With electric cars finally keeping up with—and in many instances surpassing—internally combusted machines in the performance game, we knew that their assimilation into sanctioned motorsport was never going to be drama-free.
Over the weekend, Mountain Pass Performance's Tesla Model 3 Performance took home second place at Buttonwillow's Global Time Attack Super Lap, clocking a final time of 2:00.78 around the 3.1-mile circuit, but was ultimately disqualified due to electricity not being on the event's list of approved fuels. This resulted in driver Cameron Rogers having to live out the automotive equivalent of La La Land winning Best Picture, reluctantly stepping down and handing over his celebratory bottle of champagne.
Despite the massive disappointment, and we would imagine a bit of rage, the team is looking on the bright side, remarking on the Tesla's ability to set some of the fastest times and stir up protest from ICE competitors at a time attack competition with relatively lax performance rules.
"This car is not built to the limit of these rules," said Sasha Anis of Mountain Pass Performance. "This is a stock Performance Model 3 with coilovers, suspension arms, brake lines, and a lip spoiler and a trunk spoiler. The rules allow basically unlimited power for internal combustion engines, a big wing, a bunch of weight reduction. So the fact that we're getting protested for a car that's not even built for this class is really funny."
In spite of everything, Rogers and the Mountain Pass team appeared to take the disqualification in stride, with Rogers semi-jokingly exclaiming "You can't fight the future, man!" as he made his way off the podium. Anis clarifies in the video that the disqualification was a result of a protesting fellow competitor and not the organizers, who apparently welcomed the Model 3's presence. In other words, a sore loser looking to "rules and regulations" his way to the podium.