IBIZA—The Electric GT Championship, a new race series featuring race-prepared Tesla Model S version P85+ cars, will debut in 2017 with Pirelli Tyre as a technical partner and race tire supplier.
The new series, organized by Electric GT Holdings Inc., plans to hold seven championship events in Europe next year, plus three non-championship events in the Americas, with 10 teams campaigning 20 identically prepared Tesla Model S models for the series title.
Electric GT Championship CEO Mark Gemmell called the launch of the EGT Championship the “start of a shift in the way motorsport is perceived” with an emphasis on sustainability and zero emissions.
Agustin Paya, the series' technical director, said the organizers chose the Tesla Model S/P85+ because of its balance between performance and luxury, and the base model's rear-wheel-drive configuration, which should produce “spectacular and entertaining” action.
In its most powerful version, the Tesla S is capable of accelerating from 0 to 60 mph in 3.2 seconds.
“Although it is a luxurious super tourer it seems to be made for racing,” Paya said. “It is the best zero-emissions car on the road capable of racing on world class circuits in the GT category. In its production version, it accelerates faster and provides better lap times than many combustion GT cars.”
Regarding Pirelli, Gemmell said Electric GT is “looking forward to a close and innovative relationship with the world leader in ultra-high-performance tires….”
Pirelli Motorsport Director Paul Hembrey said being part of the Electric GT Championship “underlines our commitment to both sustainability and performance in an innovative context.
“We already supply Tesla with original equipment for its latest model,” he added, “and it's exciting to see a new manufacturer brand represented in motorsport, through the launch of a completely new championship.”
Pirelli will supply dedicated P Zero competition tires —both in slick and wet compounds—derived from the firm's experience in GT racing. The tires will have to perform within a different range of parameters compared to more conventional racing cars, Hembrey said, because of the unique torque characteristics of electric vehicles.
Among the racing circuit the championship will visit in its inaugural season are the Nurburgring (Germany), Circuit Paul Ricard (France) and Donington Park (England).
Race weekends will consist of a daylight race and a dusk race, both 37 miles (60 kilometers) in length.
Electric GT held a launch event this week on Ibiza, where the organizers partnered with OneDrop, a charity working to provide sustainable access to safe water in the developing world. To raise funds for this cause, EGT held a charity auction of donated items, including an EGT experience at Paul Ricard Circuit. This will be the second major racing series featuring electric cars, following Formula e, the single-seat, open-wheel racing series now starting its third season. Group Michelin is that series' exclusive tire supplier.