Friday, June 28, 2013

Mitsubishi takes 1st/2nd in Pikes Peak, plus other electric action on the mountain

While Lightning Motorcycles is turning in awesome results at Pikes Peak, there are some other electric teams on the mountain as well.   I want to take a look at some of the other results.

Jeremiah Johnson made a long posting talking about his recent results, and how his buddy Jeff Clark was keeping him honest.  He'd figured out that he didn't want the pole position, because he wanted someone to chase up the mountain.  However, he ended up fastest in one practice today (5:10 time) because Jeff Clark also did not want pole position and got a 5:14 time.  Jeremiah then decided to go full blast and got the bike turned up to full power.  In the next practice round that snagged him a 5:00 time, for a 10 second improvement, and 35th place overall. 

Amarok Racing qualified for the race, after having problems earlier in the week when a couple sub-packs failed.  They have a custom converted electric motorcycle using twin Agni motors, and a battery pack built of Turnigy R/C packs.  Those packs are attractive because they give a high discharge rate and have an ultra-low cost. 

Mitsubishi Motors snagged 1st and 2nd place in qualifying in the Electric DivisionGreg Tracy clocked the quickest time in the Electric Division with a time of 3:56.287, while Hiroshi Masuoka posted a run of 3:57.777.

Here's the results of the electric car class:
  • 1st, GREG TRACY, MIEV Evolution II, 3:56.287
  • 2nd, HIROSHI MASUOKA, MIEV Evolution II, 3:59.777
  • 3rd, NUBOHIRO TAJIMA, Pikes Peak Special, 3:58.189
  • 4th, ROD MILLEN, Toyota TMG EV P002, 4:04.331
  • 5th, JANIS HORELIKS, PP01, 4:19.488
  • 6th, IKUO HANAWA, HER-02, 4:46.789
  • 7th, ROY RICHARDS, Fit-EV, 5:29.430
It means that Monster Tajima took 3rd, Toyota took 4th, and the Latvian team took 5th.

Toyota posted this writeup with some discussion by Rod Millen.

Rod Millen: “It was good. We’re gaining more and more speed every time we run it -- the combination of me getting more and more comfortable in it and the team extracting a little more speed out of it. Unfortunately, our competitors are doing the same. We feel comfortable. We’ve got a nice balanced package here. We feel comfortable in terms of our race package.”

Rod Millen: “It’s not so much the starting position -- it’s more knowing what the vehicle is going to be like throughout that whole duration of that qualifying run. It’s a combination of very fast at the bottom and then we start to get into some of the switchbacks. Knowing what the car is going to handle like and what the balance is going to be like is really important in qualifying.”

Rod Millen: “Tomorrow, we’ll be working on the middle section of the mountain and we’re going to apply a couple lessons we learned today to try to make some improvements. Then I think we’ll have a race-ready package.”

Rod Millen: “It will be a lot warmer. We will have to make some decisions on tire compounds and so on of what we will do come race day. It really is a balancing act. Perhaps more so that we’re testing in the early hours of the morning -- the temperatures are much, much cooler. We’re going to have to use experience to help us make some decisions for race day when the temperatures are a lot hotter.”
The Toyota team is using a DC Fast Charger to get more track time, as they wrote up a couple weeks ago.  However, their plans almost hit disaster when the fast charger was destroyed in a car accident while being driven to Pikes Peak.  They had to ship in a replacement fast charger from Germany.

EV West posted on Facebook that they're "bummed" about not racing Pikes Peak this year.  Instead, they'll be at the REFUEL event at Laguna Seca this weekend.  That's a curious choice because while the REFUEL event is excellent, it's nowhere near the prestige of Pikes Peak.

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