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We made it to the top of the mountain!
Congratulations! About half of the Unlimited class didn't make it.

Time was 9:55. Not bad at all considering how little time we had for testing and driver seat time!
That was good for 9th place overall, and in the middle of the Unlimited class (which only had three entries that completed the run, with #1 winning overall at 9:12 and #3 over a minute behind this car).
http://livetiming.net/ppihc/

So obviously the car works! 馃檪

The overall record of 7:57 was set by an electric race car from Volkswagen, but no one (of any type of car in any class) was close to that this year; the VW didn't run again.
 

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Wow, only 78 competitors? Many who didn't finish?

It's amazing that last year's competitor beat the best this year by a full 12%.

Reminds me of the 919 tribute tour last year, when the Porsche beat the N眉rburgring record by 17% (normally this wouldn't be allowed, lap times are artificially limited, there are sections of the course where you could not react fast enough if something appeared).

You'd think that in these long established races, that the knife's edge would be hundreds of a second for records. It just goes to show what an exciting time we live in that things are in such flux that leaps and bounds are still being made.

Good show.

Anyone have links to footage of your climb?
 

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Wow, only 78 competitors? Many who didn't finish?
The entries which did not complete a valid run are listed in the linked results. There are a lot of them: presumably a few crashed, but most probably had some failure, due to the severe conditions (more sustained high power than a normal track due to the climb) or due to a lack of chance to sort out the bugs, because there is only one of this event per year and very little running time per competitor (a problem with any one-car-at-a-time event).

It is impressive that the Palatov car completed the run at competitive speed in its first year.

78 entries actually sounds like a lot to me, given the need to space them out on the course, and the inherently obscure type of competition. Performance rallies run somewhat similarly, and never have close to that many entries in Canada.

It's amazing that last year's competitor beat the best this year by a full 12%.

Reminds me of the 919 tribute tour last year, when the Porsche beat the N眉rburgring record by 17% (normally this wouldn't be allowed, lap times are artificially limited, there are sections of the course where you could not react fast enough if something appeared).

You'd think that in these long established races, that the knife's edge would be hundreds of a second for records. It just goes to show what an exciting time we live in that things are in such flux that leaps and bounds are still being made.
The Pike's Peak climb is a little unusual in motorsports. It's not part of a series, and is not very similar to the events in any series, so it doesn't make sense for most potential competitors - especially corporations - to build a car specifically for it. As a result, it tends to get used as a demonstration event: cars are built to show the capability of a company or product, and once the point is made they move on. I think this is the case for both Palatov and Cascadia. The record-holding VW I.D. R has moved on to N眉rburgring. If participation were more consistent, results would be less erratic.

Pike's Peak rules are also a factor. Most race series have substantial technical restrictions, intended to keep competition close and constrain the level of expenditure. Pike's Peak has an Unlimited class, so almost anything goes (and that makes it a suitable target for EVs); if anyone with deep pockets pursed the event seriously, it would immediately become unworkably expensive... assuming that no one has tens of millions of dollars to spend per year on a single annual event. So it's the domain of dedicated semi-pro enthusiasts and brief celebrity appearances.

International pro rally cars came to the mountain years ago (back when the road was mostly gravel) giving the European and Japanese manufacturers a chance to show that a street-legal production-based car - carrying a passenger - could beat the single-seat hilclimb specials. The race was a rally series event briefly, but it didn't fit in very well with the rest of the series, and they moved on.

And keep in mind that the whole road has only been paved since 2011, so the event is not as established - in its current form - as it might seem at first. Personally, while I understand the reasons for paving the road, I think it has made the competition much less interesting; essentially any high-powered road race car would be decently quick as-is, while in the past (on gravel) there were few cars anywhere else that were really suited for the challenge. Electric drive, by the way, would have been just as suitable on gravel, and electric cars did run in those days, but were not competitive with their earlier technology.
 

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Wow, only 78 competitors? Many who didn't finish?
Many never even started. The Motorcycles took forever to finish because of multiple accidents. Two riders were airlifted. One of them, Carlin Dunne, was killed near the finish line.

We didn't start the cars til around noon and our car was the last one up without rain at the starting line. It ended up pouring for the remainder of the race. Everyone was switching to rain tires, and those with no windscreens decided not to run, and quite a few others decided it wasn't safe to run.

Weather was mostly the issue. Only a couple DNF's due to mechanical. No cars had accidents that I saw.

(I was on the mountain at the pits, BTW, if people have questions)
 

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Great effort guys, and such a shame about the tragedies on, and off the mountain.

Travis, can you show any more detailed images of the battery packs as they came together? I've always been intrigued by the idea of cooling cylindrical cells axially because the conductivity is so much better in that plane, but there's a fair old resistance gap between the bit that's hot and the end of the cell. As someone mentioned above, it sounds like Rivian packs were used ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
Great effort guys, and such a shame about the tragedies on, and off the mountain.

Travis, can you show any more detailed images of the battery packs as they came together? I've always been intrigued by the idea of cooling cylindrical cells axially because the conductivity is so much better in that plane, but there's a fair old resistance gap between the bit that's hot and the end of the cell. As someone mentioned above, it sounds like Rivian packs were used ;)
Yes there is some resistance between the end of the roll and the cell, but far less than between the layers of the jellyroll. Literature suggests that axial heat resistivity is 10-30 times lower than radial. Our testing has confirmed that in spite of the lower surface area, cooling occurs faster on the ends than on the sides.

