Electric Race Cars

There have been a number of discussions about electric race cars in the media and on various motorsport bulletin boards. And while wearing three pairs of gloves on the hot F1 circuit isn’t the most pleasant experience for most marshals (especially when you barely have feeling in your hands to pick up debris while responding to incidents) I’m all for electric race cars.

Not that long ago I had the privilege of test driving an all electric Mini Cooper E through work and that was a fantastic machine. Quick and nimble, with what seemed like an unlimited amount of power for the public roads I drove it on. I even took the car to a local Saturday night cruise night though I doubt anyone knew what it was.

One observation about the car, besides the NYC Subway noise it made while driving, it pulled hard with every push of the gas pedal, however there’s no such thing as cruising in the vehicle because as soon as you lift the car starts regeneratively braking. The electric power you gain from this style of driving isn’t noticeable and is somewhat hard to get used to, but I guess its the way of the future. Of course with race cars it wouldn’t be a problem as there are very clear moments for full throttle and full braking.

I just watched an old documentary on Williams F1 KERS system being used in Porsche 911 Hybrid racing and am seriously looking forward to watching it in action, perhaps as a race marshal at the 24 Hours of Le Mans next year.