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What HPDE might look like in 10 years

Illustration for article titled What HPDE might look like in 10 years

Just ignore the ferrari in the background. But in all seriousness, the unveiling of the Model 3 (don’t say M3) has really got me thinking that I may buy one in the not too distant future....if it drives properly. Of course, my mind started to wonder: how do Model Esses track anyway? I did a quick google search and stumbled on


I found this nugget most interesting:

Do I Need to Worry About Charging ?

Yes, you do. You will use approximately 4 miles of charge per 1 rated mile. Meaning if you have 200 rated miles, it will be enough for 50 actual racing miles. A typical track is about 2.5 miles, so 200 rated miles will get you 20 laps. Each session is approximately 10 laps. Without recharging you are good for about 2 full sessions. Charging at the tracks is usually done with NEMA 14-50, which gets you 4 hours * 30 miles per hour of charge = 120 extra miles, which is good for about another full session. Due to Tesla’s power limiting feature, we found it to be better to just run half sessions

Will the Tesla Model S go the Distance ?

The Model S is not built for racing. It overheats after one lap of hard performance driving. When that happens, power limitation kicks in to protect the car. A yellow dashed line on the power consumption gauge appears on the dashboard. The longer you go, the more severe power limitation gets. It’s a great safety feature as it lets you push the car as hard as you want without having to worry about car damage.

However this same protection mechanism has a drastic impact on the overall racing experience. You can start off as being one of fastest cars on the track on your first lap, to becoming the slowest car on the track in the subsequent laps.


50 miles of hard driving per charge doesn’t sound all that bad, especially if tracks start adopting quick chargers. My FocuST averages ~10mpg on the track, and due to the saddle bag design of the tank, I won’t drive with less than a quarter tank due to possible fuel starvation issues. That comes out to about 70 miles of track driving per full tank. Give it a few years, and I’m sure the battery capacity will meet it.

However, the fact that they overheat quickly is a little disconcerting. Granted, stock cars can’t cope with the stresses of track duty, but at least with conventional internal combustion engined cars you can upgrade radiators/cooling etc pretty easily.


A 10 second google search yielded this:


that the cooling system is a quite complex sealed refrigerant system.

My experience with air conditioning loops in automobiles is ‘rip it out’...but with EVs they are a necessary component. I’m sure there’ll be ways to optimize the system for track duty, and the aftermarket will eventually develop for it...but it is clearly more complex than ICE cars. Evacuating and refilling a refrigeration system is orders of magnitude more difficult than flushing anti-freeze, not to mention it will most likely need special equipment. Maybe its possible to convert it to a liquid to air heat exchanger at the expense of interior space? (we are talking about racing cars ya know!)


Eh, maybe I’ll just save up for a used 911.

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