Taking a Model S or Model 3 Tesla to the track.
John Goreham's picture

Do This Before You Even Consider Taking Your Tesla On A Racetrack

If you plan to take your Tesla to a racetrack and turn some laps, you must do this first.
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The buzz around Tesla the past week or so has been all about racetracks. Once the Porsche Taycan Turbo dropped, suddenly Tesla became a high-performance company again, and both Elon Musk and the Tesla company began tweeting and talking about how well Teslas can do on a racetrack. If this has you thinking about taking your own personal vehicle to the track, you better think ahead.
Tesla on racetrack
Before you get into the mechanical aspects of turning hot laps in a street car you plan to drive home in, stop and make certain you are insured. Your auto policy does not cover you if you crash on a racetrack. We’d love to be mistaken on that point, but we are lucky to run in a pack that knows a thing or two about the subject. Anyone who tracks their car knows that if you crash it, you pay. Crashing on a racetrack is not an “accident.” It is simply a test of driver and vehicle capabilities that verified the limits.

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Actual racing of your Tesla against other cars also on the track with you will be difficult to insure. However, there are policies that cover you in HPDE (High-Performance Driving Education) situations. Most tracks offer high-performance instruction on track, and you can use your vehicle. One insurer of vehicles used this way is Lockton Motorsports. We spoke to Morgan, and we asked her for the price to insure a Tesla Model S valued at $100K and a Model 3 valued at $50K. Morgan was super-helpful by phone and pointed out that the make of the vehicle doesn’t matter. Only the value. Lockton is unusual in that they will quote you insurance by the event, rather than just the single day. An event can last 1 to 4 days. Having taken multiple HDPE courses ourselves, we find this invaluable since most courses like an intro to racing at a Skip Barber-type of school are multi-day events. Morgan told us that the $100K car would cost $648 per event with a 10% deductible. A $50K car like the Model 3 would cost $324.
driving school lessons

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Now, what if you are not actually enrolled in a school? Perhaps you have been invited to a member’s track, or a track is opening to the public for hot laps (but not actual racing). Lockton Motorsports has you covered there as well. The price is higher, and the type of event is called “Time Trials” by Lockton. Expect to pay $100 more per event.

Lockton Motorsports suggests calling a business day ahead of your planned event. However, if you forgot and are in the paddock now waiting for your turn in the queue, call them now. They will time stamp your call and take your payment by phone.

We are lucky to be on track multiple times per year in our own vehicles (Patrick Rall) and in media test vehicles. We can tell you that during most events someone has a crash of some type. We’ve seen vehicles totaled in the first corner (true story, a Lexus IS-F) on the first lap. Plan ahead. Keep yourself safe from a financial loss. If you wreck your Tesla you are going to feel bad enough.

In addition to covering green vehicle topics, John Goreham covers safety, technology, and new vehicle news at Torque News. You can follow John on Twitter at @johngoreham.

Second image courtesy of Stephen Pace.


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Comments

This is a good article John. I have raced many times from drag strips, to circuit courses, to auto crosses, and I have never taken out special insurance for the event. But I suppose that it was taking a risk. I have certainly seen crashes in all of those venues, and I figure that they had to pay for repairs out of their own pockets. Generally, drag racing and autocross events have less chance of crashing, and most places that are performance driver training classes also offer supplemental coverage, but sometimes there is a steep deductible.