PHOTO CAPTION: Lowell Simmons in Lawless EV Porsche 944 smokes Corvette at StreetCarDrags 2015.

StreetCarDrags Seeing More Electric Challengers

Matt Graham updates EV World on last month's StreetCarDrags at Palm Beach International Raceway.

Published: 12-Feb-2015

It’s not exactly unusual to see a Lamborghini or Ferrari tooling around the streets of South Florida, but every year the StreetCarDrags event brings together about a hundred of these and other exotic street cars and high performance supercars for a day of drag racing at Palm Beach International Raceway. This year, in a continuing upward trend, more than 15 percent of the competitors were driving electric vehicles, including three Tesla Model S P85Ds and eleven other variants of the Model S. But while the Teslas dominated the event as far as the number of cars competing, they did not take the top honor of quickest quarter mile elapsed time (ET) for an electric vehicle.

For the third year in a row, the National Electric Drag Racing Association has actively participated in the StreetCarDrags event. NEDRA members racing electric vehicles at the event were StreetCarDrags organizer Brooks Weisblat with his Tesla Model S P85D, NEDRA Executive Vice President Lowell Simmons with the Miramar High School Porsche 944, Bob Salem with his TVR 280i and Michel Bertrand with his Porsche 911. All four set NEDRA world records at this event. Also present for vehicle inspection and world record verification were NEDRA Southeast U.S. Regional Director and Secretary/Treasurer Matt Graham, Production Class Technical Director, Ed Fargo, and Marketing Director, Keith Howard.

The field of vehicles at the 2015 StreetCarDrags included Lamborghini Huracans and Gallardos, McLaren MP4-12Cs, several Nissan GT-Rs, a Ferrari F12 and 458 Italia, a Mercedes E63S AMG, an Audi RS7 and S8, a Chevrolet Corvette C7 Z06 and a Dodge Challenger Hellcat. One of the most anticipated races was between the 700 HP 6.2L supercharged Hemi-powered Hellcat and the 690 HP dual motor Model S P85D. In spectacular fashion, Brooks Weisblat in the Tesla set a NEDRA SP/A3 quarter-mile world record of 11.683 seconds at 114 mph, while the Hellcat smoked the tires through the first eighth-mile for a disappointing finish. Later that afternoon, Brooks ran a backup time of 11.690 seconds in a tight match with the E63S AMG, which had a competitive time of 11.770 seconds. Meanwhile the other thirteen Model S vehicles made pass after pass of consistent 12-second runs.

In a race with a Tesla Model S P85D, Lowell Simmons in the Miramar High School Porsche 944 ran a quicker 10.524 second ET versus 11.925 seconds for the Tesla. Later, Lowell ran a blistering 9.967 second quarter-mile ET and set a NEDRA HM/A3 eighth-mile world record of 6.329 seconds. He also took home the prize for the best reaction time of the day, with a nearly perfect 0.003 second RT.

Long-time EV racer, Bob Salem persevered through some battery challenges early in the day, forcing him to make some changes to the pack and compete in a lower voltage division. After a few passes in the TVR, Bob set a new NEDRA SC/D eighth-mile world record of 9.128 seconds at 72.92 mph. And Michel Bertrand, who drove all the way from Montreal to Florida with the triple AC motor 911 in tow, set a NEDRA PS/F world record in the quarter-mile with a 13.888 second run at 92.21 mph. All records have been verified by NEDRA and are posted at www.nedra.com.

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