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Charging Past The Petrol Heads — Tesla Takes Out Its Targa West Contenders

Courtesy of David Waterworth

Targa West is a rally event in Perth, Western Australia, and the winner this year in the 165 class (top speed allowed = 165 km/h) was a Tesla Model 3 Performance. And it won by 8 minutes. It won against a whole bunch of racy metal. If you look at the docket (see picture), the next few places were taken by Porsche, Honda, Subaru, and Nissan.

Until my friend Ron told me about this, I was only dimly aware of a Targa race. And mainly because they run a Targa in Tasmania each year and sometimes people die. It‘s a tough one. So, of course, I had to google it.

“Targa is a genuine, red-blooded motorsport event. … A Tarmac Rally is a unique form of motorsport where Tarmac Rally Cars compete on sealed roads closed for competition. Cars start at 30-second intervals and race against the clock […] the winner being the fastest car over all stages.”

Parts of the race are run on sealed roads in the city and other parts through the countryside on a wide range of road conditions designed to test the car, the driver, and the navigator.

Sponsor Florian Popp of Gemtek Group enthused, “It really goes to show the caliber of electric cars. The top 10 of the competition leaderboard is a group of some of the state’s best cars and drivers, and for an unmodified car bought online to be seriously rivalling these is absolutely unheard of in the past 50 years of Targa Motorsport.”

The key is to be able to charge the car rapidly as needed during the race. As those of us with Teslas know, the faster you drive them, the more charging they need. The car was charged by a mobile generator running on BiOfil — a synthetic fuel created from used vegetable cooking oil (see picture below). This is seen as a transitional recharging concept.

Image courtesy of David Waterworth

Jurgen Lunsmann the driver — who used to race V8s — commented: “After 10,000 laps in a loud V8, it is nice to be able to chat now to my co driver, my wife. Apart from the noise, the key differences between driving the V8 and the Tesla Model 3 Performance are: 1. In an EV you are always in the right gear for peak torque; and 2. The nature of the weight distribution — on the floor between the axles — means the car handles better than a car with a lump under the bonnet.” 

Looking forward to seeing more heads turn as EVs charge past the petrol heads.

 
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David Waterworth is a retired teacher who divides his time between looking after his grandchildren and trying to make sure they have a planet to live on. He is long on Tesla [NASDAQ:TSLA].

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