The top of the mountain is the goal: Dai Yoshihara is planning to compete with a Tesla Model 3 at the “International Pikes Peak Hill Climb Race”

The Pikes Peak International Hill Climb is one of the oldest hill climb races in North America. In 2021, Evasive Motorsports, Turn 14 Distribution and Dai Yoshihara plan to compete with a Tesla Model 3 and a KW coilover kit.

The already available KW coilover kit Variant 3 is our most sold entry level application in the aftermarket and part of our product range for all Tesla Model 3. Worldwide, numerous Model 3 drivers already rely on the sporty and comfortable KW Variant 3 from our “street performance product group.”

Of course, no normal KW Variant 3 is used for Dai Yoshihara’s “all-wheel drive Tesla Model 3” for the test drive. As everyone knows, motorsport components and aftermarket products differ greatly. It is like Lewis Hamilton’s Formula 1 monoposto (single-seater) racecar differs from an ordinary sportscar like a Mercedes-AMG Black Series model.

Dai Yoshihara and his team are still about to prepare the Tesla Model 3 for the hill climb race in Colorado. But to set an unofficial example, they tested already the possible sporty performance of the world’s best-selling electric vehicle in the spring 2021.

The “Buttonwillow Raceway Park” located in the hinterland of California between San Francisco and Los Angeles served as a training ground.

To make the Tesla Model 3 Performance faster, due to the complexity of Tesla’s software connectivity and the interplay of battery management, break assistance, the team obeyed to the engineering laws of the racing engineer Colin Chapman: “to add speed, add lightness.”

For the test, the Model 3 was slightly emptied in the first step. Parts of the interior were removed. But much more will happen in the following weeks.

The door panels and dashboard remained on board for the shakedown in California. To gain more lateral support in the driver seat and save some weight, a Bride Xero full bucket seat was installed.

Evasive Motorsports only upgraded the MoTeC C127 digital display to make it easier to record data and to keep better track of the battery’s temperature and the state of charge.

Not only the carbon spoiler lip from Artisan Spirits, but also other “aftermarket carbon parts” (side skirts, diffuser and roof edge spoiler) have already been installed during the Buttonwillow test. However, for the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb race, the whole Tesla body is completely rebuilt with artisan components, such as widening the fender, covering the underbody and much more.

Equally, the adjustable Voltex Type 12 GT rear wing is not yet in its final state. The one-piece wheels are a 10.5 x 18-inch Titan 7 wheel set. The offset is 25 millimeters.

As it is usually the case with tests on racetracks, the time slot for the roll-out was quite short. “We ended up with a short slot of only 15 minutes in which we could be alone on the track,” reveals Dai Yoshihara.

In those 15 minutes, Dai managed to set an unofficial record for electric cars at Buttonwillow Raceway Park with a lap time of 1:52.8 minutes. Basically, the Tesla was on track simply with a different tire combination, motorsport brake pads, a modified KW coilover Variant 3, a slightly revised aero and an interior that was partially emptied.

The Evasive Motorsports team and all partners still have time until the beginning of June to fully prepare the Tesla Model 3 for the mountain race in Colorado. For instance, they are already working on reducing the vehicle’s weight.

The entire body will of course reinforced with a welded roll cage. Afterwards, a bespoke KW suspension will be integrated because of the modified axle loads, weight distribution and other aero loads. An optimized primary cooling circuit for the Tesla motors and batteries is also being planned.

Images Sam Du (Turn 14 Distribution, Evasive Motorsports), Words C. Schmidt

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