Tesla MS Meets Vintage Race Cars
13th September 2023
By Ian McConachie
TOCA ACT Exhibition Lap Drive
Pheasant Wood Circuit
by Ian McConachie.
I received a call from the TOCA (ACT) State Representative asking if I would like to attend an event at the Pheasant Wood Circuit on Sunday 10 September 2023. Ross explained that he had received a request from the circuit owner for a Tesla to attend their Vintage Car Day and it might get to do a lap or two. He explained that he thought of me as I had told him I was looking forward to trying out Ludicrous Mode in the second-hand Model S Performance that I had recently purchased after the disappointment of my cancelled Plaid order.
I arrived at the track which is just outside Marulan, about halfway between Sydney and Canberra at 1100 as requested and met the track owner Scott. He was a bit vague about what he wanted but invited us to watch the racing from the roof of the control block. There was vintage car, motorbike and sidecar races on the track and they were going at it hard. The track is is 1.6km long. It is very tight with only 1 short straight. Almost all of it can be seen from the spectator area.
When the racing stopped at 1200 we found out we were the lunchtime feature. The event was the idea of Mr Stephen Denning the owner of a 1926 12/50 Alvis which was one of the cars we had seen racing. Mr Denning purchased the car in the 70’s in the UK and drove it via Europe, India and Malaysia to Australia.
The format for the display was the Alvis went onto the track and did a lap. As he was approaching the finish line, I would pull onto the track just in front of him and try to catch him (ie catch up a lap). It took me about five laps and what fun it was. It was almost constant turning with spurts of power then braking with only the one short straight to give the car its head. I got it up to about 150kmh before I had to brake for a hairpin. A habit developed from driving my other Model S of backing off early to let the generative braking had to be resisted, braking late and hard was needed.
My wife (Vicki) in the spectator area heard many people amazed at the acceleration on the straight and one racer watching the car corner asked her if they were stock tyres (yes).
Great fun had, a lot of petrol heads shown that electric can be fun, so thanks to Ross for the opportunity.