Lucas Ordóñez started in karts, was the first winner of the Gran Turismo Academy racing competition and is today a full blown professional racing driver. But his coolest accomplishment to date may be that he just took the first all-electric lap at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
He ran the Nissan ZEOD RC the entire 8.5 miles of the Circuit de la Sarthe, with only his two 110 kW electric motors spinning at 40,000 rpm putting the power to the ground. The electric motors get only enough energy to do one practice lap before the batteries are drained and the 400-hp 1.5-liter 3-cylinder kicks in.
Unfortunately, only twenty-four minutes later the car was dead and marshals were escorting it to the side of the track. Nissan’s only explanation thus far is “gearbox failure”. The ZEOD RC is basically a plug-in hybrid, so there are certainly a lot of systems that could have been at fault.