Pikes Peak 2022, Redemption for Team Evasive and the Model 3 Tesla-Part 1

Action Photos by Larry Chen

Last year’s Pikes Peak Hill Climb even was a disaster for Team Evasive Motorsports.  Although the Model 3 Tesla ran well in practice and qualification a mysterious CANBUS glitch put the car into limp mode as soon as it left the line.  The car would only go 30 mph which resulted in the team coming in dead last of the cars that were still running at the finish.  After a year of development, this was heartbreaking.  You can read about the car’s technology and last year’s Pikes Peak effort here.

Not to be discouraged by this extremely poor result and the arrival of the all-dominating Unplugged Performance 1000 hp Plaid, the team regrouped and continued to develop the model 3 with refinements in the cooling system, aerodynamics, and suspension.  The goals were to increase the amount of time before the car’s electronics derated the power due to temperature, reduce drag, shift the aero balance forward, improve the aero platform stability, and improve the ability of the car to maintain speed over the bumpy upper part of the course.  With the Unplugged car’s huge power advantage, 460 hp vs 1000 hp, handling and efficiency were going to be the key to being competitive.  The car was tested many times over the year and turned the fastest production electric car lap time at COTA even though competing against a Plaid that was over 30 mph faster down the straights.


The final test before Pikes Peak was at the Willow Springs Horse Thief Mile course where the car was run hard for 12 minutes to simulate a Pikes Peak pass.  The car ran extremely well over the entire test which was very encouraging the car was several seconds a lap faster toward the end of the test showing that the new cooling mods were working well.

Our Job for the team was to provide engineering support and we did the suspension calibration and helped with some stuff like Aero.  Pikes Peak is an event steeped in tradition and takes a whole week to complete.  It is sort of like how the Indy 500 takes a whole month. After a 20-hour drive, the first thing to do was to pass Pikes Peak Hillclimb’s stringent tech inspection.  This process takes several hours.  The Tesla passed with flying colors.

Next, it was time for a quick team picture.  From the right, Mike Chang- Co-Owner of Evasive Motorsports,  Yours truly- Chassis Engineer, Kelvin Jong- Crew Chief, Data Acquisition, Jason Reinholt- Master Tech, Erick Joya- Mechanic, Dai Yoshihara- Driver


  1. I would be looking to either build my own EV fan car, or just buy a McMurtry Spierling to race at Pike’s Peak, because without a doubt this is the recipe for success. There’s no way to argue against 2000kgs of downforce at 0mph! Seeing this car from the start line is like watching a F-18 catapult launch off an aircraft carrier! It’s certainly the fastest car I have ever seen. There are people that think this video was faked and sped up (there’s a full video in the 45 minute timed shootout that shows the fan spooling up before launch which is awesome!)


    1. I thought that at first too but got to thinking, one thing I am pretty sure of is that the McMurtry Spierling doesn’t have enough battery and cooling to go full send for 10 minutes in the little light chassis. Our model 3 is gutted down to its aluminum unibody and the team has a custom carbon skin but the car still weighs 4000 lbs with the batteries and the additional cooing needed. When doing Time Attack, it’s a one-lap deal with several hours on the charger afterward! The next article will touch upon all the stuff that was done to the car to prevent it from going tilt.

      1. I hear you, Lots of new tech, Only custom solutions. I have heard that McMurtry will compete at PP next year!

        1. For sure I don’t see how you could get enough battery and cooling into that tiny car to run flat out for 10 minutes. If you read the articles we did on the car, you can see that most of the space in the car is to support cooling the batteries, drivetrain, and motor. Maybe they will build a pike’s specific car.

  2. Are you planning on running a front splitter with a raised middle section to reduce pitch sensitivity in the future?

  3. It can do it. You do need an F1 driver for the technical stretches! You will also need an electric socket at the top 😜 or transport down🤞
    But their working on modifications to wipe the floor with the Tesla 👍

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