Yoshihara Takes Second Trip Up Pikes Peak in Tesla Model 3

Daijiro Yoshihara, best known for his ability to control a Formula Drift car, is returning to Colorado for the 100th Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb this week with Evasive Motorsports and ENEOS Oil, Japan’s largest oil company and a major supplier of motor oil and transmission fluids to the majority of Asian vehicle manufacturers.

In 2019 and 2020, Evasive Motorsports came to the “Race to the Clouds” with a 900-horsepower turbocharged Toyota 86, which competed in and won the Unlimited Class its second year of competing. Last year, however, Evasive, ENEOS and Yoshihara made a 180-degree turn in their Pikes Peak efforts, abandoning their proven race winner for a Tesla Model 3 Performance.  Last year ENEOS introduced a new EV Fluid Series, designed to optimize the efficiency and performance of electric vehicles.

Looking at the changing landscape of the automotive market, Evasive Motorsport’s Mike Chang knew it was time to look to the future, and the challenges of preparing and racing an electric vehicle. After all, using the modified Toyota 2JZ turbocharged engine allowed them to compensate for reduced air pressure during the climb to 14,115 feet. Unable to modify the electric motors in the Turn 14 Distribution/Yokohama Tire/ENEOS/Evasive Motorsports Tesla Model 3 Pikes Peak race car, the team had to make other changes to prepare for the 12.42-mile sprint up to the Peak, a climb of 4724 feet.

Chang realized they needed to place more emphasis on vehicle preparation, in order to maintain speed through the 156 corners, so many changes to the chassis, suspension, brakes and tires were made. New for 2022, the Tesla is using Yokohama racing slicks fitted to prototype 18-inch Tian wheels. There are EVS discs on the rear to aid cooling for the Brembo Pista brakes. Using advanced KW coil dampers that allow significant adjustments in compression, rebound and ride height will help ensure the tires remain in contact with the road.

Since the Model 3 isn’t exactly the height of competitive preparation, sourcing parts was a challenge. Whatever it couldn’t buy, Evasive was able to fabricate, including new suspension arms, spherical links and joins, as well as a new front sway bar.

Another important aspect is air management, both in terms of aerodynamic downforce and battery cooling. To assist, Evasive Motorsports are using wider, carbon fiber Artisan Spirits fenders, which offer a wider track that aids stability and accommodates the wider slick tires. The Voltex rear wing on the tailgate increases downforce over the rear wheels, working together with Evasive’s bespoke carbon fiber front splitter and rear diffuser.

Improved cooling of the Tesla Model 3’s motors and batteries, airflow and mass, Evasive is using its EVS Tuning brand, Evasive created a carbon fiber front bumper and vented hood, together with EVS’ carbon fiber doors, roof, tailgate and rear window. These, of course, further reduce weight of the Model 3, giving the batteries less mass to haul up the hill. The original Tesla electric motors remain in place. Evasive added a Quaife ATB rear differential to help power distribution on corner exit.

It can get quite hot at the lower elevations that the driver and car will have to address, so added cooling features were taken into account: there are rear inlet ducts, a CSF radiator and oil cooler, a nitrogen dioxide sprayer that is triggered when a preset temperature is reached and an EVS Tuning Dual Chiller has been added to keep the car at optimum level.

“Our first attempt at Pikes Peak with the Tesla in 2021 ended prematurely with a technical problem we were unable to trigger in testing,” Chang admitted. “It’s very difficult to replicate the conditions and load not eh vehicle during testing, especially with a new car that presented us with a steep learning curve. We’ve worked continuously to address all the areas we can improve and have got a much better understanding of the Tesla Model 3’s strengths and weaknesses. We’re confident the car will be a genuine contender in this year’s Exhibition Class,” he said.

Lacking a dedicated EV class, all electric vehicles are relegated to the Exhibition Class.

Specs are noted below:

Turn 14 Distribution / Yokohama Tire / ENEOS / Evasive Motorsports Tesla Model 3 Pikes Peak

Motor / Battery Cooling:

CSF Radiators radiator / oil cooler, NO2 (nitrogen dioxide) sprayer, custom hood vent and rear inlet ducts, EVS Tuning Dual Chiller

Suspension / Chassis:

KW Competition 3 Way coilover suspension, SPL Suspension spherical links, Evasive Motorsports spherical joints and custom front sway bar, MPP front upper A-arms and rear lower arms, Quaife ATB rear differential in modified frame, air jack lift system

Wheels / Tires / Brakes:

Prototype 18×11” Titan 7 T-P5 forged wheels with Evasive Motorsports rear aero covers, 280/680-18 Yokohama slicks, Brembo Pista racing front brake kit, custom Brembo GTS rear brakes, CSG brake pads, Evasive Motorsports electronic E-brake system

Exterior:

Artisan Spirits widebody fenders plus carbon fiber aero kit, Evasive Motorsports custom honeycomb carbon splitter and rear diffuser, EVS Tuning front bumper, carbon fiber vented hood and headlight covers, Voltex dry carbon Type 13 1800mm GT rear wing, Evasive Motorsports carbon fiber doors, roof, rear windshield, trunk lid and front air duct, Lexan windows

Interior / Safety:

Evasive Motorsports FIA-spec rollcage, Evasive Motorsports carbon fiber dashboard, Motec C127 Datalogger/dash display, Sparco carbon/Kevlar QRT-K racing bucket seat, six-point harnesses and steering wheel

About Anne Proffit 1268 Articles
Anne Proffit traces her love of racing - in particular drag racing - to her childhood days in Philadelphia, where Atco Dragway, Englishtown and Maple Grove Raceway were destinations just made for her. As a diversion, she was the first editor of IMSA’s Arrow newsletter, and now writes about and photographs sports cars, Indy cars, Formula 1, MotoGP, NASCAR, Formula Drift, Red Bull Global Rallycross - in addition to her first love of NHRA drag racing. A specialty is a particular admiration for the people that build and tune drag racing engines.

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