Truly, there’s nothing worse than a fanboy. Yesterday, we covered the Tesla Model 3 Performance racer who got disqualified at a Global Time Attack Super Lap event at Buttonwillow Raceway Park because his car wasn’t running on an approved fuel type—i.e. gasoline. He was even pulled mid-podium, according to the video of the event. The nerve!, I thought, as many of you did too. Problem is that’s not exactly accurate.
As Global Time Attack steward Tony Szirka explained to us, Mountain Pass Performance was already disqualified because they were using a guest driver, not because the car was an EV, (See Update) although someone jokingly suggested that was also a reason the car could be considered disqualified. “At dinner that night someone jokingly pointed out that it’s technically not legal,” Szirka said. “At this point I had no choice but to uphold the rules since I as the race steward knew there was a rule being broken.”
Even though they were DQ’d, the stewards let Mountain Pass Performance race anyway, hoping they’d wouldn’t place and would just enjoy a fun race.
Except they were indeed very fast. In the end Mountain Pass Performance asked to be pulled on the podium. “He was totally fine with a DQ, and knew he was in the wrong, he just asked if we could do it on the podium for attention,” Szirka said.
Afterward, the two drivers, Sasha Anis and Cameron Rogers, played up the disqualification:
“You were the fastest, you were disqualified, what happened?” Anis asked.
“…We got protested though, taken off the podium,” Rogers responded, laying the foundation for his house of lies.
“In the middle of the podium!” Anis said, grouting the backsplash in the house of lies’ kitchen.
“In the middle of the podium ceremony they took us off,” Roger said, refinancing his house of lies to a nice low APR 30-year fixed-rate mortgage. “No EVs allowed they say! After we’ve already done all the work, enter this event, driven this event.”
While Global Time Attack admitted they probably shouldn’t have played up the podium bit for the cameras of folks looking to go viral (their original video stands at over 81,000 views as of this writing) I don’t blame them here, and neither should you. They were doing the nice-guy thing by letting the team run the race anyway even when everyone knew they were disqualified. It’s a dumb rule to exclude EVs anyway.
And Szirka assured me that electric vehicles will be welcome at next years’ event.
“While we have never had any intention to disallow electric cars, there was a wording oversight that made them technically illegal in the lower classes,” he said. “This very first EV competitor made us realize it. We acknowledge the error and will be correcting it for next year.”
I spoke to Anis briefly, who backed up the events in the video but has not responded to my requests for comment since Global Time Attack reached out. We’ll update if he or Mountain Pass Performance gets in touch.
Updated: 11/13/2018 4:15 p.m. ET Mountain Pass Performance say they were disqualified by a legitimate protest and that they learned of their disqualification with just one session left in the day.
Updated: 11/13/2018 3:43 p.m. ET: Mountain Pass Performance was not disqualified from the second day of the Global Time Attack Super Lap event due to using a second driver. There were disqualified for running an unapproved fuel. Mountain Pass Performance were offered to go into Unlimited class, where there are no fuel restrictions, at some point during events on the second day, but decided to be DQ’d instead. Global Time Attack has never pulled a competitor from the podium before.