Since I was at Laguna Seca with my racecar and I had driven in the Model 3 (AWD LR, but not performance, 18" aero wheels), I figured I'd try the Tesla for a few laps. I should have planned this better and re-read my friend Matt Crowley's report when he tried that in his car a while back. Also, I didn't know Matt spent $3500 fixing his brakes after the day. This probably would have talked me out of trying :)
trying to get some charge from the 50A/220V plug I found.
Laguna unplugged me soon thereafter and put a nice note that such power was worth $700 + 40% surcharge, how nice of them, over $1000 for $4's worth of electricity.
ready, all you need is stickers, right? (they fit nicely on top of the mud I got driving in the snow in tahoe)
Anyway, given that ignorance is bliss, I went out with all my crap in the car, I figured removing it wouldn't change much anyway, and planned on doing only 3 laps so as not to thoroughly destroy the brakes. I did manage to hit 119 mph on my 2nd lap, and that was just when the brakes started not working due to overheating. Stopping in turn 2 was going to be "fun" (I made it though).
After 2 laps and boiled brake fluid, but also having passed a lamborghini and a porsche on the outside of the corkscrew, and being blackflagged for it :) I figured I'd call it a day. My 2nd lap (which was far from clean) was 1:56.
Those were not fast drivers, but it was cool to pass a few of them:
I passed several cars on the outside after the corkscrew in my ferrari, but got one in my tesla too :)
Sorry to the driver, I must have scared him a bit, he likely never saw/heard me until 'WTF is that car doing here'
And then there was the lambo I passed fair and square :)
Here is the first "session": (really 2 full laps and then I got black flagged for passing the porsche and scaring it). I passed the porsche at 3:40 and the lambo at 5:00
I came back for 2 more laps later in the afternoon when the track was warmer, my tires still over inflated, and my brake fluid still boiled (no firm pedal), and I got 2 laps of 1:55. I didn't commit for more speed in the straights because honestly I didn't know that car would stop and I didn't really want to completely destroy my braking hardware. Had done my first lap right, now knowing how to drive that car, I should have been able to get a single lap at 1:50 before the brakes gave up.
4 laps, 13 miles, 35% battery used
Two cleaner laps at 1:55 each, obviously not that fast, but my brake fluid was alrady boiled, my tires were likely too inflated (55psi) and the track was already 3-4 seconds slower than it was in the morning when I started I wonder how much faster the car could have been (I was already 10 mph slower before 2 due to the lack of brakes):
Looks like a full battery would have given 36 miles and 12 laps or so. This makes me question the wisdom of going through the work of tracking a tesla with proper brakes and tires. 12 laps is not a lot, and if you don't have a supercharger nearby (which is still 1h charge), that's not a lot of laps.
Overheating stuff, made other stuff unhappy :)
1.5Kw/mile, it's 1.5H of my house's power used in a single mile
On the plus side, despite all the errors I got, the car recovered when it cooled down, and even the brake fluid got back in a state that my brakes work somewhat. Not as well as before, but enough to stop the car :)
At least I didn't ran the pads down to the backing plates while destroying the rotors. That said, it's still amazing how a single lap at laguna seca can overheat stock breaks and boil brake fluid (which is exactly what happened in my case).
This was stupid, but it was fun. For comparison I did some 1:31's in my Ferrari F458 Challenge GT3 that morning on used tires. Looks like a stock Model 3 Performance with proper tires and brakes, can go 10 seconds faster than my 1:55's, not bad!