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03 May 2024

The Porsche Taycan claims two records

Porsche breaks two records adding time attack to the Taycan’s trophy cabinet  

With benchmark lap times on race circuits around the globe, the all-electric Porsche Taycan has quickly made a name for itself on track – as well as on the street as a standard-setter among electric road cars.

Now, the Taycan can add records in the time attack sport of speed hill climbs to this roll of honour. In the hands of journalist Dan Prosser, the Taycan Turbo S Sport Turismo set the fastest times in both the Series Production Electric Vehicle and Estate Car classes at Shelsey Walsh Hill Climb in Worcestershire, UK earlier this month. The 762 PS Taycan recorded a time of 31.43 seconds over the challenging 0.57-mile course.

It breaks the previous estate car record of 32.41 seconds, achieved with an Audi RS 6 Performance in 2016, and sets an all-new record at the venue for production electric vehicles. In fact, the Taycan time comes within a second of the overall electric car record of 30.46 seconds, set by an electric single-seat Formula E race car in 2018.

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In order to qualify for the road-car record, the Taycan remained as it left the factory in Zuffenhausen, Germany, right down to its road-biased Pirelli P Zero tyres. Only a ‘beam breaker’, to accurately record the time of the run, and number stickers marked it out. Underlining the road-going specification of the car, Dan drove the Taycan to Shelsley Walsh from his home on the day of the event.

The cutting-edge technology of the Porsche Taycan was brought into particular contrast by the historic setting. Hill climbs are one of the earliest forms of motorsport, and Shelsley Walsh is the oldest motorsport venue in the world to still run events on its original course, having first been used in 1905. The 914-metre course snakes its way up a rural Worcestershire hillside, and over that distance climbs by 100m. It gives the course an average gradient of more than one in 10 – and at points it’s steeper still, up to 1:6.24. At just 3.7-metres wide – narrower than a typical two-way road – and with little run-off area, the course demands precision driving. These factors combine to make hill climb racing particularly thrilling and addictive for competitors and spectators alike.

The attempt took place at the course’s Season Opener, the first competitive event held at Shelsley Walsh in 2024, on Sunday 14 April. Making the record particularly challenging to achieve, Prosser was permitted just two official timed runs in which to set it. These followed a total of eight practice runs – an amount of track time amounting to little over four minutes.

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As electric cars find their feet in UK motorsport, a particular quirk of the entry was the requirement for the Taycan to be supplied with an ‘EV Passport’ from the governing body for motorsport, Motorsport UK. It contained details such as the location of the car’s cut-off switch, reassuring the venue’s scrutineers and marshals of the safety of the car in a circuit environment.

Dan Prosser, the record-setting driver and co-founder of The Intercooler, said: “I wish I could say it was all down to my extraordinary skill behind the wheel! But in truth the car’s power, traction, grip and agility meant it gobbled up Shelsley Walsh quicker than many of the race cars that turned up during the weekend – and faster than every other road car. It demonstrates how effective EVs can be in short-form motorsport like hillclimbing, plus sprints, autosolos and so on. The outright electric car record at Shelsley Walsh, less than a second quicker than the time I set in the Taycan, is currently held by a Formula E car. Now I'm eying up the new generation Taycan, wondering which variant I should take back to the hill...”

Annie Goodyear, Competition Manager at Shelsley Walsh, said: “Seeing such an innovative vehicle here embodies what hill climbing is all about. The Taycan delivered over the weekend to not just beat but smash the Production Electric Vehicle and Estate Car records. From 111 road and race cars competing here on the day, Dan was 11th fastest overall – if he were to return in the summer, he’d be in the Tin Top Top Ten Run Off, part of the British Hillclimb Championship. As we go into our 119th year on the hill at Shelsley Walsh it’s fantastic to see times being beaten, for that is what hill climbing is all about, beating the clock.”
 

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