Inaugural championship will field 20 race-spec Model S P100Ds, while race venues include Silverstone and Nürburgring

The long-awaited Electric GT championship looks set to kick off in November in Jerez.

The new championship, which will feature a field of race-prepared Tesla Model S P100Ds, was expected to begin in 2017 but delays pushed its start date to 2018. It has since gained FIA certification and announced a provisional calendar for season one (see bottom).

Iconic circuits on the calendar include Silverstone and the Nürburgring DTM layout.

Electric GT confirmed the full specifications of Tesla's electric racing model, 20 of which will be built for the opening season. The battery-powered saloon has been renamed Model S P100DL and produces 778bhp and 734lb ft of torque. It can accelerate from zero to 62mph in 2.1sec – 0.3sec quicker than the road car – and hit a top speed of 155mph.

Despite running an unmodified drivetrain, the car's 100kWh battery pack is the largest in motorsport. Autocar spoke to Electric GT CEO Mark Gemmell last year and he said he expects the factory specification hardware to be extremely reliable.

"The standard drivetrain is in a 25% lighter car, so the stresses are actually less than it has been designed for in the production vehicle," Gemmell said. "This also makes the championship more valuable for Tesla road customers, as our racing cars are closer to what they drive, so you're essentially seeing a production vehicle on circiuit."

Video: Tesla Model S P85D vs Caterham 620R drag race

Pirelli is supplying the tyres, which are 18in in diameter, 265mm wide at the front and 305mm wide at the rear. Both slicks and treaded wet tyres are available. A dual-circuit single-pedal hydraulic race brake set-up has also been installed.

The car sits on double-wishbone pushrod-operated front suspension, with twin dampers and springs at the back. The stripped-out cabin features an FIA roll cage and fire extinguisher. No weight figure has been released, but Gemmell's comments suggest around 525kg has been removed from the car, meaning it'll weigh close to 1600kg.

At top speed, the P100DL's racing bodywork produces 51kg of downforce over the nose and 92kg over the rear. The bodywork itself is made from high-modulus carbonfibre – a particularly fibre-dense version of the material.

Races will feature standing starts – something Gemmell thinks will help make the event a unique spectacle.

"Seeing 20 of these cars launch off – they’re about as fast or maybe even a bit faster than a Formula 1 car off the line," he said. "I think people will be surprised by the noise. When you get 20 cars together, you do get an interesting sense of power."

Supporting the Electric GT will be the eKarting Series, which uses electric go-karts, and virtual racing platform eSports Series.

Provisional calendar:

3-4 November 2018 Jerez

February/March 2019 (date TBC) Paul Ricard

May (date TBC) Circuit TBC

29 June Nürburgring

20-21 July Assen

September (date TBC) Silverstone

September (date TBC) Circuit TBC

12-13 October Algarve

Read more:

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Tesla Model S 95D

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Comments
16

26 September 2016
The thing is that even the standard Model S 90D is the fastest car on sale today. When the competition eventually catches up I'm sure Tesla will reveal some more sizzlers from up their long electric sleeves.

26 September 2016
fadyady wrote:

The thing is that even the standard Model S 90D is the fastest car on sale today. When the competition eventually catches up I'm sure Tesla will reveal some more sizzlers from up their long electric sleeves.

Tesla is only quickest in initial acceleration but after a short while will easily get passed by many mid level sports cars. If you floor it (as in full gas) the batteries will overheat very fast and the car goes into limp mode. Initial acceleration, that is all, and Tesla has been milking that one thing. Hence why it's a one trick pony.

Dan

26 September 2016
It'll do *all* the tricks within legal speeds. Which one could argue is all it really needs to do, being a giant luxury hatchback rather than a trackday sports car.

But yes, on a track the Model S isn't great, and that's mostly because of the battery temperature demands, which aren't addressed by these racers. It must be possible to design a trackday-ready high-performance BEV - some of the hybrid hypercars have ridiculously high cell discharge rates, but the batteries don't overheat as far as I know.

27 September 2016
bezor Ta wrote:
fadyady wrote:

The thing is that even the standard Model S 90D is the fastest car on sale today. When the competition eventually catches up I'm sure Tesla will reveal some more sizzlers from up their long electric sleeves.

.... If you floor it (as in full gas) the batteries will overheat very fast and the car goes into limp mode. Initial acceleration, that is all, and Tesla has been milking that one thing. Hence why it's a one trick pony.

With your experience of this car after how many seconds of flooring it does it take before it goes into limp home mode? And at what speed is this? Also, what happens after initial acceleration, secondary acceleration? Thanking you in advance for your valuable input

typos1 - Just can’t respect opinion

16 January 2017
I meant to say quickest (primarily to 60mph) but it came out fastest. It happens. But gosh look at this Tesla! Is there anything quicker?

16 January 2017
not to disturb spectators who bring along a book to read during the racezzzzzzzzzzz......

27 September 2016
So will this be like Formula E where the races are effectively economy runs and where the car's full performance is only used in short bursts? If so, I can't see it being much of a spectacle. The "racing" will involve plenty of lift-and-coast to maximise energy recovery, and definitely no sliding or wheel locking which wastes energy. I'd like to see them race against a few Touring Cars as a benchmark, but then again that might not be good publicity...

29 September 2016
Rather short races at 60km. Perhaps they should have pitstops that allow refuelling?

16 January 2017
Glisse wrote:

Rather short races at 60km. Perhaps they should have pitstops that allow refuelling?

A half-hour lunch-break in the middle of the race perhaps?

Citroëniste.

16 January 2017
Are these races particularly shorter than, say BTTC?

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