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Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
6/25/18 8:06 a.m.

There are still a bunch of variables on pavement, they’re just not as visible to spectators as ridiculous tail out action and big clouds of dust. It’s all happening down at the contact patch. Maybe the margins between slow cars and fast cars get closer, but you still have to be able to compensate for all the little things that are going on to be the first across the line. I think the big problem is that you just can’t see it. A driver can’t show up with a set of big brass balls and win, you need a surgeon instead. Doesn’t make it less relevant or difficult, but it does make it less obvious. Luckily, every other hill climb in Colorado is dirt so you can still go watch those if you want the spectacle.

Electric cars finish the race at the same weight as they start, whilst ICE cars get lighter. You’ve also go to manage your battery pack and I’ll bet the motors don’t like getting hot. They certainly suffer mechanical failures, we’ve seen a lot of those with electrics at the peak. Basically, pushing the limits of any technology means a risk of failure. Look at the record of hybrid LMP cars vs non-hybrid. 

It’s nothing like Toyota running unopposed at Le Mans, though. PPIHC is a one and done sprint against the clock, not an endurance race where you have to respond to your competition.. It would be really interesting to see how the 919 EVO would do at the peak. I’d rather see that than the VW take on the ‘Ring, somehow. 

STM317
STM317 SuperDork
6/25/18 8:23 a.m.

In reply to Keith Tanner :

I think you're right. From an engineering perspective there's a ton of cutting edge tech that's really very interesting to some people. But from a spectator's perspective there's just not much going on. If you're planning a technical exercise, minimizing drama is ideal. But if you're trying to entertain, you absolutely need some drama. In other words, less drama is great for lap times and terrible for an outside viewer.

I think there's a scale, where if you go too far, and focus too much on drama then you end up with NASCAR. Basically you get a rolling soap opera with irrelevant cars and gimmicks to inject drama. If you swing to the other end, you get those solar car races, which have some fascinating tech, and tremendous challenges, but are like watching paint dry.

T.J.
T.J. MegaDork
6/25/18 8:25 a.m.
mazdeuce - Seth said:
captdownshift said:

The power delivery advantage of all electric motors versus ICE is going to take over every form of motorsports in the next 10-15 years, 

This is the absolute truth. Seeing Tesla driveteains being chopped into different cars is showing that we're at the beginning of the age of proper electric hot rodding. I'm looking forward to electric mod class autocross cars myself. 

Do you really think an all electric car will win LeMans or any other 24 hour race? Only seems possible if the battery can be changed during pitstops.

T.J.
T.J. MegaDork
6/25/18 8:45 a.m.

Disappointed to see that there so far does not seem to be a video of the onboard footage for the entire run. Come on VW, I would think they would really try to make the most of the PR to dig their way out of the dieselgate fiasco and that they would've posted the video by now.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
6/25/18 9:47 a.m.
T.J. said:
mazdeuce - Seth said:
captdownshift said:

The power delivery advantage of all electric motors versus ICE is going to take over every form of motorsports in the next 10-15 years, 

This is the absolute truth. Seeing Tesla driveteains being chopped into different cars is showing that we're at the beginning of the age of proper electric hot rodding. I'm looking forward to electric mod class autocross cars myself. 

Do you really think an all electric car will win LeMans or any other 24 hour race? Only seems possible if the battery can be changed during pitstops.

That's the big challenge in my mind. They've got the speed over short distances now, but energy storage is the big problem. I'd love to see someone come up with a quick change battery and run in Garage 56, pure electric the whole time. Figuring out how to do that and how to recharge the used batteries is really useful tech.

Aaron_King
Aaron_King PowerDork
6/25/18 10:03 a.m.

I thought it interesting watching a short clip of the VW with my 10 year old last night and he said " it does not look very fast".  I chalked it up to the lack of noise, but smooth does not look all that fast at times.

intrepid
intrepid New Reader
6/25/18 10:27 a.m.

Here's a nice GRM angle on the race from the local paper:

http://gazette.com/colorado-springs-native-breaks-10-minutes-in-1988-craigslist-car-at-pikes-peak-hill-climb/article/1628271

Not to take away from the electric story, which is still awesome.

-chris r.

Robbie
Robbie GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
6/25/18 10:30 a.m.
intrepid said:

Here's a nice GRM angle on the race from the local paper:

http://gazette.com/colorado-springs-native-breaks-10-minutes-in-1988-craigslist-car-at-pikes-peak-hill-climb/article/1628271

Not to take away from the electric story, which is still awesome.

-chris r.

That's cool.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
6/25/18 10:49 a.m.
Aaron_King said:

I thought it interesting watching a short clip of the VW with my 10 year old last night and he said " it does not look very fast".  I chalked it up to the lack of noise, but smooth does not look all that fast at times.

Loeb was the same way. Just clinical.

Speaking of Loeb, here's what he posted to Facebook (slang translated verbatim and emojis removed):

Congrats Romain Dumas  really hat for the clock and congratulations to all your team

Revenge is already programmed at the Montée des Légendes-Col de la Faucille on 23 September

Knurled.
Knurled. MegaDork
6/25/18 7:17 p.m.
Woody said:
californiamilleghia said:

In reply to captdownshift :

Toyota needs to be in your ring race ......

are we going to have one lap or best of 5 laps ?

Think of the regenerative braking possibilities on the way down!

 

If they had any balls, they'd race DOWN the hill.

 

 

Knurled.
Knurled. MegaDork
6/25/18 7:23 p.m.
intrepid said:

Here's a nice GRM angle on the race from the local paper:

http://gazette.com/colorado-springs-native-breaks-10-minutes-in-1988-craigslist-car-at-pikes-peak-hill-climb/article/1628271

Not to take away from the electric story, which is still awesome.

