Bailey Campbell Takes on Ultra4 EV Spec Class
Electric vehicles are here to stay and Ultra4 has joined the EV team.
Safety, racebility, and sustainability are the keys to electric success.
Ultra4 has announced a new EV spec class. There will be three races for the 2022 year, each being a rocky ultra4 style race but lasting only 30 mins. Mr. Ultra4, Dave Cole, said the courses will be short but will require a minimum of 35 inch tires. The EV motor and battery systems will all be exactly the same for the 11 teams that have contracted to race the EV class so far, but the chassis and design are all up to the team engineers. So we expect to see a unique lineup of machines for this first EV season.
The EV system is produced by Dana Spicer electrified for the motor, Hypercraft Racing for the batteries, and AEM EV for the computer systems. So far the system will put out 335 horsepower, 885 foot pounds of torque, and 40 kilowatt hours of battery. The motor runs on four separate batteries. This allows teams to distribute weight to their choosing. It is also a safety measure. Each battery has a high voltage interlock system that trips if temps get too high or anything goes wrong. Safety is the number one priority for EV development. It is no walk in the park to develop and race one of these machines. 2 days of EV safety training is required before you can receive any high voltage components. Then you must complete a training to run the AEM systems so you can’t program your vehicle correctly. Then you must submit a minimum of 3 hours of test data before you can be cleared to race.
Although they say this class is open to anyone who wants to join, they weren’t specific on where to purchase the system or how much it would cost. The estimate for the 820 pound motor and batteries, before purchasing a second set of batteries to hot swap, is similar to that of an engine build for a race truck. Approximately 60k-70k. But don’t worry, you can charge your race car at any Tesla charging station.
Each team so far has contracted to race for 3 years under this spec, short, ultra4 style race format. Bailey Campbell, of Campbell enterprises, is included in this list.
There were skeptics about electric fuel injection, but now it rules the automotive world. As much as the off-road community may turn their noses up at electric, it seems to be here for the long haul. It will not only help reduce complaints about noise, but it will appease environmentalists complaints to racing’s carbon footprint. This will make racing more sustainable and allow future generations to continue the legacy of conquering Mother Nature, without destroying it. Ford Motors has a current market value of 18 billion dollars, and a lot of that comes from their involvement with EV development. They have a mentality to have one foot in today, and one foot in the future.
As much as we all love the sound of an angry V8, having a silent engine will allow drivers to listen to their car in new ways. You can hear the tires gripping, the suspension components, even steering feedback. The VCU, or vehicle control unit, also allows you to map more components of your vehicle. Now instead of just be drive by wire, you can include steering, braking, torque vectoring and more. The software aspect leads to a whole new kind of garage where you might have more engineers than mechanics.