Imagine not being able to participate in races at a dragstrip because your car is simply way too fast. Well, this recently happened to a Tesla Model S Plaid owner — Parker Nirenstein who runs the YouTube channel Vehicle Virgins.
His Tesla Model S Plaid was kicked out of a drag racing competition for being “too fast”. With a 0-60 mph time of around 2 seconds, the range-topping high-performance Model S is the world’s quickest mass-production car to date.
Keeping the figures from previous drag race challenges, Model S Plaid consistently runs the quarter-mile in the range of 9.3 – 9.5 seconds, even if the battery is drained down to a 20% state of charge (SoC).
A parachute installation is required by some dragstrips for cars that perform a quarter mile under 10 seconds at 150 mph trap speed due to the fact that simple braking wouldn’t be enough to stop the car alone. However, by mid-2022, Tesla is introducing the Model S Plaid Carbon Ceramic Brake Kit for a price of $20,000 (yes — twenty thousand dollars).
The Sonoma Raceway, apparently, has some strict rules for cars doing 1/4 mile runs under 9.99 seconds: “Drivers of vehicles running 9.99 or quicker or 135 mph must have a valid NHRA competition license, and the vehicle must conform to the general regulations of the NHRA (National Hot Rod Association),” the rule slip stated. A fire suit and helmet were also required for cars as fast as the Plaid.
First, as seen in the video, the Model S Plaid had to go through an initial 1/8 mile run against the beautiful Ferrari F8 Tributo. In addition to beating the Ferrari, the Plaid completed the 1/8 mile in just 6.135 seconds. This speed resulted in the first warning by the dragstrip's management. It turns out the second warning would be the last (and final) for the Tesla Model S Plaid which resulted in a disqualification.
The official admitted that the NHRA rules have not caught up with new production cars yet. So the next time Model S Plaid will also require a roll cage if it wants to compete against other cars at this dragstrip.
It’s time for the racing world to realize that electric cars, especially Teslas, are way ahead in performance compared to the internal combustion engine (ICE) cars, and (perhaps) it’s time to rewrite the rules.