A wet course and dense fog during the 4,724-foot climb to the finish line made the 100th running of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb especially challenging for drivers. Yet Japanese champion Daijiro Yoshihara was able to master the 156 turns on his way to the 14,115-foot peak. He set a time of 11:06.205 in the Turn 14 Distribution/Yokohama Tire/ENEOS/Evasive Motorsports Tesla Model 3 Pikes Peak, which placed him ninth overall. As the fastest EV, he was second in the Exhibition Class because PPIHC currently lacks dedicated classes for electric vehicles. The winner of the class was a production 2022 Porsche 911 Turbo S Lightweight.
This year’s event was only the second outing for the Tesla Model 3 prepared by Evasive Motorsports in Cerritos, CA. Despite its promising form in practice and qualifying, a mechanical issue prematurely curtailed its 2021 attempt. During the interim, the team worked hard to understand the car and fine-tune both its aerodynamic and cooling efficiency (see Tech Spec below), making few additions to the race-prepped chassis other than switching to Yokohama racing tires for 2022.
“It’s been an incredible week with no issues,” Dai Yoshihara told us after his successful run.
“Practice and qualifying went great, which almost seemed too good to be true. And then coming into today [Sunday] the weather became a big factor with the rain and fog. However, we felt it could give us a real chance because our weakness is the power of the car but the Yokohama wet tires work really well. Effectively, the rain erased the advantage of the other cars and I think we got a really good result because of it, which I’m obviously delighted about.”
One of the biggest challenges for the Evasive Motorsports team had been battery cooling, which would enable the Tesla to run at full power for longer. With the improvements the team had made in terms of airflow into and around the car, and the arrival of colder, wet conditions, the Turn 14 Distribution/Yokohama Tire/ENEOS/Evasive Motorsports Tesla Model 3 Pikes Peak achieved what many people thought impossible a few years ago.
“With everything we learned last year and the changes we made leading up to today, this week has been remarkably smooth sailing,” said Mike Chang from Evasive Motorsports.
“Race day was challenging because we’ve never tested in wet conditions in Southern California, so the result is so much better than we could have hoped for. We’re super-stoked to be the fastest EV and second in class.”
Another contributing factor in the successful 2022 PPIHC campaign was the inclusion of ENEOS EV Fluids. As Japan’s largest oil company working closely with the majority of Asian automakers, ENEOS took the decision to create a range of fluids specifically for electric vehicles to service both its OE partners at the development stage and EV owners at the point of maintenance. Developed specifically for motor and battery applications, the new ENEOS EV Fluids used by the Turn 14 Distribution/Yokohama Tire/ENEOS/Evasive Motorsports Tesla Model 3 Pikes Peak promises greater efficiency, lubrication, and cooling, delivering superior range and performance.
“We’re delighted by what Evasive Motorsports and Daijiro Yoshihara were able to achieve at Pikes Peak with the Tesla Model 3,” said Keisuke Yokochi, Chief Marketing Officer for ENEOS USA.
“We knew the car and driver were extremely capable and we’re excited to have played a part in this incredible success!”