-chris r.

I don't know what annoys me more, that he took my favorite video down from YouTube, or that he caused me to miss a whole lot of fun in Iowa one year AND caused me a huge cell phone bill because of the subsequent shenanigans resulting from his multiple attempts to cheat at rallycross. 

 

But hey, I guess the Internet goes ga ga over "some craigslist car" doing "well", like that yahoo who "placed third at a WRC event" in a "$300 BMW"....

 

 

Knurled.
Knurled. MegaDork
6/25/18 7:26 p.m.
Keith Tanner said:

Loeb was the same way. Just clinical.

 

That is exactly why Loeb was always fast.  No wasted motion, and he was fortunate enough to be able to drive a car that rewarded such a precise driving skill.

 

I'd always been curious to see how he'd do driving an old Audi, where your options were to either pitch it around or drive straight off into the trees, with no middle ground.  Jari-Matti Latvala has a video on YouTube explaining how interesting it is to drive one of those behemoths.

Woody
Woody GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
6/25/18 8:41 p.m.

Back before they paved everything, Pikes Peak was the closest thing that we had in this country to the Isle of Man TT. I mean, it still is, but a little less so.

loosecannon
loosecannon Dork
6/25/18 8:43 p.m.

Why do the Pikes Peak people have such a tight grip on video of cars going up the hill? Somebody mentioned this the year Loeb smashed the record but gave no reason why full length videos of hill climbs are almost non-existent. There are a couple of good ones from years past but you would think there would be a lot of great video generated every year.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
6/25/18 8:58 p.m.

I think it's really a regional race for the most part with some international entries. It doesn't feel like a world-famous event at all. Many of the guys running are doing well to get the car there and working. There's no roadside camera work, and the top priority is to get up the hill and not shoot awesome video. 

Peugeot made good use of Loeb's run. Maybe VW will release something once they've cut it together. 

fasted58
fasted58 MegaDork
6/25/18 11:05 p.m.
loosecannon
loosecannon Dork
6/26/18 9:36 a.m.

Now, VW should take that car, figure out how to do quick battery swaps and run it in the 24 Hours of LeMans

T.J.
T.J. MegaDork
6/26/18 9:58 a.m.

In reply to loosecannon :

That would be cool to see. I think they would need to do some serious reworking of the aero package though as well as come up with a quickly replaceable battery. May be just as easy to start from a clean sheet than to modify that car depending on where the batteries are located.

T.J.
T.J. MegaDork
6/26/18 10:02 a.m.

In reply to fasted58 :

Now I see why they may not want to release the entire run from the onboard cameras. That sound is absolutely terrible. The first 15 seconds of that video made me cringe.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
6/26/18 10:10 a.m.
T.J. said:

In reply to loosecannon :

That would be cool to see. I think they would need to do some serious reworking of the aero package though as well as come up with a quickly replaceable battery. May be just as easy to start from a clean sheet than to modify that car depending on where the batteries are located.

It would be really interesting to know what would be required to turn a car designed for an 8 minute sprint into one that can race for 24 hours. It seems like they are at opposite ends of the design spectrum.

Cooling will probably be deficient - and when you're moving around the amount of energy involved in a lap of La Sarthe, cooling is still a big deal on electrics. Brakes likely need a lot of work. Wheel bearings and hubs might need a redesign. There's a good chance they'll have to install AC - seriously, cockpit temperatures are regulated. The structure of the car may not allow for easy battery removal unless that was part of the original design brief, because leaving a giant hole in the monocoque is usually avoided if possible. Loeb's car started (sort of) as an LMP, but would it still have been able to survive Le Mans in PPIHC form?

Seriously, it would be really interesting.

loosecannon
loosecannon Dork
6/26/18 2:44 p.m.

No doubt it would take some serious re-engineering to run LeMans but VW is trying to make everybody forget about Dieselgate with the electric car and I think an all electric car winning LeMans would get A LOT of attention. The LeMans organizers have a special spot for one-off special cars (remember the DeltaWing or whatever it was called?) and since the car would not have to comply with all the LMP1 rules, it might actually have a shot at it. And having so much fewer moving parts also helps in endurance racing. I would like to see it

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
6/26/18 3:01 p.m.

The only problem with Garage 56 is that the ACO will only give it to you if you commit to racing in LMP1 in the future. I'd be happy to see an all-electric survive the race, winning would not be required!

SVreX
SVreX MegaDork
6/26/18 3:14 p.m.

7 feet, 57 inches??

Pretty sure that should be 7:57, not 7’ 57”. wink

mazdeuce - Seth
mazdeuce - Seth Mod Squad
6/26/18 3:23 p.m.

I've owned two hybrids now. Both of them would generate enough electricity at part throttle to charge the battery and use that power to accelerate the car with way more thrust than you could get out of the gas motor alone. Race cars spend a lot less time at part throttle, but both F1 and endurance racing show that harvesting extra energy when you're not at full throttle allows you to use it later. Cost and complexity are the limiting factors right now, but it awfully hard to look at the equations and not want that extra juice. 

As far as pure electrics go, it's storage and refilling the "tank". Shorten the race enough that those things aren't an issue and it's the ice cars that start to look needlessly complicated. 

Pete Gossett
Pete Gossett GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
6/26/18 3:37 p.m.

In reply to mazdeuce - Seth :

If designed for it, I see no reason a battery pack couldn’t be swapped as quickly or quicker than a set of tires. It seems like it could definitely be done quicker than a fuel stop. 

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