Following in the footsteps of Formula E, the race series for open wheel electric race cars, comes the Electric GT World Series which will be based entirely on production electric vehicles. The new series will kick off in 2017 and feature ten teams with a total of twenty drivers.
Series co-founder and Technical Director Agustin Payá for Electric GT Holdings, says initially all the teams will use the Tesla Model S P85+ as the basic race car. “It is the best zero emissions car on the road capable of racing on world class circuits in the GT category,” Payá tells Transport Evolved. “In its production version, it accelerates faster and provides better lap times than many combustion GT cars. We chose the Tesla Model S simply because it is one of the best cars ever made, and certainly one of the best 100% electric cars. We are convinced that sharing its impressive circuit racing potential will help to inspire many people about sustainable transport.”
Carbon Fiber Tesla Model S GT Aero Kit Upgrade by RevoZport
The P85+ was chosen because of its rear wheel drive capability, something that most race car drivers prefer due to ease of vehicle control. It also limits the complexity and cost of repairs to the race cars. “We are making only small changes to the production Model S P85+ such as improved braking and aerodynamics to increase high speed grip,” Payá says. “We will strengthen suspension, braking cooling and steering as well as reduce overall weight. The rest — powertrain, battery, programming — everything is original.
“We have been testing the car already on the Barcelona Catalunya F1 Circuit as well as the legendary Madrid Jarama circuit, both of which are being used as test and operations centers. The car’s handling is sensational. No one could imagine that the production version of this 100% electric car would be capable of handling the circuit so well and go so fast and so far.”
The series is expected to launch in 2017 and race on dedicated race tracks – unlike Formula E which races on temporary street circuits – across Asia, North America, and Europe. Long time Formula One fans will have fond memories of some of the tracks Electric GT Holdings is negotiating with. It says it plans to race at Catalunya, Donnington Park, Mugello, Nürburgring, Assen, Estoril and Jarama. Interestingly enough, former Formula One driver Mark Webber said recently, “I would rather do 10 laps at Mugello than 1000 in Abu Dhabi.”
Organizers say that each race weekend will feature a festival of technology and sustainable innovation for race fans. It says it will leverage the best in multimedia entertainment to enhance the fan experience both on and off track.
For now, the Tesla Model S is the only production car eligible for competition, but don’t doubt one bit that players such as Rimac, Mercedes, and Audi wouldn’t join in on the fun at a later time. Ultimately, the promoters say, Electric GT World Series will be a celebration of all the high-powered electric supercars on sale in the world.
How will the Model S handle the demands of racing? Check out the video below of our very own Teslarati #48 racing in REFUEL at famed Laguna Seca Raceway.
Tesla Racing Series
- (Video) Brammo Empulse electric bike vs. Tesla Model S at Laguna Seca Raceway
- Teslarati 48 Model S takes on Thunderhill Raceway
- (Video) Tesla Model S put to the test on NASCAR track
- Tesla Model S GT Aero Kit Upgrade
- See the full Tesla Racing Series collection