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Our next race is rapidly approaching us along with the end of the year. With the holidays, special events and family time our dedicated teams, drivers and volunteers will be at the last race of 2015. Simmons Career Center, Team Sponsor Denis Bouchard has arranged for homemade barbecue and the sides for the race. Cost will be reasonable for portions of food. Please support this new team by purchasing your lunch at the event.
The first cool race day of the year is in the books.
12 cars took the green flag for both races on the 1/4 mile track with some of the closest finishes ever in the series.
Racing on a 1/4 mile track allowed the teams to really see how the cars would do in a true time trial setting. Aerodynamics, gear ratios, battery life/conservation, steady speed and steering all come into play. Much more so than on a road course where the cars are constantly slowing down and speeding up. In the High School class the winner was driving a car with the aerodynamics of a brick and was 26 laps behind the Open Class winner and 32 laps behind the EX battery winner. All but the EX battery winner were using the same type batteries. AERODYNAMICS was a BIG factor.
In the 1st race of the High School Class, the Simmons #60 car and the Middleton #80 car had the same lap count with 80 laps on the 1/4 mile track. Simmons took 1st by mere seconds. In the second race Simmons beat Middleton again, this time by 2 laps. TBT was late starting the race when they had a brake lock up on the way to the start line otherwise they would have been in the mix for 1st.
In the second race Simmons and TBT went at it with both cars finishing with 83 laps each. Simmons took 1st again this time by 32 sec.
In the Open Class USF, driving their new car for the second race, missed 3rd place by 5 sec. to Rodney in the Tiger Racing #4 car.
In the first Open Class race, 1st and 2nd had a 2 sec. gap. The Robinson Racing #13 and #94 cars drafted each other for most of the race with the dad, in the 94 car, beating son in the #13.
In the second race the Robinson Racing #13 car took 1st again when the #94 car withdrew with it second blown tire of the race. Tiger Racing took 3rd when he had to slow down towards the end of the race in order to preserve a tire that was looking like it wanted to come apart. At the end of the race the tire looked like it was holding on by a thread or two. That left the door open for USF to come in 2d in the race and second overall in the Open Class. USF ran a strong, smooth and uneventful race which is just how it should go but rarely does.
In the Experimental Battery Class (EX) Cliff from ProEV #39 car out of Miami was unopposed and had a track high 195 laps for the day. I think he scared off the other EX Battery Class cars. There was a rumor that the other drivers had to work. Work should never get in the way of racing. Ha….
High School results for two races
1st Simmons #60 163 laps, 2nd Middleton #80 161 laps, 3rd TBT # 242 156 laps, 4th Brandon #9 149 laps, 5th Wharton #58 138 laps, 6th Brandon #14 129 laps, 7th Middleton #133 125 laps.
Open Class results for two races
1st Robinson Racing #13 189 laps, 2nd USF #132 183 laps, 3rd Tiger Racing #4 181 laps, 4th Robinson Racing #94 127 laps
Thanks to the Middleton team for putting on a great race and for the food and goodies provided. It made for a great day of racing.
In the pits during the day teams were seen helping each other and loaning batteries and wheels etc. True sportsmanship on display for this race and every race.
Hope to see everyone and more at Simmons Career Center, 1202 Grant St in Plant City on December 12, 2015.
One of the goals of Electrathon Racing is How Far Can You Go in One Hour on One Set Of Batteries.
On the 1/4 mile track is where you can find out. Aerodynamics come into play here more than on a road course. Gear ratios are the other big factor. Too high and you can kill the batteries. Too low and you cant keep up. The wear and tear on the cars is less but tires need to be 100%
ATTENTION TO DETAIL.. one problem or one oh …. and you are out of it. Make sure your mirrors are set up so you can see the car coming up on your 6.. You MUST be able to see cars coming up on BOTH sides. Min. of 8 sq. in. If you can see both sides with one mirror. Two are better.
The weather for this Sat is looking good. Not too hot and no rain.
See you Saturday.
On Tuesday, November 10, 2015, The Hillsborough County School Board will present to Ken Fiallos (ETO Founder) the 2015 STEM Champion Award. The ceremony starts at 530pm and will be held at 901 E. Kennedy Blvd in downtown Tampa. Please come out and support Ken and our organization (ETO) at this recognition ceremony.
Our next race will be at Middleton High School, located at 4801 North 22nd Street, Tampa FL 33610. The Middleton Team will be selling food as a fund raiser for their teams, one of them is an ALL GIRLS TEAM, the only one in the entire State of Florida. The course will be an oval with two areas on the back straight away that has cones to make a simple serpentine for drivers to navigate through. The green flag for the first race drops at 10am and drops again at 1pm for the second race.
The second race of the season went well. Our host, Strawberry Crest Electrathon Team with Sponsor Jim Brockman provided great food and drinks along with a challenging course. We started the race with twelve cars under the direction of our founder Ken Fiallos. Many drivers thought the drivers education range would be that simple little oval with an inset. This course challenged drivers with an inset on both ends that were not the same. Cones flew on a few occasions as the turns took over the car and away from the driver. All safety barriers proved to be effective making all drivers safe during both races. A special thanks to Tom Beck for filling in as our Race Stewart for the day.
