Lifestyle

My First Tesla Ride: 126mph Riding Shotgun on a Racetrack

Teslarati-48-Racecar-Interior

Teslarati-48-Racecar-Interior

I’ve been a long time Tesla enthusiast. Over the past few years I must have spent several hundred hours watching YouTube videos and reading forum threads to learn as much as possible about the Roadster, Model S, Superchargers, and all things Tesla. When the opportunity to ride in Teslarati #48 at Willow Springs International Raceway arose I couldn’t pass it up.

Upon arrival at Willow Springs the first thing I noticed was the noise from dozens of cars racing around the track. Of course, I wasn’t there to burn gasoline and make noise, but rather to meet up with Tesla Racer and his #48 Tesla Model S. It was easy to spot this one of a kind Tesla with its vinyl racing stripes and numbers. This unique look definitely helps turn heads even more than the beautiful contours of the aluminum body already do.

Teslarati-Model-S-48-Doors-Open

After checking out a crash helmet from the shop we headed out to the track where we would be leading some new drivers around the track at “boring” speed. When it was our turn to hit the track we accelerated out gradually and picked up speed to about 80 mph. Everything was “boring” up until the first corner when I realized that we were going to take the left turn without slowing from our initial speed. Everything that followed was far from a “boring” ride.

Willow-Springs-Racetrack-Pano

Teslaracer-48-DriverWith Tesla Racer as my skillful chauffeur we blazed through corners at speeds that threw my body left and right with great force. The heavy helmet on my head made it a strain to keep my head from hitting the door or flopping into the middle of the car.

We would accelerate out of every corner at the maximum 320,000 Watts and brake into every following corner with such force that it felt as if I was standing in the footwell.

This “boring” ride continued for 10 laps of the circuit with speeds of up to 122 miles per hour. All the more amazing is the fact that this was a standard, non-performance Model S and that the car didn’t even reach the point of “power limiting” where the maximum amount of current to the motor is limited to reduce heat buildup in the motor. This felt more like a go-cart ride than anything else I’ve experienced.

After a few hours of charging we went out for a second, full speed run of the track. This experience was similar to the last with the key difference that we weren’t slowed by waiting for the inexperienced drivers we were leading to catch up. Once again, the lateral acceleration was astonishing and we topped 126 mph on the straight. The car did “power limit” this time which dropped the maximum power to something more like a sporty V6.

Teslarati-Model-S-48-Headlight Teslarati-Model-S-48-Front

After experiencing electric propulsion for the first time I can say without a doubt that electric cars are the future of the automobile. I have personally committed that my next car will be a battery electric vehicle. While the Tesla Model 3 is currently an unknown product, if it approaches the specs that have been made public I firmly believe that it will be a knockout success. The electric car and clean power generation will be defining technologies of the 21st century.

Submitted by T.Miller

 

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