Despite these additional features, Electric GT says it is shaving off as much as 500 kg/1,100 pounds from the Tesla’s excessive curb weight. The series has begun testing its electric racers, as well as releasing details about the series setup.

10 teams with 2 drivers each will take part in save races during the first season, with 20-minute practice sessions and 60-minute qualifiers leading to two 6 0km/40 mile races. One of the races will be during the day, and the other at night, presumptively to allow the cars to recharge and rest their batteries.

One thing Electric GT has not detailed is how it plans to keep the Tesla battery packs from going into “limp mode” after the first few laps. The Model S is quite protective of its battery, and driving flat out will see the Model S sidelined after just a few minutes. Tesla owners have tried, and failed, to make it around the 13.1-mile Nurburgring without going into limp mode, and I’m not sure how the organizers plan to tackle this obstacle to extended racing.

I must be getting old, because as awesome as this sounds on the surface, I can’t help but have some serious reservations. After all, there’s a reason nobody has tried using a Tesla Model S for racing, beyond it being a heavy luxury sedan that was never intended for, you know, racing.

That’s not to say that exciting all-electric can’t be done, as the Formula E series has easily proven. But can it be done with Teslas? We’ll find out in 2017.

About the Author

A writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to HEMIs, can be found wrenching or writing- or else, he's running, because he's one of those crazy people who gets enjoyment from running insane distances.
  • Knut Erik Ballestad

    Basically, they would have to improve the cooling system, and maybe even disable re-gen, since it heats the battery further..

    • James Rowland

      It’s best practice to put regen into “low” when circuit racing. It helps, but not a lot.

  • James Rowland

    There are actually several systems that can impose a power limit for thermal protection. According to information I heard from Jason Hughes, the inverter IGBTs are typically the first, presumably due to their low thermal capacity.

    In addition to the inverter and battery, there’s also the rotor and stator.

    The stator has a temperature probe, but no active cooling – at least not in the old (large) drive unit. I haven’t seen internal details of the new one.

    The rotor is actively cooled by fluid through its double-wall shaft. Heat has to pass through the laminations to get out though. There’s no rotor temperature sensor; it’s estimated algorithmically by the inverter firmware.