Tesla Model S Plaid once again sets a new EV lap record at the famous Laguna Seca race track in California. The credit goes to Tesla modification gurus at Unplugged Performance and driver Craig Coker.
Unplugged Tesla Plaid first set a new EV lap record at Laguna Seca in 2021 and Randy Pobst drove the car. Now, the car has been modified and tuned even further to curb more seconds off the lap record time.
Unplugged Performance has named the latest version of its modified Tesla Model S Plaid “Dark Helmet”.
Dark Helmet just lit up the Corkscrew at the GridLife Laguna finals. The weekend was a celebration of diverse speed and innovation, and the Unplugged Performance Tesla Model S Plaid, Dark Helmet, was a silent killer at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca. With a podium finish and two incredible track records, Dark Helmet showcased the immense potential of electric vehicles on the track, and we couldn’t be prouder.Unplugged Performance Press Release / Video Below
Craig Coker’s Unplugged Tesla Model S Plaid aka Dark Helmet completed the Laguna Seca lap in 1:26.7 and Randy Pobst’s 2021 Unplugged Plaid did it in 1:28.213. Two years of research and tuning shoved off 1.513 seconds from the EV lap record time. In supercar performance racing, it’s a big achievement. You can watch the entire lap video below.
However, I was more impressed with the handling of the Unplugged Tesla Model S Plaid than the record lap time. If you look at the Laguna Seca race track circuit diagram at point #8, this is the sharp and difficult Corkscrew turn. And the way Craig Coker maneuvered the Unplugged Tesla Model S Plaid at this turn made it look easy.
The turn is named Corkscrew for a reason, it’s a twisted one like a real corkscrew that is used to open bottle corks.
Craig explained the entire experience and technicalities of how he approaches the Laguna Seca Corkscrew in the Unplugged Tesla Model S Plaid. “Corkscrew is fun in Dark Helmet!” he said in a tweet. He further wrote the following details on X:
I approach this section a little differently vs other cars I drive. I can’t attack the inside line because of the low profile and aero. I focus on trail braking and loading up the front to rotate the car and setup for the lower section. Then I’m on throttle right after the crest.
The yoko tires do their magic on the bottom section and provide me grip like it’s on rails. Even on this line you can see the car compressed and hitting the ground. For those that don’t know the sparks are normal. That is the titanium strikers that are saving the aero and other components from damage
Development driver, Craig Coker, was the maestro behind the wheel clocking a remarkable lap time of 1:26.7, securing a well-deserved podium finish, as well as setting two new records. Dark Helmet is now the fastest EV, and the fastest sedan to ever lap Laguna Seca. To put this in perspective, Dark Helmet is faster around Laguna Seca than hypercars McLaren Senna, P1 and Porsche 918. Craig achieved another first for Dark Helmet, an astounding 2.5 lateral G’s in cornering thanks to Yokohama A005 slicks. These tires, designed for the most demanding track conditions, provided the traction and control needed to break records and set new standards.
Dark Helmet’s journey continues as it heads to SEMA 2023 in Las Vegas next week, followed by a return to Buttonwillow Raceway Park for the Global Time Attack Finals on November 10-12. It’s gearing up for another round of record-breaking runs, and we can’t wait to see what it accomplishes next.Unplugged Performance