Tesla Sweeps Monte Carlo Alternative Energy Rally

By Auto News Log • March 29th, 2010

Driven by Formula One driver Erik Comas, Tesla Roadster becomes first electric vehicle to win three-day rally and first victory for an EV in an FIA-sanctioned competition.

MONACO — A Tesla Roadster has become the first electric vehicle to win the Monte Carlo Alternative Energy Rally and the first to win any FIA-sanctioned championship. Driven by Formula One driver Erik Comas, the Arctic White Roadster beat 96 competitors in range, efficiency and performance. The Roadster’s victory in the three-day, nearly 1,000-kilometer challenge also marks the first time an electric vehicle has dominated a Federation Internationale de l’Automobile competition worldwide.

The Roadster scored definitive victories in two additional categories, including the Efficiency Cup and the Electric Vehicles Cup. The course, which ended Sunday, covers highways, two-lane back roads, mountain passes and sprints on the Monaco F1 track.

“This is the first time ever that a 1,000-kilometer rally required only €24 worth of fuel – proof that the electric Roadster is definitively revolutionizing the car industry,” said Comas, who has participated in 63 Grands Prix and dozens of other top races. “The Roadster is just as fast as some other supercars I’ve piloted – and it’s astoundingly more efficient than any rival. This was truly a team effort over the past days, and continued efforts like this will be vital in conquering the challenges of the future of motorsport.”

Clean Sweep for World’s Greenest Carmaker

The victory comes a year after Tesla set a world EV range record while competing in last year’s rally. In 2009, an electric blue Roadster traveled the full 387-kilometer Monte Carlo Alternative Energy Rally from Valence, France, through the mountains to Monaco, finishing with 61 kilometers of remaining range. Although a world range record at the time, Simon Hackett subsequently drove his Roadster 501 kilometers in Australia, setting a new record.

In this year’s rally, which is certified by the Automobile Club de Monaco, a second Tesla Roadster was driven by Rudi Tuisk, Tesla’s Australia general manager and former chief European technician. Tuisk successfully completed the range segment on this year’s slightly longer course, driving 390 km on one charge – with 66 kilometers remaining.

Tuisk compared the Roadsters’ victories this weekend with the 24 Hours of LeMans of 2005, when an Audi prototype became the first diesel-powered car to win that world-famous event.

“In a humble way, I felt like I had the privilege of witnessing history today,” Tuisk said.

In all, Tesla took home three prizes in the following categories:

• FIA Cup – Overall Monte Carlo Alternative Energy Rally
• Efficiency Cup
• Electric Vehicles Cup (IIIA)

Source: Tesla

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