The 100th anniversary of one of the world’s most dangerous car races, the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb (PPIHC), was held on Sunday, June 26th. More than 100 competitors—comprised of past winners, current World Champions and a few gifted rookies—were invited to this historic “Race to the Clouds”.
The GO PUCK Tesla Model S, driven by Blake Fuller, overcame the dangers and challenges to set a new world record of 11:48, shattering the previous record of 12:55 by more than minute!
This was a first time for the Tesla Model S to be entered in the PPIHC. We asked our driver, the CEO and Founder of GO PUCK Blake Fuller about this accomplishment.
How was the 1st Tesla Model S Race car so successful?
No doubt a combination of many elements but the main factors could be attributed to the founding team’s knowledge of motorsports, driving, and battery engineering. Both Tesla and GO PUCK utilize the highest technology commercially available of Lithium-Ion energy storage technology combined with advanced electronics and award-winning design. One of GO PUCK’s founders and product designers is credited for the designing the Tesla Supercharger system.
You are no stranger to this historic race, isn’t that so?
That’s true. I earned Rookie of the Year in 1999 and won the prestigious Open Class in 2002. It’s an honor to be invited back.
What is your background with batteries?
As the designer of the spec battery used by all IndyCar teams and championship winning lithium ion batteries in NASCAR, F1, DTM and V8 Supercars, I’ve had a long history with transforming battery power. Our GO PUCK products were “Born from Racing” and what we learn from competing in one of the World’s most demanding form of battery testing translates directly to the superiority of our products. This record run may have been less than 12 minutes, however, this program is just one step in a multi-year evolutionary roadmap for GO PUCK products based on motorsports competition.
How do you compare the Tesla race car to the GO PUCK product line?
The GO PUCK Tesla is a perfect representation of the Wearable Power GO PUCK 6XR. Both are record-breaking in its compact size and recharging speed. In the time the GO PUCK Tesla can climb Pikes Peak, the GO PUCK 6XR can store enough energy to fully charge most small devices each of us use every day.
There’s been a lot of talk about how you modified the Tesla.
Can you share with us?
The car was lightened by almost 800 pounds prior to safety equipment being installed. This car is meant to be a 7-passenger car. We removed almost everything inside, including the seats.
What was this unconventional method you used to cool the battery?
With the goal of breaking the record, we had done a lot of testing. Due to the race course being a National Highway, most of the testing was done in the cold mornings on the mountains before 8am (the public highway opens from 9am). The race, however, was run in the middle of a hot summer day. Because there is a lot of heat generated in propelling a 4,000 lb (albeit still 800 lbs lighter than stock) vehicle up the 12-mile mountain at high speeds, this hotter weather would throw off our testing data. So the team gave the drivetrain an ice bath to get the system at the same temperature as testing. (If you’re curious of the weight of the ice, it was almost 1,400 lbs—so the crew got their morning workout in for sure!)
How do you feel after breaking the record?
Our run was the direct result of the very dedicated and gifted GO PUCK team who helped each step of the way, and by our technical partners. I can’t thank them enough!
Any last words?
I want to give a huge shout out to all our technical partners and sponsors of this project! They were: GO PUCK, GoPro, Klipsch Audio, K1 Speed, Kertz Fabrication, ReadWrite, ROBRADY, Sea Sucker, SPARCO USA, Toyo Tires, Visisonics, Wearable IOT World, Wheel Pros and T-Sportline.
Also! Be on the look out for a few video projects that are being produced from the Pikes Peak Project. They're going to be next-level!
Watch full record winning run
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