Tesla’s electric cars may be blisteringly quick in a straight line, but theY aren’t exactly made for the track. That, however, didn’t stop Tesla Model 3 owner Matt Crowley (via Reddit) from taking his EV to Laguna Seca Raceway and putting in some quick laps.
So far, we haven’t seen privateers taking their Model 3 on the track, which makes Crowley’s experience the first of its kind. As he explained on Tesla Motors Club forum, the original plan was to take his Porsche Cayman GT4 to the track, but things changed after a check engine light came on.
Instead, Crowley took his Model 3, which has a range of 310 miles, Pirelli PZero Nero GT tires and a lowering kit that brings the sedan’s ride height down by 1.5 inches.
Surprisingly, the Model 3 managed to complete nine laps without running out of juice. In fact, Crowley, claims that he started the session with 229 miles of range and ended the nine-lap stint with 94 miles of power left.
Laguna Seca is a 2.2-mile course, so after nine laps, the vehicle would’ve traveled just under 20 miles. Over that distance, the Model 3 managed to lose 135 miles of range. That’s actually not too bad. I was expecting to hear that the Model 3 entered reduced power mode after a few laps.
The thing that did hold the Model 3 back from setting fast lap times and for going longer, though, were its brakes. After the fourth lap, the Model 3 reportedly cooked its brakes. Crowley put a few pictures of the vehicle up on the forum, and the brakes do look toasted. The Model 3 also left a thick trail of brake dust after the nine-lap stint.
The best lap the Model 3 managed to put down was a 1:57.50, though Crowley wasn’t pushing the car to its limits. According to Fastest Laps, that lap time is only a few seconds off of the 1:54.74 Steve Millen managed to lay down in an old Acura NSX.