Formula E is the world’s only all-electric race car series. Utilizing electric, open-wheel race cars, it’s been hinting at a possible fossil-fueless future.
Ryan Tuerck is not one of those racers, instead he’s one of the best drift drivers in the world. While he is not accustomed to racing open-wheeled cars, he certainly is no slouch. So at the recent Formula E event in Rome, Italy, Tuerck teamed up with Roborace to race a driverless car around the Formula E course in a battle of man vs. machine.
Roborace is the world’s first competition for human vs. machine teams, using both self-driving and manually-controlled cars. Their “DevBot” racing car is essentially a closed cockpit prototype with an electric motor at each of the four wheels, giving it a combined 550 horsepower.
The idea is to attract a new generation of racing drivers and fans. When Tuerck gets behind the wheel for the practice day, he finds it a bit difficult around turns, as if you brake too late the car shuts down.
As Tuerck notes after the practice sessions, “This thing is ridiculously fast. This thing is probably the fastest accelerating car I’ve ever driven.” (Which is saying a lot for a guy who drives just about everything pedal-to-the-metal.)
But after working out those kinks in practice, Tuerck puts up an impressive lap time of 1:51.8, beating the DevBot’s time of 2:18.4. In doing so, he proves that machine is no match for a man as talented as Tuerck. But the developers tell him that it is possible that the DevBot will be beating racers’ times later this year.
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