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The Fastest EV at the 100th Running of Pikes Peak International Hill Climb
BY Sam Du //
June 30, 2022
@duspeed
  • The Turn 14 Distribution x Evasive Motorsports Tesla Model 3 returns to Pikes Peak International Hill Climb with pro driver Dai Yoshihara for the second year in a row.
  • This year marked the 100th running of Pikes Peak, a race that spans 12.42 miles, features 156 turns, and climbs up 4,724 ft. to a summit of 14,115 ft.
  • Treacherous fog with minimal visibility and slippery roads made the 2022 hill climb one of the most challenging in history, with 8 of the 71 entries failing to finish.
  • After qualifying 4th in the Exhibition Class, Dai overcame adversity and finished with an 11:06.205 time putting him in 9th place overall and 2nd in class.
  • Among a field of fast electric vehicles, the Turn 14 Distribution x Evasive Motorsports Tesla Model 3 reached the peak as the fastest EV competitor.

RACE TO THE CLOUDS

As car enthusiasts, every single one of us has heard of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. It’s the second oldest race in America and is also perhaps the most dangerous, having seen countless crashes, seven of them claiming the lives of brave drivers and motorcycle riders. Throughout its 106-year history, the race has evolved as the highway leading up to the 14,115 ft. summit has been completely paved (previously, it was partial gravel). Two-wheeled competitors have also been outlawed as the grave consequence of missing one of the 156 turns was not worth a rider’s life. Even still, the race to the clouds sits at the highest pedestal of the motorsport world, with production-based time attack cars and purpose-built race cars competing from all around the world. 2022 marked the 100th running of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. It welcomed another year where electric-powered vehicles would be making headlines. Last Sunday morning, our very own Dai Yoshihara conquered the mountain in the Turn 14 Distribution x Evasive Motorsports Tesla Model 3 and claimed the unofficial title of “Fastest EV”.

FIRST-YEAR WOES

For those who can’t remember last year’s woes, this isn’t the first time the Turn 14 Distribution x Evasive Motorsports Tesla Model 3 has been to Pikes Peak. Dai’s first attempt didn’t go according to plan as an unforeseen glitch with the ECU caused the car to run in limp mode when it launched from the start line. The Tesla still finished the race; however, the pace was well off due to the lack of power.

We should note that unpredictable and inclement weather also forced the closure of the top section of last year’s race, meaning there was still much left on the table for every team and driver to strive for at this year’s running.

READY FOR REVENGE

Since last year’s blunder, revenge was on the minds of Dai and the entire crew at Evasive Motorsports. Every month, hard work ensued to troubleshoot and prepare the Model 3 for this year’s Pikes Peak. With the Tesla platform and EV racing being two very new programs at Evasive, having the time to research and understand the ins and outs of the car and its electronics would prove to be valuable as they would ensure the car would never fall back into the limp mode which plagued its first-year run.

As far as mechanical changes are concerned, there wasn’t anything drastic, just areas of refinement and fine-tuning. The revised aero package was the most significant upgrade, which included a new EVS Tuning front bumper for less drag and more airflow to the hood; speaking of which, the hood was also modified to allow for more air to the battery cooling system.

Small position changes were made to the rear wing and rear diffuser to further improve the overall aerodynamics, while KW provided revalved dampers and different spring rates to accommodate the aero requirements while also better coping with the bumpy sections of Pikes Peak. The last addition was new EV fluids from ENEOS to help guarantee maximum efficiency, lubrication, and cooling.

With a whole year to prepare, these slight updates could be evaluated before the big hill climb at local private testing days and at Super Lap Battle at Circuit of the Americas. Needless to say, come Pikes Peak, the Tesla was as good as ready, and all Dai had to worry about was driving, which of course, wouldn’t prove to be easy again, given Pikes Peak’s very unpredictable climate.

TERRIBLE CONDITIONS

12 miles outside of Pikes Peak lies Colorado Springs.

The summer weather in Colorado Springs is often beautiful, with warm 80-degree temperatures and blue skies. Start making your way 12 miles west towards Pikes Peak, and you’ll realize the mountain doesn’t play by the rules and has its own erratic weather system.

The evening before race day, a few colleagues and I drove up to the summit in our rental car, only to experience the wrath of Pikes Peak’s polar climate unexpectedly. The fog was so dense that you couldn’t see one car length in front of you. Then, the hail and snow started to fall, making the journey back downhill near impossible with our lowly rental car running all-season tires. We might have been stuck for hours if it wasn’t for a snowplow coming to our rescue!

As you can imagine, come race day, and less than 12 hours later, drivers and teams were on high alert as they wouldn’t know if there would be any delays or if there was the possibility of race officials shortening the course again like last year. The rain held off, but patches of wet pavement and near-zero visibility due to the dense fog made the 100th running of Pikes Peak International Hill Climb one of the sketchiest in history, even for the most veteran drivers.

RESULT WORTH CELEBRATING

Dai described this year’s Pikes Peak race as “having the most challenging driving conditions in my racing career.” All 71 drivers had to tackle both dry and wet surfaces. The thick fog also proved to be a factor that caused many drivers to hold back on the side of caution. Even a handful of drivers went off course due to the lack of visibility. In the end, we’re grateful Dai reached the 14,115 ft. summit safe and sound as he crossed the finish line with an 11:06.205, which was a result worth celebrating as he beat out several faster and more powerful cars putting him 9th overall and 2nd in class (only behind a 2022 Porsche 992 Turbo S Lightweight that was aiming to set the record for fastest production car). There’s no EV class at Pikes Peak yet, but we can’t overlook Dai was the fastest EV this year, which wasn’t expected due to the nature of two Tesla Model S Plaid Editions in contention with much more power. Pikes Peak has a way of throwing curveballs at the most prepared drivers and teams…

From everyone at Pit+Paddock, we’d like to congratulate Dai, the team at Evasive Motorsports, and all the supporting partners of the Tesla Model 3 and the 2022 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb campaign.



2018 Tesla Model 3 Dual Motor Performance

POWER:450hp; 471 lb-ft of torque (factory spec)
COOLING:CSF radiator and oil cooler; nitrous dioxide sprayer kit; custom hood vent and rear inlet ducts; EVS Tuning dual chiller
SUSPENSION & CHASSIS:KW Competition 3-way coilovers (revalved and new spring rates for 2022): SPL Suspension spherical links; Evasive Motorsports spherical joints and custom front sway bar; MPP front upper A-arms and rear lower arms; Quaife ATB limited-slip rear differential in modified frame; air jack lift system
BRAKES:Brembo Pista racing front brake kit, custom Brembo GTS rear brakes; CSG Racing brake pads; Evasive Motorsports electronic E-brake system
WHEELS & TIRES:18x11-inch Titan 7 T-P5 prototype forged wheels with Evasive Motorsports rear aero covers; 280/680-18 Yokohama ADVAN A005 slicks (dry) and A006 tires (wet)
EXTERIOR:Artisan Spirits widebody fenders plus carbon fiber aero kit; Evasive Motorsports custom honeycomb carbon splitter, rear diffuser, carbon fiber doors, carbon fiber roof, carbon fiber rear windshield, carbon fiber trunk lid and carbon fiber front air ducts; EVS Tuning front bumper, carbon fiber vented hood and headlight covers; Voltex dry carbon Type 13 1800mm GT rear wing; Lexan windows
INTERIOR:Evasive Motorsports FIA-spec rollcage, carbon fiber dashboard; MoTeC C127 dash display and datalogger; Sparco carbon/Kevlar QRT-K racing bucket seat, six-point harnesses and steering wheel

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