This company turned the Model S into the first official Tesla race car

  • Electric GT is investing in the future of electric racing, starting with the world’s first official Tesla race car.
  • The company’s upcoming racing championship, Electric Production Car Series, is FIA-approved and will use a Model SP100D that’s been optimised for competing.
  • Electric GT is still looking for funding, but is planning for the championship’s inaugural season.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Following is a transcript of the video.

Narrator: 2.3 seconds. That’s exactly how long it takes Tesla’s top of the line Model S sedan to sprint from 0 to 60 mph. But while YouTube is filled with countless videos of Teslas dominating drag strips and leaving the fastest street-legal cars in their dust, these all-electric speed demons have yet to make it into a professional racing series – until now.

Electric Production Car Series or EPCS is an upcoming zero-emissions international racing championship featuring the first official race-ready Teslas. As the flagship series of electric racing organisation Electric GT, EPCS is planned to feature up to 20 drivers piloting identical track-optimised Model S P100Ds.

So what separates these Model S race cars from those you can pick up at your nearest Tesla showroom? First, the company takes a production model and strips out all the interior fittings that would be considered excess. This is replaced with safety equipment that includes a full race harness and roll cage. Much of the bodywork is also removed and replaced with high-grade carbon fibre body panels. The production car’s wheels and tires are scrapped for new race slicks and rims, aerodynamic features are added that include a large rear wing, and the suspension is strengthened heavily.

Mark Gemmell: Electric GT came about essentially four years ago when we saw that electric racing was starting with Formula E. I remember going to the Monaco race, being impressed with what they were doing, and thinking, “This needs to happen more.”

What is Electric Production Car Series? So that is the formal or official name that has been given by the FIA to our championship.

Narrator: The FIA, or International Automobile Federation, is the governing body over a number of global motorsport events. When it comes to rules and safety regulations in auto racing, what they say goes.

Mark: This is an FIA-approved series. So, we can race in multiple countries using full FIA safety specialists, you know, the marshals and such. And also we can attract FIA-licensed drivers, FIA sanctioned teams, and essentially put on a show that is proper motorsport. We do aim to go to the best circuits that are available, so Silverstone, Paul Ricard, that kind of thing.

Now I have thoroughly recognised that the Tesla Model S is not perfect and that it has thermal management issues above all. But it’s got pretty good performance as in the obviously out of the blocks acceleration that’s certainly at or even above a Formula One car level. Top speed is very good. And we can buy them today.

Narrator: However, Electric GT wants to make it clear that in the future they do not plan to limit their racing series to Tesla cars only.

Mark: Any high performance electric car we welcome in our series. It would be a pleasure to welcome a Porsche Taycan on the circuit. I have no reason to believe that it would be in any way an inferior car.

Narrator: However, the road to an all-electric racing league hasn’t been as smooth as Electric GT had hoped. The series was originally expected to begin back in 2017, but the company ran into a number of major delays including difficulty securing a lead investor. Still, the company claims their problems may soon be solved, and EPSC’s inaugural season could almost be here.

Mark: The fundamental fact, and there’s no surprise, is that you need to have the capital to launch an event of this calibre. You get everything together and you need to have the right investor. The right investor, apart from having the right money, needs to be appreciative of what’s going on. So here, for instance, you need to find an investor that understands the electric future is definite, is worthwhile, that renewable energy is a fantastic positive future for us all, and is someone who appreciates the value of motorsport. I’m pleased to say we have run into a few investors who place a lot of value in these vectors. So I’m very enthusiastic that we will find that investor and launch in the near future.

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