Wheels (Australia) - - Inbox - Ken Strain

Like Edi­tor Inwood, I also missed Good­wood FOS this year. I had to fly home mid­way through my hol­i­day in the UK as my brother died and his fu­neral was on the day I had sched­uled to go to Good­wood.

I liked the Au­gust is­sue’s Edi­tor’s let­ter touch­ing on the elec­tric Volk­swa­gen ID R at Good­wood and not­ing the role noise plays in high-per­for­mance ve­hi­cles. Though I have never driven an EV, let alone an EV track car, a few thoughts oc­curred to me.

I’m the owner and some­what slow driver of a Subaru WRX tar­mac rally car. Track cars are a pain to drive on the road – climb­ing over the roll cage, the crash­ing sus­pen­sion, the jerky and whin­ing driv­e­train, the loud ex­haust, squeak­ing brakes, on/off clutch and the clat­ter of road de­bris be­ing flung into the arches by the sticky semi-slicks.

How­ever, when you’re at a sprint and the starter shouts ‘Go!’, all that dis­ap­pears. You be­come fo­cused on the gutwrench­ing launch, the line for the next cor­ner, the brak­ing points, try­ing not to lock the brakes, feel­ing for un­der­steer or over­steer, try­ing to fig­ure out which way to go if it’s a new course, or lis­ten­ing to pan­icky shouted in­struc­tions from your co-driver. Sen­sory over­load, ba­si­cally. The en­gine and ex­haust noise be­come ir­rel­e­vant ex­cept to tell you when to change gears.

So, my guess is that once you get an EV on a track, the ex­pe­ri­ence will be just as ex­hil­a­rat­ing, but not so much for the spec­ta­tors.

You make a good point, Ken. EV rac­ers and track cars will still be thrillers... for the driver. But the

“Your de­ci­sion to belt the Van­tage through NZ couldn’t have been a hard one”

sound­track is a key miss­ing vis­ceral el­e­ment in EV road cars

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