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Project White Lightning Update 5: Summit Racing’s Tesla Sets Land Speed Records at ECTA Standing Mile!

Let’s see what she can do… (Image/Summit Racing)

Whether it’s gas, diesel, or electric, Summit Racing’s going to find a way to hot rod every vehicle it gets its hands on.

So when Summit Racing introduced us to White Lightning a while back, we knew the performance modifications to its Tesla Model 3 would start soon.

You can get all the updates on Summit Racing’s Tesla Model 3 White Lightning here.

After some tire and suspension upgrades, the White Lightning team began to really stretch the Tesla’s legs. First up was the ECTA Arkansas Mile. Suffice it to say, the Model 3 impressed. Summit Racing’s Brian Nutter will fill you in on the details…

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Topping out Summit’s Racing’s Tesla Model 3 Performance has been on the to-do list since we bought it, so we set our sights on Blytheville, Arkansas and the ECTA Arkansas Mile.

Over the last few months the car has gone from stock to having an Eibach Pro Kit installed. Now it’s fitted with BFG 275-19 Rivals on Forgestar 19×9.5×29 CF5Vs We added a bit of safety gear as well but more on that in an upcoming post. We’ve done a bit of autocrossing with the car already, so what to do next?

The ECTA standing mile is the place to go if you want to stretch your car’s legs. In our particular case, the 1/2 mile, 1 mile and 2km records looked particularly tasty.

A typical Model 3 Performance can achieve 162mph, but the question is whether it would hit it by the 1 mile mark or would it require more track? (Image/Summit Racing)

Another purpose for our trip was to log mileage and gather some real world data on charging. We planned our trip around Tesla Superchargers on the way down to Blytheville and came away with some interesting numbers. From Summit Racing in Tallmadge, Ohio, we headed down I-71 with stops in Columbus and Cincinnati. Then in Kentucky, we stopped in Louisville and Kuttawa.

From there, it was west to Blytheville. Tesla Superchargers don’t exist around there yet so that was a tough leg—so close in fact, that a missed exit added another 26 miles, which meant we pulled into the track with 5 miles of range left! Whoa.

We logged our mileage, charging time, and charging costs for the trip. (Image/Summit Racing)

All was fine though and the ECTA folks had a 220V 14-50 NEMA outlet there for us to plug into. 11 hours and 50 minutes later, the car was topped off with juice and ready for action. We teched-in and interviewed fellow racers Thursday evening. The 300 mph Ford GT, Big Red, and many other cars in the 240 to 260 mph zone were in attendance too.

Our Tesla was in good company. (Image/Summit Racing)

On Friday, the weather was beautiful. The first two runs were licensing runs. Our first run to the 1/2 mile was 137 mph. The second run to the 3/4 mark was 147…but then we hit a proverbial wall.

The car was accelerating fairly hard yet at 146 mph but it was clearly hitting a speed limiter. Another run to the 1 mile mark confirmed it. We made a couple phone calls to our friends at the TeslaOwnersOnline forum for support.

We adjusted the wheel/tire packages in the settings to see if that helped. We did a firmware update to see if that helped. We even Tweeted Elon to see if he could beam down an update! All to no avail.

It turns out that we have the Tesla Model 3 Stealth edition. DOH.

Out Tesla Forum pals were like:
“Grey Calipers?” -Yep.
​”Redline on the screen?” -Yep.
​”Yeah, you got a Stealth model which didn’t leave the factory with a spoiler or speed rated tires.”

Oh well, we got a unicorn. It does pretty well in every other event we try…but that’s why we do these things. Experience is what sets Summit Racing apart from other auto parts places. In all seriousness, a HUGE thank you to the TeslaOwnersOnline forum for helping us figure out what was up. Great People.

So was it all worth it? YES!!!! Absolutely. We went down there to set records…and we did. 1/2 mile, Mile, and 2km in two voltage classes for a total of six records.

BUT!!! We want those records to be broken by you folks in quick order.

If this keeps up, we’ll run out of wall space soon. (Image/Summit Racing)
We want you to beat our records. Just save the receipt! (Image/Summit Racing)

The trip back was a little smoother and we made it home in one piece. The car turned a LOT of heads at the event and Land Speed Racers LOVE alternative ways of powering cars down the track.

Simply an incredible experience and thanks again to the ECTA folks for putting on a great event!

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2 Comments

  1. 11 hours to recharge is ridiculous…..They need to get that down to about 5 minutes to make these pencil out for most drivers.

    146 mph is scooting right along….. surely the system can be tuned/hacked to get more out of it….

  2. Allen Lineberry says:

    I have a M3 and have Never charged that long but I have never plunged into a 220v either. Typical charge time is about 20 minutes while I get food and use the bathroom. Seems odd to me that all the charging time are really long for the trip. Keep in mind unless I am on a trip I never had to wait as it charges at home while I sleep so there is that.
    Great article.

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