An electrical race automobile has lapped Daytona for the primary time

The annual 24-hour race at Daytona Worldwide Speedway in Florida acquired underway on Saturday afternoon. And this yr’s race has been a fairly good one to date—though there are nonetheless almost seven hours left to run as I write this. This yr is the 59th operating of a race that has turn into, unofficially a minimum of, the beginning of the yr’s racing season for a lot of. However on Friday, the three.5-mile (5.6km) street course tried one thing new, when an electrical racing automobile took to the observe for some demonstration laps—the primary time a racing EV has performed so. Hopefully, it could be a herald of issues to come back as the game’s organizers discover the potential for a US collection within the subsequent few years.

This wasn’t a single-seater with open wheels just like the vehicles that race in Formulation E. As an alternative, it was designed for a brand new class referred to as ETCR, for electrical touring vehicles: assume closely modified road-going vehicles however with electrical powertrains. On this case, that road-going automobile was a Hyundai Veloster N. Hyundai has been contesting the (not electrical) TCR class with the Veloster N, however these all characteristic 2.0L inner combustion engines driving the entrance wheels.

The ETCR rulebook is way much less restrictive, and consequently, the Veloster N ETCR is a way more unique factor, with not one however 4 electrical motors paired up so that every rear wheel is powered by a pair of motors. Peak energy is a powerful 670hp (500kW)—as a lot as the brand new hybrid prototypes that can race at Le Mans from this yr—drawing vitality from a 68kWh battery pack sourced from Williams Superior Engineering (which can be supplying Formulation E with batteries for that collection’ third-generation automobile).

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