Pikes Peak racer Blake Fuller knows a thing or two about going fast in an EV.
The Tesla Model S Plaid is one of the most ridiculous cars on sale today. With a tri-motor setup providing 1,020 hp at all four wheels, the EV is utterly dominant in a straight line, bested only by some of the most expensive EVs money can buy. Now though, we can watch as driver Blake Fuller uses his modified Model S Plaid to break the EV lap record at Sebring International Raceway.
Taking an EV on track is still somewhat of a mixed bag, but there is no denying the performance potential on offer from certain models like the Plaid. This particular car is lightly modified, featuring carbon ceramic front brakes and upsized rear rotors from Unplugged Performance, as well as a full roll cage and round steering wheel in place of the factory interior. A set of Pikes Peak-specific 19-inch wheels have also been installed from Unplugged Performance, which come wrapped in a set of Yokohama A052 rubber. Beyond those tweaks, this Tesla is entirely stock.
Wheelman Blake Fuller is no stranger to going fast in a Tesla. This particular car actually made the run up Pikes Peak earlier this year as part of the 100th running of the hillclimb event, finishing in 12:09.362 despite heavy fog. In fact, Fuller and the Electric Performance Model S Plaid were the first to ascend the hill on race day, though the car faced some unique challenges. The windshield notably began to have fogging issues, which Fuller struggled to rectify through the infotainment while on the move. The conditions slowed the mountain veteran down significantly compared to 2020’s best Tesla run of 11:02.802, in line with 2019 and 2022 race winner Robin Shute’s drop from 9:12.476 in better conditions to 10:09.525 in this year’s event.
That’s all to say that Fuller has some serious pace behind the wheel of this machine, which is on full display in the clip. The EV is a monster down Sebring’s prolonged straights, managing speeds as high as 169 mph during the lap. Fuller manages the heft of the Model S through the corners nicely, without a ton of understeer or oversteering drama. Fuller managed to turn a 2:19.999 around the track, which was enough to capture a new EV record. The previous best was quite a bit slower at 2:24.906. For reference, a current Porsche 911 Turbo S wheeled by Michael Harvey managed a 2:18.18 on the same course.
While EVs might not provide the same level of engagement or excitement on track, there is no denying that electric automakers are finding their performance grove. Whether or not the Plaid could turn a whole session of fast laps is a different question, but that doesn’t take away from the show on display here. It makes one wonder how long before EV records and overall lap records are one in the same.