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Exciting day at Sonoma Raceway with the Model 3

Discussion in 'Model 3' started by sreams, Aug 20, 2018.

  1. sreams

    sreams Member

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    I took our first-production Model 3 to Sonoma Raceway today for an autocross event today. This one was run quite differently from any I've been to before. No timing. Very few cars. And more laps by far than you would expect from any autocross. They had 4-5 cars out at a time, and there was almost no downtime (unless you wanted to take a break). I was able to get probably 75 laps in by the end of the day.

    I started with the battery about 75% full (stopped at a Supercharger in Fairfield on the way in from Sacramento), and by lunch time, I was down to about 20%. The trip meter indicated power usage was about 1300Wh/mile. My friend and I took a 20 minute drive to the Petaluma supercharger, had lunch, and headed back to the track with about an 85% charge. Got several more laps in after that. There was no noticeable power reduction at any point in the day, which impressed me. I left with plenty of range to make it all the way home to Sacramento.

    There was also a Chevy Bolt there. The driver appeared to be more conservative with how often he went out on the course, as he had no way to top up for more laps and the drive home.

    Other cars consisted of a brand new Corvette Z06, a brand new BMW 335i, a couple Honda S2000s, etc... and the Tesla was able to easily keep up with pretty much all of them. It was fun and satisfying to catch up to the Z06 and stay behind him.

    My takeaways after reading about others' experiences and after my own experience today:

    Traction control. It really slows the car down on corner exit. If I go out again, I might try disconnecting wheel speed sensors. This, I felt, was the number one thing keeping me from being much faster. I really wish Tesla would enable Track Mode for any Model 3, not just the P version.
    Tires. The stock 18s are great for range and treadwear, but severely lack grip on track. I'll be going with something else as soon as these wear out.
    Brakes. The pads were okay for autocross (not for a full track). I do feel like the brakes might need to be bled now, as the pedal feel has changed.

    Here's a lap:



    As a bonus, My friend and I entered the paddocks to see what cars were using the full track, when we came upon a prototype Lucid Air. The engineers were there and very friendly and open about what they were working on. They liked seeing the Model 3 out there, and they were gracious enough to let each of us sit in in the Air.

    Awesome day!! laexterior.jpg lainterior.jpg
     

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  2. usofrob

    usofrob Member

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    Michigan, United States
    I'm looking forward to autocrossing some in my Model 3. I tried it with the S, and it worked pretty well, but it was just so hard to get around the tight turns. But it accelerated out of the corners great!
     
  3. tracksyde

    tracksyde Member

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    Not feelin' the center console on that Lucid Air and only ONE cup holder?! :p
     
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  4. 240W

    240W Member

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    Lol, on the contrary, we only have one display, they have 5, baller!
     
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  5. sreams

    sreams Member

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    I just replaced the brake fluid with Motul DOT 5.1 and my pedal feel is back. It has a higher boiling point, so should be better for these types of events.
     
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  6. Garlan Garner

    Garlan Garner Well-Known Member

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    Was that a track or a parking lot with cones?
     
  7. sreams

    sreams Member

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    Location:
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    It's the paddock area at Sonoma Raceway with cones. Autocrosses are typically run on large, flat paved surfaces with cones marking a custom course.
     
  8. brianman

    brianman Burrito Founder

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2011
    Messages:
    16,808
    I really hope this is improved in the (P)AWD 3. It's one of my largest frustrations with (P)AWD Model S (which doesn't have a setting to turn off any of the nannies).
     

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