The 2010 Easter Thunderball at Santa Pod Raceway held host to the first round of the VWDRC championships for the year. Amongst several rookie racers competing for the first time was Sam Young in his black electric-powered VW Beetle. Competing in the VW Sportsman category the team started with a dial-in time of 13.49 seconds and ran a 14, going on to run a 12.37 second pass which made them eligible for the VW Pro category. After beating the current VW Pro champion James Hodson they set their record-breaking 11.95 second time in their bye-run through the semis, narrowly missing out on an overall victory in their first outing by losing to Dave Bridge in the final.
“Black Current” has set a new UK and European record for electric vehicles
We've been speaking to NEDRA (National Electric Drag Racing Associstion) in the US and apparently a tube chassis car with a shell over the top is classed as XS (Extreme Street) and in that class we are now the world record holders! "with the 11.95 run. Sam Young, "
Hinting at the potential yet unrealised in the car, Sam says "I believe there are two other quicker cars in the US, an 11.4 and an 11.08, but these are in a different class. I think if we can get hold of some Lithium Ion batteries things could get really interesting. "
The car and the team behind it
The car is the work of masses of development and research by the team. Starting at an early age the two brothers Sam and Olly began by experimenting with an abandoned Milk Float and their work has paid dividends. Sam drives the car, Olly is the Crew Chief, whilst a friend Paul is their data analyst/consultant.
The record breaking car is powered by twin forklift truck motors with 60 12 volt batteries and a Gearvendor over/under drive unit. This set-up produces around 1200lb/ft of torque and a 0-60 time of around 3 seconds.
Chromolly tube item built by Jim Smith.
The 1963 VW Beetle that is the basis for the car has undergone a massive amount of work to ensure that it is able to deal with the loads and stresses placed on it by such a huge amount of power. The original bodyshell remains but the chassis is a custom
The Volkswagen Drag Racing Club
The VWDRC is the biggest one-make drag racing club in the world and is currently in its 22nd year. The classes are open to all vehicles built by the Volkswagen-Audi Group (including Seat and Skoda), and any vehicles powered by VAG engines. For more information visit their website at http://www.vwdrc.com/ .
The next round of the VWDRC championship is Big Bang at Santa Pod on the 23rd-25th April.
The Black Current team can next be seen competing in the alternative-energy championships on 23rd April and then in the VWDRC at the Big Bang event.