KIDLINGTON, England (June 25, 2013) — Drayson Racing Technologies is teaming with Michelin Motorsports to attempt to set a world record today for electric vehicles, using a Lola endurance racing chassis fitted with an electric motor rated at 850 horsepower.
Drayson Racing, which raced at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2009 and 2010 and in the American Le Mans Series in 2011, will attempt to beat the record for vehicles weighing no more than 2,200 pounds.
Drayson Racing said that record is 174.9 mph set in 1974 by Roger Hedlund on the Bonneville Salt Flats in a vehicle called the Battery Box General Electric, although it's not 100-percent clear that Mr. Hedlund's record still stands.
Drayson Racing will use Michelin race tires for the attempt, set for June 25 at the Royal Air Force base in Elvington, England, on the base's 1.86-mile runway. Development work was done with Dunlop racing tires, according to videos and photos of the car being developed.
The racing team and Michelin are partnering on a broader scale as well, as Drayson Racing intends to compete in the FIA E Championship for electric vehicles, starting next year. Michelin is providing the control tires for the Formula E Championship,
Drayson Racing Founder Paul Drayson—described as entrepreneur, racing driver and former science minister of the United Kingdom—will drive the low-drag version of the Lola B12, which the team now calls the Drayson B12.
The car uses four axial flux motors, two per rear wheel, with an integrated transmission, drawing power from a 30 kWh battery pack.
Drayson Racing said the record has stood for nearly 40 years due to the technical challenge of running an electric vehicle consistently and reliably at high speeds when weighing less than 2,200 pounds.
Mr. Drayson also will act as a Michelin ambassador and showcase Drayson Racing Technology vehicles at numerous events in the run-up to the inaugural Formula E season, the racing team said.
"Michelin has a rich history of breaking records…," said Jianni Geras, head of marketing for Michelin UK Ltd. "The World Electric Land Speed Record will be a fantastic addition to this list…."
Drayson Racing Technologies describes itself as a research and development business, pioneering the development of sustainable technologies in the challenging environment of motorsport.