How TracPlus helped a Tesla Model 3 win the Targa West Car Rally

Earlier this year in September the highly anticipated Targa West Rally commenced for the 17th time in Perth, WA. For those that don’t know, the Targa West Rally is a four-day tarmac racing event which happens every year.

TracPlus was proud to sponsor the ‘Green Machine’ team who entered with an electric Tesla Model 3.

Now, you might be thinking electric cars have no place being in rally races - but think again.

The Tesla not only came 1st on the four day event in its class (165 kmh speed limited class) - but on the final day, the Tesla blitzed every other car in all classes by coming 1st in each and every stage of the Perth stages (beating a Mitsubishi, Ford, Honda, and even a Porsche 911).

How is this possible, you ask? … Well, we’re proud to say it came down to the help of TracPlus and the RockAIR device to help coordinate their team's Tesla race car locations & optimise it's charging assets.

The team had the one rally car and four roaming charging trucks with high speed DC chargers (that moved stage to stage to charge the rally car), making a team of 15 to ensure they won.

This image here shows all the assets running around to pre-locate at each stage in order to top up the rally car.

asset tracking

The team ran calculations that showed the Tesla Model 3 lost horsepower when it’s state of charge falls below 80%. To prevent this, the crew made a deliberate effort to use mobile DC chargers to top up the Tesla in quick ten minute bursts to keep the charge above 80%.

Utilising the technology of TracPlus and the RockAIR device, the crew could reliably track the car in real-time and ensure their charging pit stops were as speedy and efficient as possible.

We talk to Peter McMullen, the Rally Tracking Coordinator for the ‘Green Machine’ team - to hear his experience using TracPlus:

What made you choose TracPlus?

"Three years ago I discovered the RockAIR device after finding out about it’s capabilities and how it was perfect for all of my client scenarios. It just ticks every box. The fact that it has Iridium as well as cell coverage was vital for the accurate and real-time tracking of the electric car.

This meant that we could have speedy pit stops and always be ready for the car the moment it came in. Other trackers would have been too slow and inefficient, RockAIR's 15 second reporting time intervals gave us the advantage we needed.

The backup battery in the RockAIR also allowed us to have a Plan B option, because if the power source ever had an issue, the device could be fully operational running on it’s long battery life. No other product could offer us this, which is another reason why we went with RockAIR."

What did it mean for you as a race coordinator knowing that you had visibility and communication with your team at all times?

"Having full visibility of the car and communication with the team at all times was vital towards actually succeeding in the race. Not only this, but I was able to coordinate the race from my Perth office whilst it happened in 20 different locations in WA. I had real-time monitoring capabilities and I used this to help coordinate and shuffle assets when needed, while still being able to do my day job."

Anything else you would like to say about your experience using TracPlus and the RockAIR?

"For anyone who is involved in car rallies or tracking other assets, you need to be looking at the solution TracPlus provides for real-time tracking. You get nearly instantaneous knowledge about what's happening in the race, and constant communication with your crew at all times. This really gives you a massive advantage over others."

Learn more about the capabilities TracPlus can offer by filling out the form below to get in touch with our team.

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