2021 Dai Yoshiharas attemp at the 99th Pikes Peak International Hill Climb was very promising. In testing at Buttonwillow, the Tesla Model 3 with its 3-way KW V4 racing suspension (KW Competition 3A) set an unofficial electric car time attack record of 1:50.2 for configuration 13 CW in 100-degree fahrenheit heat, not the best conditions for tires or the battery.
But last year the “Race to the Clouds” was a very disapointing one for the team.
Although the car was very fast in practice and the car suffered from very few new car blues problems, on race day the team was struck by a very weird problem.
As soon as Dai left the line the car refused to go past 30 mph and on the uphills, the speed was limited to 15 mph.
This was a disaster and there is no explanation for why this happened. Looking at the data was inconclusive and the car returned to normal after it reached the summit.
2022 Dai Yoshihara and the team supported by Turn 14 Distribution, Yokohama Tire, ENEOS and Evasive Motorsports came back to the Race to the clouds. And not even the livery is new.
Unable to modify the electric motors in the Tesla Model 3 Pikes Peak race car, the team needed to make other changes to prepare for the 12.42-mile sprint, which climbs 4724 feet. With the “Race to the Clouds” incorporating 156 turns, emphasis was placed on the chassis to maintain speed through the corners.
New for 2022 are Yokohama slick racing tires. Fitted to prototype 18” Titan wheels, they have EVS discs on the rear to aid cooling for the Brembo Pista brakes.
The suspension is like 2021 the 3-way adjustable KW V4 racing kit. The team was able to find or fabricate new suspension arms, spherical links and joints as well as a new front sway bar.
Another important aspect was air management, both in terms of aerodynamic downforce and battery cooling. Among the most notable additions are the wider, carbon fiber Artisan Spirits fenders, which accommodate the slick tires and allow a wider track for stability. The Voltex rear wing on the tailgate is also tough to miss; increasing downforce over the rear wheels and working in harmony with the Evasive carbon fiber front splitter and rear diffuser.
To improve cooling, airflow and mass, Evasive created a carbon fiber front bumper and vented hood under its EVS Tuning brand to help ensure the motors and batteries don’t overheat. EVS carbon fiber doors, roof, tailgate and rear window were added to further reduce weight, giving the batteries less to haul up the hill.
In addition to the vented hood and large duct in the front bumper, cooling has been addressed with rear inlet ducts, a CSF radiator and oil cooler, a NO2 (nitrogen dioxide) sprayer that’s triggered when a preset temperature is reached. For 2022, an EVS Tuning Dual Chiller has been added to keep everything running at the optimum level.
The original Tesla electric motors remain in place and Evasive added a Quaife ATB rear differential to help power distribution when Yoshihara exits the 156 turns on June 26th at the 100th Pikes Peak International Hill Climb.
Images Larry Chen, Team