The 2021 San Felipe 250 off-road race in the Baja peninsula is complete. A Lordstown Endurance EV prototype racing truck entered the race, but it did not finish. It stopped around the mile marker 40. Here is what happened.
Thanks to Mark Rotarius for providing information and GPS-replay related to this race.
Lordstown Motors has been building up this race entry for several weeks. Lordstown teamed up with Brenthel Industries, a reputable company that specializes in building Baja racing trucks. The team at Brenthel built a specialized tube chassis, suspension, and cabin that complies with the off-road racing regulations. The team at Lordstown Motors installed the Endurance truck electric hub motors, battery packs, and the rest of the hardware and software that makes it all work together. The truck’s race number for this weekend is E414.
The team at Lordstown Motors looked at this race as an opportunity to test and prove their EV truck components. Their production truck’s total power figure is stated at 600 hp (150hp per wheel/motor). Their production truck driving range is listed at 250+ miles from a 109 kWh battery pack. It’s unclear what battery size or power output the company used in this one-off racing truck.
Many enthusiasts welcomed this EV truck racing entry, just like they welcomed a second all-electric privateer racing truck in this race – a Toyota 4Runner chassis with Nissan Leaf electric powertrain. (This EV truck’s racing number is E422). A race like the San Felipe 250 is one of the most grueling environments for any vehicle. Simply entering the race and attempting to finish it is a feat in itself.
Lordstown Motors chose Matthew Blanchard as the racing driver for this race. He is currently lists as Lordstown Director of Security on LinkedIn. Several unofficial reports suggest that this was Matt Blanchard’s first San Felipe 250 race.
The Lordstown E414 race truck reportedly slowed down, stopped, and turned off the racing course around mile marker 40. The truck (that was equipped with a GPS tracker for fans to follow) then drove towards a nearby highway for a charge. Each truck’s driving route can be confirmed via a recording of a GPS tracker that fans have access to.
The Lordstown E414 racing truck reportedly spent nearly 2.5 hours charging and/or working on the truck (from 1:18 pm PST Apr 17th – 3:45 pm PST Apr 17th), then attempted to return to the racecourse via the access road, but reportedly missed the turn and kept going further. After retracing its steps several times on the access road, the Lordstown E414 truck appeared to abort the race and returned to the start/finish place by not following the racecourse.
The other EV truck E422 reportedly needed to swap its batteries during the race. Refueling, swapping batteries, or charging up is allowed during the race – as long as it’s not done on the blacktop of the nearby highway. Truck E422 completed about 160 miles of the racing distance, but then had to return to the start/finish because the allowable racing time limit was close to expiring (the race is limited to 13 hours from your starting time).
Lordstown Motors released the following statement after the race.
Stay tuned for more updates as they become available.