Evasive Motorsports Pikes Peak Tesla Model 3 Practice at Willow Springs

Following the debut of the Turn 14 Distribution / Toyo Tires / ENEOS / Evasive Motorsports Tesla Model 3 Pikes Peak at the Evasive open house / Pit & Paddock launch party, the next order of business was for ENEOS ambassador Dai Yoshihara to get some much-needed seat time at Willow Springs Raceway (WSR) before the car leaves for the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb (PPIHC).

Testing would usually take place at Buttonwillow Raceway, but Evasive identified a Tesla supercharging station closer to WSR, which would significantly shorten charging time (if needed) during the test sessions.

Quick refresher: the 450hp Evasive Tesla race car can accelerate from 0-60mph in 3.1sec and is capable of reaching a top speed of 162mph. The most crucial factor the team has is ensuring the battery packs remain cool so it can maintain maximum power throughout the duration of the 12.42-mile, 156-turn “Race to the Clouds”. Along with a custom CSF Radiators radiator and oil cooler system, it’s also outfitted with a nitrous oxide sprayer to provide additional chill, but ENEOS is lending a hand with its new EV Fluid Series for additional protection and efficiency.

Developed by the same engineers and chemists working alongside the majority of leading Japanese and Asian car manufacturers, the ENEOS EV Fluid Series is a line of six dedicated EV fluids that aim to improve vehicle efficiency, particularly in regards to lubrication and cooling. Competing in the PPIHC will put ENEOS EV Fluid Series products to the test, assisting us in the continued development of these exciting new products.

At the Horse Thief Mile track at WSR, Evasive made some finishing touches to the Tesla suspension before Dai embarked on its maiden voyage to bed-in the brakes and get the car up to speed. He spent a few sessions running two laps at a time to get familiar with various settings on the KW coilovers, getting Dai’s feedback to make adjustments.

It’s always a thrill to watch a gas-powered race car tackle a circuit, but an EV is something else, particularly when it’s so quiet you can hear it scraping the undercarriage in the turns!

Certainly, there’s more work to be done once the car arrives in Colorado Springs for the big race, but the team enjoyed a positive test session and is looking forward to perfecting the setup before they reach the start line.

Comments from the team after testing:

Overall, testing went really well! We need to make improvements to the cooling system before it leaves for Colorado. The suspension felt good at Willow Springs but Pikes Peak will be much different, so it needs fine tuning. I’ll focus on learning the course with the Tesla—the course changes every year, even daily, so there’s much to learn! Also, because it’s electric, there’s no sound or shifting, so the rhythm is different from our 2020 Toyota 86 Unlimited Class winner.” — Dai Yoshihara, Driver

Testing went very well, but it’s important for us to analyze the data to see how the Tesla’s battery temperatures were holding up. We’ve also been able to dial-in the handling and electronic issues further, but we will make more adjustments in Colorado. We’re ready to rock and roll!” — Mike Chang, Evasive Motorsports co-owner

The Tesla ran very well during testing, and the major components, such as suspension, aero and braking,  are performing as expected, so only minor tuning is needed. Battery management is the best we can expect with the existing technology, so we’re excited to see how Dai will perform at Pikes Peak!” — Mike Kojima, Chassis Engineer

Follow ENEOS on social media for the latest updates to the Evasive Tesla leading up to the main Pikes Peak International Hill Climb race!