His Tesla Model S Plaid is flying.
The Pikes Peak International Hill Climb is known by many seasoned racers as one of the most challenging racing events around, but despite this, drivers and manufacturers keep pushing the boundaries, and they usually improve their times year on year. With the introduction of mainstream electric vehicles to this race, we've seen EV records tumbling, and legendary racing driver Randy Pobst is at the forefront of the lightning brigade. In a video posted by Unplugged Performance, we get to experience Pobst's qualifying session in his modified Tesla Model S Plaid, sporting massive new upgrades for 2022, and listen in on his commentary regarding the car and the event this year.
Randy Pobst is famous for his long and successful racing career and has piloted a smorgasbord of exotic machinery over the years, so it comes as a surprise to many that for the past couple of years, he's been behind the wheel of Tesla race cars. But racing is racing, and the veteran driver has already posted a five-second improvement over last year's efforts at Pikes Peak. The 4,900-pound Model S Plaid isn't the most agile of race cars, but the Unplugged Performance team has been fine-tuning its aero system to generate the maximum amount of downforce, and at speeds reaching 150 mph, Pobst needs all the grip he can get. The highly modified Tesla features Ohlins TTX 4 suspension, massive Unplugged Performance brakes, and obviously, over 1,000 horsepower. In the video, Pobst says he loves the sheer power this machine puts down.
Pobst's second qualifying run is electrifying to watch. He is flat out through the first few sweeping corners, focusing on carrying speed through the bends leading up to the famous switchback corners. The Plaid's AWD system and wide racing tires result in mind-blowing corner exit speeds. Pobst set a qualifying time of four minutes and 12 seconds back in 2020 with his Model 3, and in 2021 dropped it down to 4:10 with the Model S Plaid. This year has already seen the Unplugged Performance race car post a 4:05 run. Qualifying doesn't include the entire track, and the top section is the more challenging part of the climb, so the true test still awaits. With the race coming up on Sunday, we'll be sure to keep an eye on Randy and his big mean electric machine.