An impressive second-place finish for the Unplugged Performance Tesla Model S Plaid “Dark Helmet” and our driver Craig Coker, posting a Laguna Seca Raceway lap time of 1:29.599, and laying down the fastest passenger car lap of the event.
Last weekend was filled with adrenaline-inducing action on several racetracks for the Unplugged Performance race team. On Saturday, 9/17, we visited the National Auto Sport Association time trial race at Laguna Seca, while Sunday was reserved for yet another successful TeslaCorsa event at the Buttonwillow Raceway Park. And during the former, the Unplugged Performance Tesla Model S Plaid “Dark Helmet” race car achieved a second-place finish in the TTU (Time Trial Ultimate) group of the time event, an impressive result for the 5,000 electric race car.
Held at Laguna Seca Raceway, a 2.238 miles (3.601 kilometers) long track, one of America’s most prestigious and history-filled tracks, the time trial event is a competition where, as far as cars are concerned, anything goes. You can encounter anything from prototype racecars and converted production cars to the current crop of electric cars. The latter, becoming a more prominent feature across time attack competitions across the country, is slowly beginning to chip away at the ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) competition, due mostly to the advancements and reveals of track-oriented aftermarket upgrades that turn cars like the Tesla Model S Plaid into a formidable track weapon.
The NASA Time Trial allows qualified individuals to compete in a “best lap time” format in a prepared car in advanced level open-passing sessions and bridges the gap between NASA HPDE 4 and wheel-to-wheel racing. Simply put, it’s a fun-filled event that will separate the best of the best in a closed circuit course, delivering blistering lap times and impressive driving in a short period of time. A perfect setting for a vehicle like the Model S Plaid.
This past weekend, our Model S Plaid “Dark Helmet” was driven by Craig Coker, one of the most avid Tesla racers out there, posting a lap time of 1:29.599 – good enough for a second-place finish behind Jonathan Finstrom of Michigan’s V2 Motorsports, driving a Staudacher S12, a lightweight prototype that posted a lighting-fast time of 1:22.225. When you compare the Model S Plaid and the prototype, with the Plaid weighing in at over 5,000lbs where the prototype weighs at 900lbs (with the driver!), the power-to-weight ratio becomes clear and the time difference doesn’t seem that big at all. The Model S bested performance car stalwarts such as a Porsche 911 GT3, Dodge Viper, and Chevy Corvettes as well as a plethora of purpose-built race cars similar to the Staudacher.
Check out the action from the event and the race results below.