Randy Pobst set the only sub 7-minute run in the Exhibition Class.
The 2021 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb in Colorado proved to be much kinder to Randy Pobst, Unplugged Performance, and Tesla than the 2020 race.
This year was the second time Randy Pobst teamed up with Unplugged Performance to set a new record in the Exhibition Class, this time in a Tesla Model S Plaid. Even though they won, they failed to set a new record. Due to inclement weather, the course had to be shortened by three miles. There are some speculative times out there, but we simply won't know until Randy and his Tesla make it all the way up the hill. Next year will be the 100th running and a nice opportunity to break a record.
In case you missed it, Pobst has a massive accident in a Model 3 in 2020. The team somehow managed to rebuild the car, but due to thermal management issues, it failed to set a record. This year, Unplugged returned with a vengeance.
According to the official Pikes Peak website, the Exhibition Class was introduced to "promote and demonstrate advancements in the practical application of motorsports technology and automotive engineering." It's the perfect formula to demonstrate the capabilities of an electric super sedan.
It's not a standard Model S Plaid, however. Pobst's Pikes Peak car boasts a stripped-out interior, roll cage, and a racing bucket with a six-point harness. To keep it planted, Unplugged Performance added a carbon fiber front splitter and adjustable rear wing.
The race car still runs on factory air springs, but the dampers were replaced with custom units made by Unplugged Performance and Bilstein. Other upgrades include a three-way adjustable rear anti-roll bar and custom forged aluminum wheels. The brake calipers are standard Tesla units, but the discs were custom-made by Unplugged and PFC.
The Model S Plaid faced one tough opponent at the 2021 Pikes Peak Hill Climb. In his 2017 Acura NSX, Nick Robinson set a blistering time of 7:14.704, easily beating the Model 3s that were also competing in the Exhibition Class. Then Randy came out and posted a 6:57.220.
The fastest run of the day was set by Robin Shute in a purpose-built Wolf GB08 TSC-LT. He finished the shortened course in an astonishing 5:55.246.
You probably have one more question. Did Randy Pobst use the all-new yoke steering wheel? Nope. He used a good old-fashioned round one. You can see the entire run in 360 degrees underneath the embedded posts below.