While the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb looks a little different this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions limiting the number of people on the mountain, the race is still as precarious as ever. Two of the three teams entering with an electric Tesla Model 3 have already crashed out of the race.
With three cars running times up the mountain, this could have been a big year for the Tesla Model 3 to flex its racing and performance chops at the Hill Climb. Unfortunately only one has made it out of practice.
One of the crashes involved Unplugged Performance’s Model 3, decked out in catalogue upgrades, and driven by racing driver and Motor Trend contributor Randy Pobst. Pobst was reportedly ok after the crash on just his first practice lap (which looked pretty rough in the photos), but the team claimed it was hoping to break a 10-minute run up the peak that will now be delayed.
Today Randy took his first practice lap on the upper section way too hot, hit a huge dip, got airborne and here’s the result. Most importantly, Randy is safe and our safety systems did their job. Heartbreakingly, our quest to break 10 minutes at Pikes Peak is unfortunately over. pic.twitter.com/wh7URW48z2
— UNPLUGGED PERFORMANCE (@UnpluggedTesla) August 26, 2020
The Drive has more details of the Pobst crash:
According to a now-deleted tweet transcribed by Tire Meets Road, Pobst reported spinning off after losing the Model 3’s rear over a bump in the road. In addition to bending the left rear wheel and tearing off the rear bumper, the impact is also said to have “pulled out” the suspension.
Sounds bad! Yesterday, the team claimed it was 26 seconds faster than the second-place car in qualifying, taking pole.
The first Model 3, which was driven by Josh Allen, went off at the notorious “Engineer’s Corner,” and fortunately managed to miss the trees surrounding him.
There were three Tesla Model 3s set to compete at Pikes Peak this weekend. I feel for this team’s crash on first practice day. pic.twitter.com/fFfSTzmJet
— J.F. Musial (@jfmusial) August 25, 2020
The last remaining modified Tesla that apparently managed to make it through the first day of practice is driven by the first guy to race a Tesla up the mountain at all, Blake Fuller. His car is not mostly black, so maybe he’ll break the curse.
The actual Pikes Peak Hill Climb event will run August 31, and will be livestreamed via the title sponsor Mobil 1’s Facebook page.