Teapot Trixie — Velocity Racer

Robert Isaac, self-confessed über-nerd and observe racer, introduced his modified Mannequin 3 Efficiency to our electrical automobile occasion in Bundaberg a few weeks in the past and informed me his fascinating story. He has allowed me to share it with the readership of CleanTechnica. Get pleasure from.

Teapot Racer

Modified for the observe, teapot racer. Photograph by Majella Waterworth.

By Robert Isaac

I’ve been a automotive fanatic since first doing an engine and gearbox swap in a Mitsubishi Sigma greater than twenty years in the past. I’ve been involved in motorsport for greater than twenty years too. I ended up turbocharging the Sigma and placing in rally suspension and upgraded brakes.

About fifteen years in the past, I made a decision a petroleum automotive was too inefficient for simply getting me round, so I moved to a small motorbike and bought the automotive. I ended up going via a couple of bikes however by no means misplaced the thrill in modification, and in efficiency using. I didn’t take part in motorsport on the bikes, but it surely was all the time on my thoughts. I ended up getting round on an electrical motorbike in the course of the pandemic interval and even upgraded to a Braaap MotoE after some time.

I used the twelve years on motorbikes to place away some cash to go absolutely electrical. First I bought photo voltaic, then an electrical mower and whipper snipper, then the electrical motorbike. In 2021, I purchased a Tesla Mannequin 3 SR+ and modified it for mild efficiency driving. I went to some motorkhana and skid pan days with Skid Management and cherished how nicely the automotive carried out, whereas nonetheless retaining good road manners and outrageously low operating price. Then I purchased a second set of wheels and a giant brake package and took it to Queensland Raceway to go across the observe (the one with corners; not drag racing) for a dash day. I used to be hooked and loved the part-Tesla, part-BMW driving really feel of the automotive post-modification. It was aggressive with a naturally-aspirated Nissan 350Z and had constant efficiency via the highest 80% of the battery.

Then, early this 12 months, I bought a suggestion too good to refuse on a poorly-treated Tesla Mannequin 3 Efficiency. The inside smelled a bit, the paint was hardly ever washed and filled with stone chips, the tyres had clearly been abused with insufficient stress, and the undertrays have been filled with rocks, leaves, and filth. However I took it for a take a look at drive and the suspension, brakes, and steering all behaved completely. It could be an ideal base for modification, so I bought the Mannequin 3 SR+ to purchase the Mannequin 3 Efficiency.

Mainly not one of the elements from the Mannequin 3 SR+ have been instantly transferable to the Mannequin 3 Efficiency, so I began making a listing of what elements I needed as a way to construct my good track-capable road automotive. The purpose was full confidence and functionality on the observe with huge sticky tyres, and a agency however refined (à la Porsche) journey on the road. I had slender 18″ wheels made to clear the Mannequin 3 Efficiency brakes however to let me run snug and environment friendly road tyres, whereas a second set of broad 19″ wheels would give me entry to the easy-to-find 275/35R19 tyre dimension for the observe.

Teapot Racer

Sticky tyres for the teapot racer. Photograph by Majella Waterworth.

The elements listing is fairly stable. Not a lot of the manufacturing facility suspension stays manufacturing facility in any respect. For brakes, solely the calipers are manufacturing facility when arrange for the observe.

Components from Mountain Go Efficiency:

  • MPP Sports activities coilovers
  • MPP SuperSports springs (larger spring charge)
  • MPP Entrance Higher Management Arms for fast and simple camber adjustment
  • MPP Entrance Decrease Management Arm spherical bearing to tighten steering dramatically
  • MPP Entrance Radius Arm spherical bearing to maintain it secure underneath exhausting braking at excessive velocity
  • MPP Rear Traction, Trailing, Camber, Toe and Spring arms for tight rear finish and weight saving
  • MPP Web page Mill directional entrance and rear brake rotors
  • MPP brake strains and Pagid racing brake pads
  • MPP light-weight lithium 12V battery
  • MPP Partybox and Cooling Occasion controller for customising cooling, traction management, stability management and e-Diff


  • Tevo brake grasp cylinder brace
  • Whiteline entrance and rear adjustable swaybars
  • Unplugged Efficiency rear lip spoiler with gurney flap for rear downforce (to cancel the inherent raise above ~160km/h)

Wheels and tyres:

  • Avenue — 18″x8″ customized cast wheels with 235/45R18 Michelin Primacy 4+ (would most likely be e.Primacy in the event that they’d been accessible)
  • Monitor — 19″x10″ customized cast wheels with 275/35R19 Nankang CR-S

When I’ve a observe day, it takes me about an hour to alter all 4 wheels, alter all 4 dampers, and improve the entrance camber to three.6 levels and rear to 2.6 levels (with appropriate alignment). The next morning, it takes the identical hour to return the entire automotive to road wheels and road alignment. I get to have my cake and eat it too; no tyre put on or economic system points for road use, no noisy exhaust, laggy turbo, or stiff clutch pedal. My associate and my mom are fairly snug driving the automotive in “chill” mode. It’s a modified sports activities automotive with out compromise.

Behind simply having fun with motorsport, my huge motivation in taking the automotive to the observe (and leaving the racing numbers on full time) is to immediate folks to return and discuss to me in regards to the automotive. There are infinite articles spruiking the environmental credentials of electrifying transport. The sports-ish EVs are concentrating on the posh efficiency market. I needed to be an early instance of driving a Tesla competitively on the observe, and displaying folks that EVs aren’t the loss of life of motorsport or of modifying autos, and that they’re great to stay with even modified.

All in all, I’ve had a surprisingly constructive response. For individuals who haven’t seen it on the observe earlier than, I get a mixture of curious and uncertain appears to be like. However after the primary session, the automotive will get pretty common respect for its efficiency. Not everyone seems to be satisfied that sports activities vehicles needs to be quiet, however each outing I get one or two folks asking extra questions than curiosity alone would clarify.

Teapot racer

Error 418 I’m a teapot. Photograph by Majella Waterworth

Oh, and the teapot factor is a call-out to my fellow über-nerd. My everlasting racing quantity is 418. The automotive is known as “Teapot Trixie” giving reference to each HTTP standing code 418 and a personality from Velocity Racer — Trixie. Only a few folks have ever seen the HTTP standing code 418 not to mention learn into its historical past, but it surely’s an fascinating little piece of Web historical past. It’s an error code that belongs to the Hypertext Espresso Pot Management Protocol (HTCPCP). That first hyperlink tells the story briefly, and this second one is the Wikipedia article for extra correct timeline and referencing.

Let’s cheer on Rob and his teapot racer in his quest to point out that sports activities vehicles don’t have to be quiet and EVs may be velocity racers.


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