The Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, just outside Monterey California, is a world-famous race track, visited every year in person and virtually by petrol heads and gear-jammers from every walk of life. From its double left-handed apex of turn two to its gloriously fast turn six and of its famous corkscrew, the 2.2-mile track has it all.
And while the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca normally hums to the roar of gasoline engines, on June 26 it will play host to the seventh annual Refuel electric car race day, transforming it from the altar on which all things high-octane are worshiped to the mecca of high-voltage, zero emission fun.
From its double left-handed apex of turn two to its gloriously fast turn six and of its famous corkscrew, the 2.2-mile track has it all
Just over a month away, ReFuel welcomes anyone with a driving license and a track-worthy electric vehicle to take part. From production electric vehicles like the Nissan LEAF and Tesla Model S to prototype pre-production kit cars, motorcycles trikes, anything that is powered solely by electricity and can travel at highway speeds can take to the track.
Organized by Speed Ventures Inc., the Refuel 2015 track day offers the chance for participants to compete in the SportElectric Time Trial, where competitors can set their own and event track times.
Open to all full-electric electric cars and motorcycles vehicles will be split into six different categories: Cars (Prototype), Cars (Conversion), Cars (Production, Motorcycles (Prototype), Motorcycles (Production) and Karts.
As the name might suggest, Prototype refers to non-homologated and purpose-built race cars, while Conversion are homemade or factory-built conversions of internal combustion engine or hybrid vehicles to electricity. Production refers to all vehicles built as electric vehicles in a factory.
Due to limited numbers of converted motorcycles, Converted motorcycles are placed in the same category as Production motorcycles for the event.
If you haven’t raced before then don’t worry: as with previous years, all skill levels are welcome at the event, from fully-licensed race car drivers to first-time track day participants. For those who are heading out for the first time, ReFuel 2015 organizer Speed Ventures, Inc. provides the required track briefing and safety presentation before letting you loose on the track.
Crash helmets are mandatory, but rental helmets are available for those without their own.
Crash helmets with a rating of SNELL 2005 or newer are mandatory for everyone taking part in cars, while those on motorcycles will only be allowed on the track in full leathers. While the more enthusiastic participants and all motorcyclists will have their own safety equipment, helmet rental is available on the day for those who don’t own their own.
Based on previous track day reports from past participants and the number and variation of vehicles represented in past years, ReFuel 2015 is certainly an event you won’t want to miss if you happen to be an electric vehicle enthusiast who lives in the vicinity of the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
Entry for the day to race depends on your vehicle, and ranges from $30 for an EV Kart to $90 for a car for the day. SportElectric TT participation costs an extra $80, inclusive of timer transponder rental and registration for the time trail. Free electricity for recharge will of course, be on tap.
You can find out more about the event and register at the RefuelRace website — and if you’re planning on going for the day, don’t forget to let us know. While we won’t be able to make it in person, we’d love to hear some first-hand reports, either from trackside spectators or racers!
Thanks to EVWest for the video of their converted BMW M3 taking to the track at last year’s event!
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