Tesla Model S P100D Electric Production Car Series race carEnlarge Photo
It may be early days for electric cars but they already have support from motorsport's governing body, the FIA, in formula racing, and now in GT racing too.
The FIA this week sanctioned the new GT race series being built around the Tesla Model S. It's been branded the Electric Production Car Series (EPCS), instead of the former Electric GT name, and the aim is to get a more diverse range of models involved eventually. Just imagine the Porsche Mission E lining up against the Model S.
However, for the inaugural season, which organizers hope to have up and running by next year, all teams will use a common race car based on the Tesla Model S P100D. The cars have all been modified, with the key changes being the removal of roughly 1,100 pounds from the curb weight as well as a boost in output to 778 horsepower and 734 pound-feet of torque.
Each round in the EPCS will include a 3-heat qualifying format and two races of 37 miles. Yes, the races won't last long due to battery constraints. However, each round will also contain a Drift Off event where fans will see the top two finishing drivers plus two fan-voted drivers go head-to-head to complete a series of drifting challenges to secure three further championship points.
There will be 10 teams for the inaugural season, and each team will have two drivers. A number of high-profile race tracks have been confirmed including Catalunya, Donnington Park, Estoril, Mugello, Paul Ricard and even the Nürburgring (GP track, not the Nordschleife).
After a slow start, the Formula E Championship has managed to draw in the top automakers. With the EPCS designed for cars that better reflect the models automakers actually sell, it's likely we'll see the same thing happen to it.
Further details, including confirmation of the calendar, will be announced at a later date. Note, the EPCS isn't the only electric car series for production cars. Jaguar last September announced a one-make race series for its upcoming I-Pace electric SUV.