Team will make history at PPIHC by fielding three electric race cars
Pikes Peak, Colorado – The Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb has always rewarded innovation. And on June 28, 2015, Entropy Racing’s Electric Vehicle Sports Racers (EVSRs) will charge up America’s Mountain to show the world how competitive, affordable, reliable and environmentally friendly electric racing can be.
Like the Race to the Clouds, Entropy Racing covered a lot of ground in a short time. In late 2013, team principal Charlie Greenhaus got the idea to build electric race cars that could go wheel-to-wheel with gas-powered competitors, but at a fraction of the cost of current electric racers. It was a daunting task, especially considering the million-dollar budgets and multi-year development cycles seen in today’s electric racing.
But Greenhaus’s team was as passionate about the project as he was—they built, tested and race-prepped an EVSR in under three months!
Now, barely a year and a half later, Entropy Racing is ready to take on Pikes Peak’s formidable summit. And to show how affordable and low maintenance their brand of electric racing is, the 9-member Entropy Racing team will campaign three EVSRs, being the first team to ever race three electric vehicles in the 99-year history of this historic event.
Pikes Peak’s grueling, 12.4-mile course starts at 9,390 feet and ends at 14,115—a 4,725-foot elevation change. Gas-powered engines lose up to 30 percent of their maximum power between the start and finish of the race due to the thin mountain air, causing the teams to add engine tuning on top of the normal suspension and tire adjustments, which require more team members and more time. But the EVSRs’ ultra-reliable electric powertrains put down maximum power regardless of altitude, require minor adjustments and have had 51 competitive finishes without a single breakdown.
“Pikes Peak is a huge challenge for many of the gas cars due to the altitude,” Greenhaus explains. “The electric cars have a big advantage by eliminating the atmospheric element.
“And aside from cage work and small PPIHC rule changes, the EVSRs have had no mechanical changes in the last year. They should only need minor suspension and tire pressure changes on the mountain—we hope it all goes smoothly, but we have a lot of data and experience to draw from in preparation.”
Entropy Racing’s drivers also have deep experience to draw from. “While the EVSRs have never been to Pikes Peak, our drivers have been there 10 times between them,” says Greenhaus. “So the driver component is more than covered.”
In addition to the desire to conquer one of auto racing’s premier courses, Entropy Racing is competing in the PPIHC to show the world what the EVSRs can do. The team thinks that the EVSR is the perfect car for everyday club racers—enthusiasts who want to race, but don’t have loads of money or advanced mechanical skills.
The roughly 2,000-pound car makes 175 horsepower and 180 pound-feet of torque, and has a top speed of 140 mph and a 30- to 40-minute run time.
And running costs are only about half as much of comparable gas-powered machines, with drastically lower maintenance costs. In fact, this car is so affordable that you could build 20 EVSRs for the same cost as four Formula E racers with maintenance and service costs at pennies on the dollar. It could give a great race experience to enthusiasts who couldn’t normally afford it.
Entropy Racing is looking to campaign a turnkey electric EVSR race series and is soliciting program sponsors in the near future, but first they’re focusing on Pikes Peak. “We have big plans, but for now we’re here to take on the mountain,” Charlie says. “Of course, our team knows not to underestimate Pikes Peak, so we’re going to get the cars completely dialed in and let the EVSRs take the summit.”