Tesla Wins in Monaco! (Not *That* Race)

In the early days of the auto industry, racing was used to provide what would now be considered “street cred” for what were then perceived as infernal machines.

In the early days of the auto industry, racing was used to provide what would now be considered “street cred” for what were then perceived as infernal machines. For example, Henry Ford was the driver of the Quadricycle that won a 10-mile oval race held in October, 1901 (nascent NASCAR?); a month later, the Henry Ford Company was established.

Which brings us to an event held this past weekend, the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA)-sanctioned Monte Carlo Alternative Energy Rally, a three-day event on highways, two-lane back roads, mountain passes, and even the Monte Carlo Formula One track.

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This year’s race was won by a Tesla Roadster piloted by F1 driver Erik Comas, which is the first electric vehicle victory in an FIA-sanctioned event.

Comas, who has driven in 63 Grand Prix events, said after his victory in the Tesla: “This is the first time ever that a 1,000-km rally required only 24 euro worth of fuel—proof that the electric Roadster is definitively revolutionizing the car industry. The Roadster is just as fast as some other supercars I’ve piloted—and it’s astoundingly more efficient than any rival.”

A second Roadster also ran, this one driven by Rudi Tuisk, Tesla’s Australia general manager and former chief European technician, who, in effect, hypermiled the Roadster, as he drove from Annecy, France, to Monaco—a distance of 242.3 miles—on a single charge, with the ability to go 41 miles further. After he accomplished this, he cited an analogy with Audi winning the 2005 24 Hours of Le Mans in a diesel-powered car.