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Reversed! Sanctioning Body Switches Gears On E-Ray Racetrack Ban

Check out this good ole fashioned back pedaling

E-Ray Given the Green Light, Image Courtesy of AutoEvolution

Well, that happened quickly, as I just reported last week about the controversial banning that sent ripples through the community and seemed to affect those who had no intentions of buying an E-Ray, let alone tracking it. The effect was understandable, as this was an outcry based on principle, along the lines of “How dare they?!?”

As a refresher, here is how the rule is written.

For what it’s worth, I went back to their rule book, section 1.8.1, to see if it has been revised yet, and it hasn’t. But the reversal was just issued the other day, so I’m sure they will get on it. Or given what the NCCC president said, maybe it will remain as written.

What did the NCCC specifically say about their reversal? Well, that the E-Ray really wasn’t banned in the first place, and we just misunderstood the rule. Wait, what? The rule specifically says “hybrid” and “lithium-type battery”, which fits the 1.9-kWh lithium-augmented E-Ray perfectly. Here is the NCCC’s statement, directly from their president Deb Murphy (click on image to enlarge).

The excerpt that really stands out is this backpedaling gem:

“I would like to clarify the discussion at the November meeting compared to what has appeared across the media: Discussion concerning the electric cars (plug in kind) that have caught fire. We did not include hybrid cars in that discussion…Hybrids are allowed at our competitions and E-Rays will be welcomed at our events.”

And once again the rule, so you don’t have to scroll up.

Yes, I’m having a hard time reconciling her statement to the rule as well. Now on to Harland Charles’ comments about the E-Ray being tested “extensively in rigorous track environments“. He’s the Corvette product marketing manager, so kind of a big deal. The NCCC president goes on to share what she learned from Charles at the Bash, specifically that during development the E-Ray team “completed more than 1500 track laps, including continuous lapping, plus robust durability testing“, and that the E-Ray “complies with NHTSA crash test standards and was built to meet with recommendations by the SAE and ISO regarding emergency responder access to critical hardware…

Gosh, it would have been nice for her and the NCCC to do this research before issuing the confusing rule. Okay, enough with badgering them, mistakes and confusion happen in life, and we can all move on. You don’t have to look far on the web to see how rigorously the E-Ray was tested, as they took it to the king litmus of manufacturer testing tracks, the famed Nurburgring in Germany.

By the way, if you have a fully electric vehicle, you are still out of luck. As we also reported, Summit Point Motorsports Park also issued a ban for both all-electric and hybrid vehicles, and it will be interesting to see if they issue a reversal or clarification as well.

Enthusiasts and the internet, in general, tend to gravitate to and even thrive on drama, so in that regard, this rollercoaster of track news for the E-Ray has been a success. We have an active community on our Facebook page, I would love to hear your thoughts on these newest developments!  Douglas B.