Live In CA? There’s Still Time To Race Your EV At Refuel 2013 This Weekend

By · June 27, 2013


Screenshot from Tony William's YouTube video of Refuel 2012 event, showing wide range of participants

Now in its fifth year, the Refuel Clean Power Motorsports Event returns to the iconic Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca this weekend, promising fast, fun track driving without burning a single drop of gasoline.

No special race modifications to your electric car or motorcycle are required to race, but Speed Ventures—the organizers of Refuel 2013—say you’ll need to wear an approved helmet (SNELL 2005 or newer) in order to take part. If you don’t have one, you can hire one trackside for $30 for the day. Meanwhile, those on two wheels won’t be allowed on the track without a full set of leathers.

Speed Ventures says you don’t need to be a professional racer to drive around the famous race track: novices will be given full coaching by trained driving instructors so everyone can get the most out of the zero emission race day.

After a full safety briefing, there are various events taking place throughout the day, including the SportElectric Time Trial to see who can set the fastest lap time, a parade lap where passengers are allowed and no helmets are required, and even an autocross-style performance test course.

In addition, there will be a wider EV owners meet, open to race participants and non-racing spectators alike, as well as free charging for all participants and limited charging for EV spectators.

The event isn’t just about racing expensive Model S sedans and other production electric vehicles, however: Refuel 2013 welcomes any vehicle which plugs in, from prototype EVs to home conversions, plug-in hybrids, and production models. There’s even a class for all-electric, non road-legal karts, although these will not be allowed to take part in the SportElectric Time Trial.

At $30 per vehicle, it’s good value too, making it a must for any Northern Californians willing to make the 100+ mile trek south from the Bay Area. The Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca is also within easy reach of the Harris Ranch and Gilroy Tesla Superchargers, making it perfect for Tesla Model S owners wanting to push their cars to the limit for the first time.

If you’re going, be sure to snap some photographs—and videos—to share with us all next week!


· · 5 years ago

Sounds like a fun event, but you don't have to wait for an EV event to take your EV to the track. Any High Performance Driving Experience event will gladly welcome your EV on the track. Porsche, Corvette, and other car clubs often sponsor the events all over the U.S.

· · 5 years ago

Michael -- that's a good point. But there's something special about an all-electric race event, don't you agree?

· · 5 years ago

There's absolutely something special about an all-electric race event.

There's also something special about showing up at your standard auto-cross meet, and tearing around the course in absolute silence (save for the squealing of tires). That will certainly get the attention of the local car aficionados.

· · 5 years ago

California is too far for me, so I'll just have to re-create the experience in Gran Turismo 5.

It's still all-electric though! ;)

· · 5 years ago

Nikki, definitely something special about an all electric event. I have to say I think I was even more impressed with a YouTube video of a Tesla Model S keeping pace with a C5 Corvette. That was a real eye opener. If I find that video, I'll post the link.

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