Hybrids & Electrics

Driver Pobst Can’t Handle Pikes Peak: Crashed Tesla Spectacularly

Driver Randy Pobst got a bit too confident at the 2020 Pikes Peak Hill Climb competition. A trio of modified Tesla Model 3 EVs was out to prove their worth but two have already crashed. One Model 3 sedan was driven by rookie Josh Allen, and the second by veteran driver Randy Pobst. Though familiar with “America’s Mountain” both slid off the course. It looks like this year driver Pobst can’t handle Pikes Peak. 

At the top part of the mountain, he crashed spectacularly according to insideevs. His prepped Tesla Model 3 hit a bump in the road spinning it off into the marbles. The Model 3 bent the left rear wheel and tore off the rear bumper. The rear shocks were blown out, the rear subframe was bent, the rear-drive unit was caved, brake lines torn off, control arms pulled away or torn from the chassis, and the front end, passenger side rear door and a quarter were smashed in. Going airborne, hitting a ditch hard, and hitting a stone wall caused the damage. Thankfully no one was hurt.

Both drivers would like to return before things wrap up on Sunday

Pobst looking none too happy after crash. | Unplugged

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Both would like to return before things wrap up on Sunday. If the cars can be repaired there is a chance of this. If not they’ll have to wait until 2021 to flesh out the Teslas. It’s especially bad for Pobst who did consult for Tesla with these cars. And his experience with both the Teslas and Pikes Peak should have resulted in a competitive advantage. 

Qualification lap times from yesterday looked like the Unplugged Performance Teslas had a chance to take the Exhibition Division win. This was accomplished at the bottom section of the mountain. Now it is probably up to the third Tesla from Electric Performance. It is driven by Blake Fuller. He set the current record back in 2016. If he can stay on the course he could beat that record this year.

Once the car starts to wash out inertia takes over and you’re just hanging on

Blake Fuller Tesla Model 3 at 2020 Pikes Peak | Out of Spec

The problem with the Teslas is the weight. The lightest of the four Tesla models is the Model 3 at a bit over 3,500 lbs. Some of that can be reduced in the typical way production cars are lightened for racing. But the heaviest part is still the batteries. Once the car starts to wash out inertia takes over and you’re just hanging on. 

The bump Pobst hit made the car lose traction in the rear. That’s when Pobst lost control. Observers said he was driving “too hot” to that point when he hit the bump. As for Allen, it was probably inexperience with the mountain. But don’t feel too bad for either driver. It has got to be a lot of fun besides being a serious business. Sawing through the turns running up that mountain must be a blast.