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EV Drag Racing in LA - Irwindale Drag Strip

Discussion in 'News' started by vfx, Sep 11, 2009.

  1. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    We are planning a group event of Electric Cars to descend on Irwindale Raceway in mid October. (Tell your friends!)

    In preparation for the coming festivities Dr Computer and I went to the track to check out the logistics of charging and the process of racing since none of us have actually done a formal venue in going fast in a straight line.

    We met at his house and carpooled to the track to finalize our gameplan en route.

    When we arrived his electric blue Roadster was fawned over at the front gate. That's also where we found out that to run the track, long pants are required. NHRA rules. The Dr. parked his car and we walked around looking for plugs (more on this later) and after meeting with track officials and checking the sockets we found, the good Dr. decided we should go whole hog and do some runs on the 1/8th mile track to see how the Roadster would do. His car is a 2010 with the racing tire upgrade. I would act as his pit crew and take pictures.

    We had NO idea how we would stack up against the smoking, roaring behemoths belching down the track. The idea was thrilling and my excitement grew at the idea of an Electric in the world of fire breathers.

    But we needed pants.
     
  2. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    No gas. No pants. No Service.


    Actually you should tell them you are racing under NEDRA (not NHRA) rules where shorts are allowed!:wink: I think in Portland they wanted long sleeve shirts too. It depended on the capabilities of the car though. Some slower EVs could race without a helmet even.
     
  3. Tdave

    Tdave Member

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    At the Power of DC event at Mason-Dixon Dragway, long pants were required and helmets required for anyone that can beat 14 seconds 1/4 mile (otherwise helmet not required). Frankly, I'd wear a helmet regardless because you never know who will be in the other lane. But it doesn't matter for us Tesla drivers, anyway. My best time in my 2010 Roadster Sport that day was 12.672. That was my first run of the day, and my first drag race run ever.
     
  4. DrComputer

    DrComputer Member

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    Irwindale Drag Strip

    Eric (vfx) and I decided to scope out the street car drag race night on Thursday at the Irwindale Raceway. We were on a reconnaissance mission to see what charging options were available and to see how amenable the track officials would be to having EV's race and charge at the track.

    When we got there, the front gate people swarmed and asked the usual 20 questions about the car. They asked if we were going to race or just be spectator. I figured since we were there we should try to race. Then we were told the bad news that we actually had to have long pants to race. It was 100 degrees out so we were both wearing shorts...who knew.

    So after scoping out the facilities and finding out they have 11 RV spots we could use to charge (although they have strange connectors we will have to make adapters for), we decided to head off to find pants. We found a Marshall's down the street, got some pants and came back to race.

    Before you are allowed to race you have to pass "tech inspection". We pulled up and got the usual swarm of curiosity seekers. The tech guys gave it the once over (really just asked a bunch of questions since they didn't know what they should check for) and we were cleared for racing. They wrote my number on the window along with "Batt Power".

    We got in line with the 200 or so other cars to take a crack at the 1/8 mile drag strip. Everyone kept asking how fast does it go or what was our track time? Since this was the first time on the track I had no idea. I finally got up to the front of the line and skipped the "burnout area" since I didn't think it was necessary to warm up the tires.

    A rice racer pulled up on my left, we staged, and off I went. I was so focused on trying to have a good reaction time and keeping my car straight in my lane that I never even looked at the speed or time when I crossed the finish line. After the race you circle around and pass the official timer guy who hands you your race slip. When I pulled up to him he said "I'm sorry, I have to take your wristband, you went to fast." I though I had done something wrong. But then he explained that any car that goes faster than 8.6 seconds in 1/8 mile must wear a helmet. Oh well... first pants, then a helmet. At least I was able to get one run in and we learned valuable information that we will all need pants and helmets if we want to have a group race day. I've attached my official 1-run race time. It was 8.339 at 84.68MPH with a .996 reaction time. I'm sure with practice I could do better.

    Eric is trying to organize an official Tesla race day next month. We are hoping to get a bunch of people for the SoCal area to come out and have fun on the track. I'm sure everyone will have a blast. Most of the people at the track (officials and spectators) had never seen a Tesla before and were very positive about having us there. I'm sure they'd go crazy if they saw a whole group of us (and other EV's as well). I think Eric has some pictures to post and one of the guys took a video of me on the track. I'll post that too when I get it.
     

    Attached Files:

  5. rsquared99

    rsquared99 Member

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    I checked with a local drag strip near Surprise Arizona and in addition to a helmet, they insisted I have a 5-point seat belt. I thought it would be like a bowling alley, if I needed equipment for a one time run, I'd be able to rent it. No such luck. I didn't ask, but I suppose my bicycle helmet wouldn't pass muster either.
     
  6. Palpatine

    Palpatine Banned

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    Get me the numbers and/or a picture. We will make you adapter pigtails.
     
  7. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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  8. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    Putting on pants surfer style, in the parking lot.
    CIMG6976.jpg
    Tech gathering
    CIMG6984.jpg
    Signing in as a Batt Pow
    CIMG6985.jpg
     
  9. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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  10. efusco

    efusco Moderator - Model S & X forums

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    "Year/Make Engine"= NONE!! LOL!
     
  11. Palpatine

    Palpatine Banned

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    When I was at the track and the form has a line for engine, I filled in "NONE".
     
  12. Brent

    Brent Member

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    I was getting all excited by the appearance of the phrase "Fuel Cell" on this form, and then thought it couldn't possibly mean that...
     
  13. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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  14. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    #14 vfx, Sep 14, 2009
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2009
    GO!


    irwindaleGO.jpg

    ZOOM!

    irwindalebye-1.jpg

    Gone...

    th_irwindalegone.jpg


    And that was all we got...​
     
  15. malcolm

    malcolm Active Member

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    As well as Pants, No 28 on the list also includes Suit and Jacket.

    What's next? Tie? :biggrin:
     
  16. domenick

    domenick Nerd

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    No. Shoes.
     
  17. Palpatine

    Palpatine Banned

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    If your electric car goes faster than 11.5 seconds you have to get a fire suit.... in case something flamable in the car explodes.

    John Wayland (White Zombie) suggested a rubber suit would be more appropriate as a safety feature for electric cars.
     
  18. graham

    graham Active Member

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    Ha! Driver's time gets better throughout the evening as the driver loses more and more weight :smile:
     
  19. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    #19 vfx, Sep 14, 2009
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2009
    Does sweat conduct electricity? :wink:


    We are working on charging at the RV sites. for everyone coming. If you are in LA (or even not) are you interested in coming out and play on a Thursday night in mid to late October? All EVs and fans of EVs welcome.

    We figured every run was about 3 miles so most Tesla owners in LA should not have a problem getting to to Irwindale,, screaming down the track a bunch of times and driving home even without a charge.
     
  20. DrComputer

    DrComputer Member

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    #20 DrComputer, Sep 19, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 13, 2016
    Here's a video from the races (excuse the quality as it was taken with an iPhone)

     

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