Rivian packs were not used, we at EVDrive designed and built the pack for this car.
 

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Yes there is some resistance between the end of the roll and the cell, but far less than between the layers of the jellyroll. Literature suggests that axial heat resistivity is 10-30 times lower than radial. Our testing has confirmed that in spite of the lower surface area, cooling occurs faster on the ends than on the sides.

Rivian packs were not used, we at EVDrive designed and built the pack for this car.
I'd love to see any images if you can share them. And yeah, I did a bunch of testing at my work on axial vs radial, and concluded they were both pretty effective depending on what the goal was. The biggest challenge with axial was coming up with a cooling plate that had zero risk of shorting the pack.
 

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Many never even started. The Motorcycles took forever to finish because of multiple accidents. Two riders were airlifted. One of them, Carlin Dunne, was killed near the finish line.
This much accident delay is not typical, but of course that sort of thing can happen in any motorsport competition.

We didn't start the cars til around noon and our car was the last one up without rain at the starting line. It ended up pouring for the remainder of the race. Everyone was switching to rain tires, and those with no windscreens decided not to run, and quite a few others decided it wasn't safe to run.

Weather was mostly the issue. Only a couple DNF's due to mechanical. No cars had accidents that I saw.
In discussing the differences in performance between years in this sort of event, I should have mentioned weather. Some teams would presumably not have rain tires, and not run in wet conditions even aside from visibility concerns.

One feature of solo competitions (such as hilclimbs, but even the qualifying sessions of road racing) is that competitors in the same class may not run under the same conditions. That is unavoidable, but can be frustrating.
 

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The biggest challenge with axial was coming up with a cooling plate that had zero risk of shorting the pack.
That's an interesting challenge, but the bus plates on the Tesla modules always looked like they should be heat transfer plates to me. Of course, they're not designed for that purpose and so are not thermally well coupled to the cells.
 

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Hehe, sorry to mis-attribute you there Brian :)

Yeah, the diabolical nature of cylindrical cells is that the entire outside of the cell is a cell terminal, and if you must individually fuse them you will necessarily have a sizable gap between the bus plate and the terminal. This can be minimised, and you can use a high viscosity potting agent to fill the gaps, but Tesla worked out ages ago that radial cooling was good enough, and a bit easier to build.
 

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Discussion Starter · #34 ·
As a result, it tends to get used as a demonstration event: cars are built to show the capability of a company or product, and once the point is made they move on. I think this is the case for both Palatov and Cascadia.
I'm not too sure about that. I think this car still has untapped potential. They were working on it and tweaking on it even during race week, and if you look at the qualifying times vs the race, we actually passed by 8 or 9 cars just in those last couple of days. So I think it's possible it could race again (I don't have any inside information on that either way).

But in general, for sure Dennis Palatov will be back at Pikes Peak in the future; it's kinda his thing and he goes at least every other year. And he has said publicly that he wants to continue to produce additional models of electric cars. And as long as he's doing that, you have to think that Cascadia will be involved (and hopefully us at EVDrive as well). This car just scratches the surface of what is possible with these high power components.
 

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I don't know anything about these events...

How do you end up getting to go?

Is it the kind of thing that they pay you to attend, or is it like being in a garage band or a marathon runner and you pay for the privilege of participating?

Are there qualifiers?

I'd imagine that there has to be some kind of restraint on participating, performance or price -wise, else you'd have all kinds of gag entries. Grandpa's station wagon, mom's minivan, etc.

Other than getting cars and people to the hill, what's involved?
 

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The Pike's Peak climb is a little unusual in motorsports. It's not part of a series, and is not very similar to the events in any series, so it doesn't make sense for most potential competitors - especially corporations - to build a car specifically for it. As a result, it tends to get used as a demonstration event: cars are built to show the capability of a company or product, and once the point is made they move on. I think this is the case for both Palatov and Cascadia. The record-holding VW I.D. R has moved on to N眉rburgring. If participation were more consistent, results would be less erratic.
I'm not too sure about that. I think this car still has untapped potential. They were working on it and tweaking on it even during race week, and if you look at the qualifying times vs the race, we actually passed by 8 or 9 cars just in those last couple of days. So I think it's possible it could race again (I don't have any inside information on that either way).

But in general, for sure Dennis Palatov will be back at Pikes Peak in the future; it's kinda his thing and he goes at least every other year. And he has said publicly that he wants to continue to produce additional models of electric cars. And as long as he's doing that, you have to think that Cascadia will be involved (and hopefully us at EVDrive as well). This car just scratches the surface of what is possible with these high power components.
It has been a couple of strange years since the 2019 event. The Pike's Peak event did run both last year and this year, although with only 44 (2020) and 52 (2021) entrants. There was a Palatov D2 car in both years, but it was an older non-EV model. The only EVs in both years were Teslas. The 2021 winner drove the same car as he drove to the win in 2019. 2021 times can't be compared to previous years because snow and ice at the top led to the course being shortened by three miles (the top three).

As interesting as this sort of car is, without a series and class specifically for them they do tend to be very expensive throwaways. Perhaps the D2EV is doing something else.

A 2020 article mentioned that the car was run on the salt flat at Bonneville (in 2019) and included this interesting view of the D2EV without bodywork or battery packs:
 
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