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First ever trophy win for an electric car at Atlanta MotorSpeedway Friday Night Drags

Discussion in 'Model S: Driving Dynamics' started by kirkp, May 10, 2014.

  1. kirkp

    kirkp Member

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    This was on the opening night of the season on May 9, 2014. Won every match in the Factory Street class for naturally aspirated :wink: production cars. Also won all my earlier practice runs, including against a beautiful 2014 Z51 Corvette. These were 1/8 mile drags, so it was kinda tailor-made for a Tesla P85. I felt kinda bad for my competitors…

    2014-05-10 00.03.30 small.jpg
     
  2. dhrivnak

    dhrivnak Active Member

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    Yes I have never lost a 1/8 run with the Roadster and very few 1/4 mile runs. And even there I never lost to a street car.
     
  3. Brightonuk

    Brightonuk Member

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  4. gaswalla

    gaswalla P4201/85/airsusp/pano/19i

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    Great! Thanks for sharing
     
  5. KandTrobinson

    KandTrobinson New Member

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    So, did the wife know about this? :)
     
  6. Velo1

    Velo1 Member

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    I see you have 19" wheels. When you drag race do you leave the traction control on or turn it off?

    Congrats, too.
     
  7. tga

    tga Active Member

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    Post scans of your timeslips?
     
  8. cschock

    cschock Member

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    Congratulations!
     
  9. kirkp

    kirkp Member

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    I think the Tesla traction control was one of the biggest advantages, keeping wheel-spin to a minimum while hurting performance very little, so I left it on all night (I'd actually be scared to turn if off). Only a couple of cars beat me off the line with quicker reaction times, but I passed them by the midpoint (probably during their shifts). These are old-fashioned "street" drag eliminations where whoever gets to the finish line first wins, so there are no timing slips, and a lot more room for driver error than in a timed quarter-mile. If you're too slow coming off the line you're probably gonna get eliminated.

    They use a Pro Tree starting light setup where all three yellow lights come on at once followed by the green light 0.4 seconds later, and I think that was actually helpful because it gives less time for another more experienced driver to anticipate the green during a sequential countdown of the yellow lights in a Full Tree.

    The cars I beat in my class were a Cadillac CTS/V and Pontiac G8 (both with Corvette engines), and a Mustang GT. Earlier in the practice runs I beat a 2014 Corvette Z51, a Lil' Red Hemi truck, and an early 70's Duster w/ fat tires and I dunno what-kind-of engine. The cars in the practice runs were all in higher or different classes than me.

    People were asking me questions all night long, and very few had ever seen a Tesla before, so that was a lot of fun. The track officials said they'd never had a Tesla compete, and it was the first time an electric car had ever won its class in these competitions. I have to think that it was very good for all these gear-head enthusiasts to see an all-electric 5,000 lb 4-door luxury sedan outrun pony cars and Corvettes.

    There were only 10 cars in my Factory Street class on Friday because it looked like rain. Next week I might have more and stiffer competition. But I hadn't planned on winning my class in the first place, so whatever happens is cool.

    I did see a couple of interesting error messages: During the practice runs, you have to drive onto the high-banked oval part of the track to get back into line, and I got a message saying "Stability Control Disabled, Contact Tesla Service" every time. I powered the car off and back on each time and it reset. The drivers of an Audi S4 and the Corvette Z51 said the same thing happened to them, so I guess the sensors don't like seeing the car tilted beyond a certain threshold. Another time the instrument panel rebooted while I was waiting in line and said "Charging Cable Connected, Disconnect Cable to Drive". I freaked out on that one, but it went away after I did a power off-on sequence as well. I dunno WTH caused that.

    Oh, and it was my wife who took the picture, and she had fun just watching. I told her this was our new Friday Date Night activity. :smile:
     
  10. Denarius

    Denarius Active Member

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    Congratulations! Sounds like you had a blast!
     
  11. kirkp

    kirkp Member

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    #11 kirkp, May 11, 2014
    Last edited: May 11, 2014
    That's really good to know and a bit inspirational. On the "Friday Night Drags" Facebook page, a nice picture of my car was posted lined up against the (gorgeous) Z51 Corvette, and someone recognized my car as a Tesla and later posted that it won its class. The next post said "It won't next week ;)". Trash-talking!!!

    I looked up the poster and it showed he has a 2013 Mustang GT w/ 420 HP and 1,200 lbs less weight, so that might be a really competitive match. If he actually shows up next week, we'll see what happens…
     
  12. CarlK

    CarlK Member

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    Congrats! Thanks for sharing. Must be a great experience and fun.
     
  13. EarlyAdopter

    EarlyAdopter Active Member

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    He doesn't generate peak power from 0 RPM. You do. By the time he finally hits that 420 HP you'll have long pulled ahead. Then he'll have to shift. Over a 1/8 mile you'll be unbeatable.
     
  14. Sunlight

    Sunlight Member

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    Further to this thread, I was wondering if anyone has done a hillclimb race with an MS? It would seem ideal as the top speeds are usually low-ish, the run not too long and the torque would be very useful as well as the rapid uphill launch......

    There is an annual hillclimb here in South Africa (where sadly AFAIK there are no MSs - yet) which gets lots of publicity and it would be perfect for an MS P85+ - I reckon it could place pretty high up even against some race cars. There are no tight corners and it is quite steep. It would be cracking publicity for the public here who are still EV-ignorant.

    Maybe next year.................Elon, can you pop one over for the Simola Hillclimb? Pleeeeze..!
     
  15. kirkp

    kirkp Member

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    :smile: I think (hope) you're right! I was surprised by how much quicker the Tesla was than everyone else in the unmodified class, especially against the Z51 Corvette.
     
  16. Brightonuk

    Brightonuk Member

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    What tire pressure did you run in the rear?
    Did you have any tire spin off the line?
    Was is pedal to the metal at green?
     
  17. kirkp

    kirkp Member

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    43 psi, but I only know that because I just checked :smile:. I just take it in right off the street with no special prep.

    Yes, I get a good bit of wheel-spin, even with traction control on. Which seems odd, because I get very little on the street. I'd think that a track should be stickier than the street.

    Yeah I just floor it without any attempt at smooth modulation. I'm a real rookie.
     
  18. StephenM

    StephenM Active Member

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    Awesome!! Way to represent! :smile:
     
  19. Brightonuk

    Brightonuk Member

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    Rookie or not you won :wink: and it looks like more fun than laughing
     
  20. VolkerP

    VolkerP EU Model S P-37

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    Hand him over 2 kid seats (the heaviest ones you can find) "to level the playing field" :biggrin:
     

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