A few days ago, we echoed the sad news that Unplugged Performance’s Tesla Model 3, which was going to participate this Sunday in the legendary American race Pikes Peak Hill Climb, had suffered a spectacular accident that seriously compromised its integrity. However, in just 48 hours, the Unplugged Performance team was able to fix the car for the event.
The Unplugged Performance Model 3 raced with pilot Randy Pobst at the controls. Plus, it wasn’t the only Model 3 on the grid, as two-time Pikes Peak champion Blake Fuller also came independently with his unit at the ready. The Teslas finally came in first (Fuller) and second (Pobst) in the Exhibition Division.
Fuller’s Model 3 Performance time was 11:02,802, while Pobst and Unplugged Performance’s unit was 11:04,131. Third place was taken by Scott Birdsall’s Ford F1, a 1949 pick-up with extreme preparation that achieved a creditable time of 11: 24.065, although it was long from the electric models.
Fuller’s victory was possible thanks to the collaboration of the Tesla community: due to the pandemic, funding was very scarce, but a couple donated their Model 3 Performance for the race, while the rest of the expenses were covered by about 150 people and private companies that decided to do their bit so that Fuller could participate with the electric sedan.
The Unplugged Performance unit had it all to win: Pobst ran the first stage seven seconds faster than Fuller; however, the vehicle experienced a series of battery warm-up issues that caused the remainder of the climb to be done at half power. Despite this, he was only 2 seconds slower than Fuller in the aggregate count.
According to Pobst, the Model 3 “Ascension R” from Unplugged Performance can still give a lot more of itself. “I have never driven such a good car at Pikes Peak,” says the driver, who last year went to the race with a 2019 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat with which he finished second in the Exhibition Division with a time of 11: 57.874; that is, more than 50 seconds slower than the Tesla.