One item that came up often on TTAC’s request for feedback on Code Brown’s review concerned its range. And while range anxiety is real for some, the P85D sports a 200+ mile range (253 according to Tesla’s website) which met my needs in a large metropolitan area.
But when I hit the road for The 24 Hours of LeMons, range anxiety was real.
Let’s look at range anxiety logically: plan the trip and decide if Code Brown is the right vehicle.
- Determine the charge before leaving: possibly irrelevant as there was a (not-free) charging station (photo above) next to my office, if I couldn’t make it to the first Supercharger in Huntsville for a top off…so to speak.
- Find Tesla Superchargers: two on I-45 between Houston and Dallas, even though I hate fruitcake more than waiting 30-60 minutes to charge my late night ride for the trip to Decatur, TX.
- I reached that Supercharger at 10 pm, two hours after the attached bakery closes. But there is a 24-hr Whataburger nearby!
- Find local charging stations: Eagles Canyon Raceway (ECR) lacks 220V charging/RV hookup, ditto my hotel in Decatur. Even if I could get 110V charging, that’s slow enough to limit my work at LeMons (i.e. be late, not run errands, etc.) Since Decatur is 15 miles from the track with no public vehicle charging stations, this looks bad.
- Plan for Weather: the heater is a serious battery drain and coldweatheris guaranteed. Especially if I used Code Brown as a Judgemobile to hunt cheaty racers in the paddock.
- When you’re recovering from the aftershocks of Stevens Johnson Syndrome, a strong heater protects a weakened immune system from more trouble.
Or forget about this and hop in a gas-powered vehicle. You will fill it up at least once (5-10 minutes max), saving much time and effort.
While Code Brown’s brilliant traction control system manipulating all four wheels woulda maybe come in handy (even with wide all season tires) this was a bad idea. Turns out, everything in and around ECR was frozen solid.
There was 6-7″ of snow on Friday, which stopped all but a few cars from testing the track the day before the race. A few 4x4s enjoyed the free track time.
Ditto this super, uber, cheaty turbo DSM. Mitsubishis tend to go explodey in endurance races, but this Eclipse now had a fighting chance.
Because of my not perfect health, I was ridiculously layered under my judicial robe. Getting dressed was exhausting, considering my evening run to WalMart in Decatur for proper work boots after my sneakers turned to cold and wet mush.
This was neither the time nor the place to deal with range anxiety and/or a trip to the nearest supercharger in Denton.
It woulda been fun to drive Code Brown on ECR’s tight and complex track…maybe if I
borrowed stole power from a racer’s generator/RV…
Not a bad idea, as I was changing the lineup for this race.
This super cheaty Mustang burned race fuel with a fantastic lopey cam: clearly an American Iron racer sneaking into LeMons. This was a solid Class C (slowest) contender in the snow. Probably.
Granted, they’d self-destruct (i.e. tortoise-vs-hare driving) to the point they’d never have a snowball’s chance in hell…it’s still a Class A car.
And this slow but surprisingly consistent Honda CVCC could be a Class A car given current conditions. Very tempting!
Such lemony cheating skills! The zip-tie snow chains made this early 60s Dodge Dart with Chrysler LH wheels appear worthy of what Mother Nature was dishin’ out.
Judging in these conditions was mind altering. Sadly the weather never improved enough to race. As the snow turned to slush, we took a few cars on the track to warm up the surface, more photos here. Wishful thinking: while the roads in and around Decatur were good, everything near ECR remained unplowed.
Many racers (relaxing in many RVs around the paddock) wanted a go, but seemed happy with the final decision.We tried, but it wasn’t in the cards.
FWIW, the LeMons crew used a rental V6 Dodge Charger, a late-model Fusion Hybrid, a new Jeep Cherokee and my Ranger (with 100+ lbs of ballast) as transportation. They all performed flawlessly, thanks to restrained drivers and sharp witted active handling nannies. So do I regret not taking on the challenge of driving Code Brown to ECR?
Yes, but with a full-time job with regular office hours, a weak body recovering from Stevens-Johnson (less time recharging batteries, more time recharging the body) driving a Tesla in these conditions was foolish or perhaps dangerous. It remains a city car for me, unless I was visiting Dallas. No worries there.
There’s not enough infrastructure in parts of the flyover states for everyone to have everything. And with that, be ready for the rest of Code Brown’s review in the coming weeks.
Thanks for reading, have a lovely weekend.