Napoleon Motorsports brought the EL1 Chevrolet Camaro electric drift car to compete at the first round of Formula Drift over the weekend. Unfortunately, the city of Long Beach had other plans.
Drifting has easily been the fastest growing motorsport worldwide over the last decade. One of its main draws is that the rules allow for a lot of creativity when it comes to car type. Drifting is the only motorsport in which an early 1990s Nissan with a Chevrolet V8 engine can go head to head against a turbo-charged, four cylinder, 1,000 horsepower Toyota Corolla.
That is why there was so much excitement for Napoleon Motorsports’ entry. The team went way outside the box with their “EL1” Chevrolet Camaro electric drift car. As previously mentioned, an electric professional drift car is something that has never been done before. Thousands of fans at Formula Drift in Long Beach were ready to see it in action.
Unfortunately the EL1 Chevrolet Camaro was denied entry into the competition. Although not by Formula Drift but by the city of Long Beach directly.
The EL1 Chevrolet Camaro was generating a lot of buzz (no pun intended). So, the Long Beach Fire Department stopped by Napoleon Motorsport’s paddock investigate.
Upon taking a closer look, they banned the team from running the car. The ban was due to the fact that they are not properly equipped to fight electric car fires.
Safety is the most important aspect of any event is very serious. However, I can’t help but be confused by this. I live in Long Beach and I see Teslas driving around the city on a daily basis.
Does this mean if one of them were to have an incident involving fire, the LBFD couldn’t handle it? Hopefully that is not the case.
Luckily, Napoleon Motorsport’s driver Travis Reeder was able to find a back up car to compete with for the weekend. The next round of Formula Drift will be in Orlando, Florida in late April.
Hopefully Orlando FD is more prepared than Long Beach FD. The world really needs to see the EL1 Chevrolet Camaro electric drift car run!