Lucas di Grassi has tested the development version of Electric GT’s Tesla. He was impressed by its performance and is confident that the upgraded race vehicle will leave its mark. The Brazilian driver can be seen as an ambassador for electric racing.
He was there at Formula E from the start to show up and test drive the Formulec demo car in various cities around the world. No wonder the Audi works driver found himself a seat at the Audi Abt team and battling for championship titles ever since.
Electric GT piqued his interest too and got a chance to drive more than 20 laps in the series’ race version of the Tesla Model S P85+ at the Italian track Vallelunga. “I can guarantee the new car with its properties will be as quick as a GT3 car”, he told Autosport. He also reckons that it will have a similar power-to-weight ratio to LMP2 vehicles.
He drove the P85+ development car (380kW) which has less performance than four-wheel-drive P100LD (585kW) that will be used once the season gets underway this summer. “The centre of gravity is very, very low and that’s what you need on a racing car”, he commented.
“There is very little downforce, but the mechanical grip is quite impressive. The problem is the car has thermal limitations. You can have a very fast car on a qualifying lap, then it goes back to nominal power for 15 or 16 laps. If you save the temperature you can peak it again.”
Di Grassi mentioned the upgraded version of the Tesla will be more capable for high-performance runs as cooling will be improved too. He reckons that it may be the fastest GT car over a single lap and is keen to race it himself, if Audi allowed him to.
Electric GT is planned to start this summer and the calendar should contain seven races. The teams and drivers are yet to be confirmed, but some of international stars have expressed interest like Alexander Prémat, Stefan Wilson, Leilani Münter and Tom Coronel.