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Video: Race Driver Leilani Münter Shows How Aerodynamic Her Tesla Model S Really Is

When it comes to professional race car drivers, Minnesotan-born Leilani “Carbon-Free Girl” Münter breaks the mould. Not only is she one of a handful of women to have competed in the Indy Pro Series and ARCA series, but she also happens to be a vocal environmentalist and yes, a proud owner of a Tesla Model S.

Leilani Münter's Model S goes for a spin in the wind tunnel (Photo, ©Leilani Munter's Instagram Stream)

Leilani Münter’s Model S goes for a spin in the wind tunnel (Photo, ©Leilani Munter’s Instagram Stream)

On Friday, Münter was able to do something with her Model S that very few Model S owners could: take it to the same full-blown aerodynamics test facility used everyone from motorcycle manufacturers to automotive race teams.

Located in Moorseville North Carolina, considered by many to be the heart of NASCAR racing, the purpose-built A2 Wind Tunnel is fitted with four massive electric fans capable of producing speeds ranging from 30 mph to a hurricane force 85 mph, along with a dizzying array of sensors to help its clients understand exactly how their car, motorcycle, or even wheel will be influenced by drag in the real world.

Münter, who shared the video of what happened when her Model S took to the Wind Tunnel, joked on G+ that  her Model S had a “lower coefficient of drag than my race car!” That’s hardly surprising, since a full-blown race-ready car of any description will be designed to have significantly more downforce to aid handling than a production-spec road-going car.

Nevertheless, watching the smoke rise over the Model S in the wind tunnel is a rather mesmerising sight, and as several folks have commented, the smoke trail around Münter’s Model S shows just how well-designed and aerodynamic Tesla’s first mass-produced electric car really is.

As for Münter, known as the CarbonFreeGirl for the acre of rainforest she adopts every time she races? She’s hoping for a place on a Formula E race team in time for its inaugural season later this year.

Frankly, we can’t think of a better person to take part. Good luck, Leilani!

As for race car drivers who own EVs? There’s more than you think. Can you name any?


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  • Michael Thwaite

    She said something at last years TESLIVE event that really stuck with me – She read blog posts from the NASCAR forums, some blasting her for only being a girl and others deriding her eco credentials, etc. Nothing unusual there but, there was also a growing voice in defense of her, both in terms of her performance and in terms of her environmental choices. In the midst of all of this she realized “I’ve just started a conversation about green tech and environmentalism in the middle of the NASCAR forums.”

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