The second race of the season is coming upon us quickly. The Strawberry Crest High School Team will host the race for the very first time. Jim Brockman (Sponsor) has done a great job getting this approved at their site for his team. Lets show our appreciation to them by having a great turn out and a safe race. The track will be set up on the drivers education pad located on the NW side of the campus. The course will be similar to that of the drivers education pad at Tampa Bay Tech as seen in the diagram. The flag to start the first race will drop at 10am followed by our second race at 1pm.
Some observations while doing pre race inspections and between races in the pits.
ATTENTION TO DETAIL. ESPECIALLY THE LITTLE THINGS can be the difference between 1st and 5th or a DNF.
A bad connector on one of the batteries on the TBT car caused a very high resistance in the 1st race. When you check voltage on the battery in the car go from battery post to battery post. Note the voltage, then check from the wing nut connector to wing nut connector and note the voltage. The readings should be Almost Identical. If not fix it.
Proper wire size, connector size, insulation and a loose connection caused the HCC car to blow the controller. The cable ends going to the controller were/are way to big and not insulated. One came loose and shorted out the controller. That was the end of the day for HCC. The cable end should be JUST big enough to go over the copper conductor. Soldering them is even better. Check with any auto parts store and get HEAT SHRINK TUBING for your connectors. That way even if they come loose they should not short anything out. The right size connectors and proper insulation are way cheaper than a new controller or other pieces of equipment. Teams that have done these things have almost no electrical problems.
I know every team has a copy of the Electrathon America Handbook handy for all those questions on batteries, wiring, car design and safety. Every one should be up on everything it contains. If you don’t have a copy go to electrathonamerica.org and download a copy.
Check paragraphs 5.2, 5.3, 5.6, 11.2, 11.7, 11.8, 13.4, 13.5, 13.6, 13.12, 16.2, 16.3, 21.1, 26.3, 28.2 and page 24 has a generic wiring diagram for an Electrathon car.
On car design: On the wheel spacing, wider is better. If you can’t make the wheel spacing wider then camber adjustment can help. A low driver position is better than a more upright position. Low center of gravity is VERY Important. Weight distribution is critical. (Is that ballast going to come loose or move during the race or if you get in the grass or in a crash or when rubbing paint with another car?) If all of these items are correct the car is very stable and not prone to tipping, spinning out or going upside down. So take a close look at your car and keep the shiny side up.
The above items will help you keep the little things from jumping up and biting you in the butt once the green flag drops.
Bright, Sunny and HOT, HOT, HOT all day. Who left the sauna door open?
The first race of the new season saw a dozen cars take the green flag at 10:00 A.M. Teams in the High School and Open Classes starting the year were Brandon H.S. with 2 cars, Tampa Bay Tech (TBT) with 1, Middleton H.S. Girls team (The boys couldn’t get their car back together in time) Simmons Career Center (Their first race) HCC, USF, Robinson Racing (with one car) and Rodney with Tiger Racing.
In the experimental battery class was Cliff from ProEV in the 39 car and the Electrocutioners with Drew in the 72 car and Miss Electrocutioner Pony Gradert in the 8 car. Drew and Cliff battled hard in both races with Drew taking both races by one or two laps for a record total of 220 for both races. All the experimental battery cars had flawless races. In past races they have had problems making the tires last the whole race.
The HCC team gets kudos for sponsoring such a excellent race and providing drinks and snacks. They did have a problem with their motor controller, their second in two days, when the magic smoke escaped from it. Seems there was a problem with a loose battery connection to the controller causing sparks and other unneeded problems. Not having another controller handy, they were done for the day shortly after the start of the race.
There were other problems with loose or bad connections during the day. The gremlin bit the TBT team when one of the battery cable clamps was bad and caused battery problems during the first race causing a 5th place finish. In the second race they got it fixed and finished 1st.
Middleton finished a strong second in the first race but had the connector gremlin bite them in the second race causing them to lose a lot of battery power.
Simmons Career Center in their first race ever had a good outing in the first race with 80 laps before the batteries went down. The electrical gremlin caused problems for the second race. We look forward to seeing them at future races and are excited about them hosting a race in December.
Brandon set a record for busted wheels and busted forks with the 9 car having one wheel go bad and then another collapsing. The 14 car had a weld break on the steering fork and had to withdraw early in the second race. Both cars had successful demonstrations of the roll cages with some paint scratches the only visible signs. We are excited to see them back on the track this year.
Rodney was testing some new motors and verified that the first one was not up to the task. There was that burnt electrical wiring smell on the front straight as he went by late in the race. In the second race he used another motor and his lap count was way up without that burnt wiring smell.
Hope to see Wharton, Strawberry Crest, Foundation, Middleton (boys team), Killer Watts, the 3rd Electrocutioner and the 2nd Robinson cars racing at the October 17th race. We will be making the stat sheet bigger.
Check the schedule for future races. One note for the Middleton race, We will be on the 1/4 mile running track so get your drafting gear ready.
High School Class
1st Brandon Car 9, 146 laps
2nd Tampa Bay Tech Car 242, 135 laps
3rd Brandon Car 14, 107 laps
4th Middleton Car 133, 83 laps
5th Simmons Car 60, 80 laps
1st Robinson and Son Car 94, 215 laps
2nd Tiger Racing Car 4, 114 laps
3rd USF Car 132, 110 laps
4th HCC Car 30, 2 laps
Experimental Battery Class
1st Electrocutioner Car 72, 220 laps
2nd Pro EV Car 39, 218 laps
3rd Electrocutioner Car 8, 165 laps
Vic Nieves, Communications Director