The “Volkswagen ID R” electric race car has not only conquered Pikes Peak and claimed the events overall time. It now also holds the record time for an electric vehicle to lap The Nordschleife at 6:05.336. This time obliterated the previous electric vehicle record held by NIO EP9 by just under 40 seconds.
This feat by Volkswagen should not be taken lightly. It should be praised as a massive achievement to the motorsports community. This electric race car has set a faster time than the Porsche 911 GT2 RS, a production Lamborghini Huracán, and now sits second on The Nordschleife all-time lap record list behind only the preposterous Porsche 919 EVO.
The extraordinary thing about this lap record is observing the growth that electric vehicles have made in the two years between the attempt of the “NIO EP9” and the “Volkswagen ID R.” Couple that with the success of the Gen 2 Formula E car and it is possible to see a steady rise in electric racing. It wouldn’t be impossible to see some intwining within a major series like the World Endurance Championship.
Is it possible that the LMP1 class be replaced with an “LMPE” class? After all, that class of racing is supposed to showcase the technological advances of the automotive industry. I can see this as a natural progression of the LMP1 class that currently uses a hybrid engine that includes an electric motor that facilitates increased acceleration within the car.
Will the internal combustion engine eventually grow smaller and possibly become non-existent? With the FIA and AOC’s concept of a new GT1 class essentially evaporating into thin air, I believe that this could be a viable option toward the future for them.
Electric vehicles are exciting manufactures. Porsche has just announced their commitment to Formula E, where we have already seen their historic rivals of Audi and BMW become winners. Jaguar has created its own electric SUV series that are currently supporting Formula E during their race weekends. Tesla received the green light from the FIA to produce a series called Electric Production Car Series (EPCS). This series is where Tesla will prepare 20 Model S P100Ds that will be race-ready to compete on traditional racing circuits.
This kind of manufacture interest in electric power doesn’t just stop at 4-wheels. It has now extended to those that produce 2-wheel machines as MotoE has started their inaugural season this year and will accompany MotoGP for 5 of their 19 rounds.
There are still plenty of hurdles to jump and mountains to climb with electric racing. To dismiss their current existence within the world of motorsports is just naive because ready or not, here it comes.