To those who think Pike's Peak is the be-all and end-all of the US hillclimbs, let it be known that the Mt Washington Auto Road in the White Mountains of New Hampshire is steeper, almost as long, more technical, still has a remaining mile or so of unpaved gravel, and the Climb to the Clouds race pre-dates the Pikes Peak race by about 12 years.
The Climb to the Clouds was first run in 1904, seven years before the first 500-mile race at the Brickyard in Indianapolis and 12 years prior to the inaugural Pikes Peak Hillclimb.
Pikes Peak is about 12.5 miles, and makes a climb of 4,720′ vertical. It now is paved from the top to bottom. The Mount Washington Auto Road is about 7.5 miles, and climbs 4618′. It has an average grade of 11.6%, compared to the grade of Pikes Peak, at 7%. Plus, it’s still unpaved for about a mile. Here’s a pretty interesting description of the details, on the NH Tourguide site.
However, unlike Pikes, the Climb to the Clouds has never had an electric entry. That is, until this summer.
On the weekend of June 26 2014, EVSR joined rally drivers and hillclimbers from all over the world at the 110th anniversary of the Subaru's Climb to the Clouds Hillclimb at Mt. Washington, with Tim O'Neil, 5 time US Rally Champion and the 1990 Mount Washington overall record holder at the wheel. The EVSR was the first electric car to compete at Mt. Washington in its 110 year history. The official time for EVSR and Tim O'Neil was an impressive 7 minute 28.92 second run - a personal best for Tim and exceeds his 1990 record by 16 seconds. placing in the top 10 in 3 of 4 practices.
"Although we were placed in open class and spent the whole day competing with 400+ hp cars, our little electric car was one of the stars of the show and proved again that this car isn't just an electric car but a racecar that works in whatever motorsports environment we throw at it." - Charlie Greenhaus, Team EVSR
Team EVSR is the product of Entropy Racing, headed by Charlie Greenhaus, with over 25 years of race experience.
"Entropy Racing began sports car racing in 1989 and began renting cars to clients in 1991. A leader in club racing services for over two decades, Entropy Racing provides services from car prep and delivery to rental race cars, coaching, event management services, fabrication, and just about everything else a club racer could need." - Charlie Greenhaus, Team EVSR
And this past weekend, at the Mt Washington Auto Road ALT Energy Summit, Charlie, Tim and the team got a chance to come back to the scene of their victory, show off a bit, talk about their project as well as make a run for the cameras. Without further ado, here's what that looked like.
Faced with harsh winds of around 50mph, below freezing temperatures and ice on the road, the team held up at the 6-mile mark on the morning of Sunday Sept. 14th. As they say in these parts, if you want an easy run up a mountain, go to Colorado.
Here's what's really remarkable about this team. Around October of last year, they made the decision to build a car. Within 4 months, they had worked out the design, built an electric-powered car that's designed for autocross, hillclimbs and roadracing, and within a few months of completion of that car, built a second. Those two cars went on to compete throughout the entire 2014 race season with not one "DNF" (Did Not Finish") - a remarkable achievement for any motorsports team, nevermind an entirely built-from-scratch, cutting edge drivetrain. Here are some of the specs:
- Performance: 125mph top speed (course limited), 145 volt AC motor, 190 ft/lbs
- Charge: charges in 3.5 hrs at 50 amp, charges in 1.8 hrs at 100 amp 150 volts DC pack
- Batteries: 160 whp 30 – 40 minutes of run time Lithium Ferrous Phosphate
Not just a sucker for some pretty stats, here are some results from the first season:
"EVSRs have placed 1st in class at Pocono Raceway during an SCCA Regional event, and set the 4th fastest time at Carlisle’s Imports and Kits autocross, in a 40 car field. EVSRs have also placed an impressive 8th overall at the Chasing the Dragon Hill Climb, Robbinsville NC."
More video you say? OK, here's the video from Race Day:
And some stills from the ALT-Energy Summit:
EVSR on display at the ALT Energy Summit
Mt Washington Auto Road General Manager Howie Wemyss gets briefed before his summit bid in the EVSR.
EVSR's goals? No less than to...
"...run a full 10 event 20 race series with 20 EVSR cars in 2015, at a variety of venues as part of a professional series. We have long-established relationships with high profile tracks, such as Lime Rock Park and Watkins Glen, and Virginia International Raceway to name a few. We have also done business with many sanctioning bodies and with these relationships we are confident we can build a balanced schedule of events available to a wide audience."
Based on what they've done in less than a year? We're inclined to believe EVSR can do it.
For more information on Team EVSR, (as well as sponsorship opportunities) stop by the site: www.evsr.net.