During the Subaru-sponsored Mount Washington Hillclimb Auto Race the seasoned driver and rally school teacher made the 7.4-mile ascent in a short 7 minutes and 28.92 seconds. That's 16 seconds quicker than the record time he had set back in 1990 from behind the wheel of a supercharged Rallye Golf prototype. Since this is the first electric vehicle to participate in the Climb to the Clouds, as it is also called, O'Neil's feat is also an official record. Though not the best time ever – that was reset this year by David Higgins in a modified 2013 Subaru WRX STi with a stunning 6:09.09 – it is still quite respectable, especially considering its modest 160 horsepower AC motor.
Scroll below for more details in the official press release. You can also ride along in the EVSR by watching on-board footage of the climb. As a bonus, we've thrown in the video from Higgin's 2011 run, as it was only a couple seconds slower than this year's and gives an indication of the performance electrics will need to exceed to take the top spot. It also includes a bit of history about one of the country's oldest races.
Team EVSR.net has been extremely busy in the past 2 weeks. We have achieved a handful of world's first accomplishments, succeeded at all the short term goals we have set for ourselves, and have shown the cars all across the North East. Our primary goal besides gaining awareness for the program is to prove that EVSRs can "Arrive and Drive" at all types of events. We are continually proving that EVSRs are racecars first, and electric cars second. We don't need special accommodations, extra time, or extra prep when it comes to entering an event.
Lime Rock Park
On June 21&22, 2014, we entered Spark-E, EVSR #01, in the SCCA Regional race at Lime Rock Park and were grouped with similar gas powered Spec Racer Fords. We tested a new limited slip differential with a different gear ratio and were very pleased with the increase in low end acceleration. Compared to the Fords we were as fast or faster everywhere on the course. We started at the back of the pack during the races to ensure safety for EVSR, but by the end of the race Charlie had worked his way to mid pack and posted times in the 1:02s. We would like to thank New England Region of SCCA for giving us this opportunity and hosting a great event. There will be another opportunity to see the EVSR's in action at Lime Rock Park on July 25&26, 2014, at the IMG event.
Right after this race, we headed home to make one last adjustments to Fritz, EVSR #02, and then off to the brand new Thompson Speedway only 2 days later.
On June 25,2014, both EVSRs made their way to Thompson Speedway to drive with SCDA. This was the first time an electric car drove on the new road course. We were able to test Fritz a little more with the new differential and show the cars to the SCDA drivers. We would also like to thank SCDA for giving us such a carefree time entering their event.
Mt. Washington Climb to the Clouds
From June 26 to June 29, we joined rally drivers and hillclimbers from all over the world at the 110th anniversary of the Subaru's Climb to the Clouds Hillclimb at Mt. Washington. #01 Spark-E EVSR was on display all weekend for the fans to see and the newly numbered and caged # 82 Fritz was the car to compete in this world class event. Tim O'Neil, 5 time US Rally Champion and the 1990 Mount Washington overall record holder was to be our pilot for the weekend. Currently under contract with Ford and owner of Team O'Neil Rally School, Tim is a veteran of rally and we were honored to have him join us. We were also the first electric car to compete at Mt. Washington in its 110 year history.
Tim jumped into the car on Friday and promptly set the 6th fastest time up the mountain to the half-way point on his first pass. In fact, out of Tim's 4 practice runs (2 first half and 2 second half) he placed in the top 10 overall 3 out of 4 times. The official time for EVSR and Tim O'Neil was an impressive 7 minute 28.92 second run. This is a personal best for Tim and exceeds his 1990 record by 16 seconds. His first time up the full hill, he placed 16th overall and 3rd in our class. Although we were placed in open class and spent the whole day competing with 400+ hp cars, our little electric car was one of the stars of the show and proved again that this car isn't just an electric car but a racecar that works in whatever motorsports environment we throw at it.
Special thanks to the EVSR team, Team O'Neil Rally School, Rally America, Subaru of America, Climb to the Clouds, the New Hampshire Sports Car Club and the staff of Mt. Washington Auto Road for making us welcomed guests and sharing this opportunity to make history on Mt. Washington.
The end goal of EVSR is to build an entire fleet of electric sports racing cars, and host a series. Once a series of EVSRs are built, they will be fully rentable. Custom cars will also be available to purchase.
Entropy Racing began sports car racing in 1989 and began renting cars to clients in 1991. A leader in club racing services for over two decades, Entropy Racing provides services from car prep and delivery to rental race cars, coaching, event management services, fabrication, and just about everything else a club racer could need. For more information on Entropy Racing and EVSR and to inquire about sponsorship packages, visit www.entropyracing.net and www.evsr.net.