With three days left till race day and thousands of miles away from home, do the boys from Hawthorne, Calif have what it takes to make it to the start line?
Less than 48-hours ago, the Unplugged Performance team, Randy Pobst, and their Tesla Model 3 Time Attack car were just about ready to enjoy a lovely weekend in Colorado spectating the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb Race, and, in the end, just pack it up. With a wrecked racecar thanks to taking a turn a little too hot, a lack of parts, and no working space to get serious EV deconstruction and repairs done, there’s little they could do.
The mood’s changed 180 degrees.
According to Unplugged Performance and Randy Pobst on Instagram and Twitter, they’re now gunning for race day. UP bought a brand new Tesla Model 3, sourced locally, and a Tesla-certified collision center 30-miles away opened their bay doors and equipment to the team for as long as they need.
Check out the encouraging posts from Pobst and UP below.
Here’s what happened to UP’s Model 3 earlier in the week. Pobst took a turn at maximum attack, hit a dip at the wrong angle, and flew off the road. Thankfully, Pobst was OK, but the Model 3’s rear suspension, front motor (including Pobst’s ego) were so badly damaged that the entire team really thought their week was done.
The Tesla Model 3 is, at the end of the day, a compact luxury vehicle with a limited parts supply. You can’t just pop into your local Vato-zone and expect to find suspension parts for this new-fangled electric ve-hicle.
Taking a hint from race teams that have come before them, UP got creative and, as mentioned are planning to swap in the good suspension and motor parts from a brand new Tesla Model 3 onto their damaged racecar.
Since UP’s running in the exhibition class, I assume Pikes Peak officials are a little more lenient with them. The exhibition class only has seven participants this year, including another Tesla and two of the new Acura TLXs.
UP’s definitely in uncharted territory, doing emergency wrenching on these Teslas far from their HQ.
What would be cool is if Papa Elon Musk himself sends support their way. Some grand gesture of technical support like sending an army of engineers and mechanics to assist is something I could see the eccentric engineer-at-heart doing.