Final official stats for the year will be available at the end of the year banquet. Stats for 2015-2016 After 9 Races. Final Stats
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The 2015 – 2016 Electrathon and Junior Solar Sprint Race Season is over; we held nine races at various locations and had a great time. We want to thank everyone that sponsored a race at their location; the site was opened for us to have a Saturday full of fun and camaraderie among our teams.
The ETO Banquet (barbecue) and Awards Ceremony will be held on Saturday, June 4, 2016 from 4:30 – 7 p.m. at the HCPS Instructional Services Center, 2920 N. 40th Street, Tampa Florida 33605. The cost is $10.00 adults/$6.00 kids under 12. Please RSVP the number in your party to firstname.lastname@example.org.We want to thank our 2015 – 2016 sponsors and supporters for this race season:
- Rob Nolen, Manager of the Valrico Lowes
- Bob Clarke, Owner of Clarke Automotive in Brandon
- Parrot Signs
- Debbie Dixon, Great Florida Insurance, Lakeland Florida
- Dan McFarland, Hillsborough County Public Schools
- Larry Plank, Hillsborough County Public Schools
- Cliff Rassweiler, Team Pro EV
- Rodney Schreck, Team Tiger Racing
- Vic Nieves, Retiree Hillsborough County Public Schools
- Jim Robinson, Team Robinson and Son
- Laura and Richard Epperson, Friends of ETO
- Numerous individuals that made cash donations to support Electrathon of Tampa Bay
Our next race (last one of the season) will be on May 14, 2016 at the Florida Solar Energy Center located at 1679 Clearlake Road, Cocoa, Florida. We will be meeting soon to plan the course.
The Florida Solar Energy Center’s Energy Whiz is all about clean energy and creative kids. Once a year hundreds of students converge at the Florida Solar Energy Center in Cocoa, Florida to participate in renewable energy competitions. Created by the Florida Solar Energy Center in 1999, the Energy Whiz is a forum for students to demonstrate their science, technology, engineering, artistic and mathematics (STEAM) knowledge and skills, as they relate to energy topics such as solar thermal, photovoltaic’s (PV) and hydrogen technologies. Competitions include: Junior Solar Sprint, Critter Comfort Cottage, Energy Transfer Machine, Solar Energy Cook-off, Energy Innovations, Hydrogen Challenge, and of course, the Energy Whiz EVTC Electrathon race.
For more information about the Energy Whiz Olympics, you may download their brochure at http://www.energywhiz.com/energywhiz/EWO-brochure_EW-10.pdf.
If you intend to participate in the Electrathon race held at the Florida Solar Energy Center during the Energy Whiz Olympics on May 14, YOU MUST PRE-REGISTER. TO REGISTER, click on this link, complete the form, and click the “submit” button at the end of the registration page.
Our last local race of the season set two records with our largest fields and our longest course. With over a third mile course and 15 cars it made for an eventful weekend. The number and quality of the cars is getting better each race. New cars and teams are coming to the front and all the teams will have to work to keep up. The High School Class is now on a par with the Open Class for lap count and speed.
The course in front of the Special Events Center at the Florida State Fairgrounds was a long rectangle with an S and a 135 and 45 degree turn on the far end. The teams managed to get thru there with only a few bumps and spins but there was a lot of grass torn up over the course of two races. Hope we don’t have to replace the grass.
The High School Class had its biggest field of the year with 9 cars and 6 teams. In the Experimental Battery Class all three of the Electrocutioners were there along with the return of Pro EV. The Open Class was missing the Robinson Racing Team since Jim Robinson sold both of his cars and did not finish a new car in time for this race, so it was left up to USF and Tiger Racing to battle it out.
In the Open Class Tiger Racing and USF traded 1st and 2nd place finishes and the same lap count. Tiger Racing came out on top by 16 seconds over the two hours of racing.
Rumor has it that Jim Robinson will be at the Florida Solar Energy Center race in May. Another rumor has new Open Class cars from the Orland area representing Seminole State College and U.C.F. Both Teams expected to be at the Florida Solar Energy Center race in May. Team members from these colleges were at the Fairgrounds race to check out how its done and are enthusiastic.
There was a little drama before the first race when the Middleton girl’s team had their car and driver there but tools were late arriving, so they had to really hustle to get the car set up for the race.
After the first race, the Brandon team had a problem with their drive wheel on one of their cars and was in danger of missing the start of the second race. ETO had a car on display inside the MakerCon exhibit that wound up missing the drive wheel for part of the day. Brandon somehow was able to start the second race on time with a perfectly good drive wheel.
The only trading paint, that I am aware of, happened in the first race when a high school car ran up on the back end of the Pro EV 39 car going into the turns. The Pro EV car has regenerative braking which helps recharge the batteries during the race. To do this the freewheel on the drive wheel is replaced with a fixed gear that turns the motor into a generator when the driver lets off of the throttle. It automatically slows the car and the trailing car was not expecting that. The 39 car was run into and two trailing cars had to take evasive action resulting in a spin and some torn up grass. The 39 car had to withdraw to check the rear end and drive system.
The Experimental Battery Class was on fire racking up over 30 more laps than the other classes. They are running Lithium Ion batteries which only weigh 15-18 lbs. Teams recharge their batteries between races so they only need one set as opposed to the HS and Open Class with lead acid batteries and 73 lbs.
In the second race the TBT team rolled the dice and tried a 48 volt battery pack. Most of the cars use a 24 volt battery pack. By going to 48 volts, the motor speed is doubled along with a much higher potential for speed. Good idea but the battery pack didn’t last and the team saw their lap count drop dramatically. The Middleton teams are having good success with 48 volts.
Wharton HS was back in action after missing some races and Lennard HS, the new kid on the block was back for their second race. Both teams put up some respectable lap counts and no problems.
In the Experimental Class Drew and Pony continue to cause confusion on who is driving which car by switching drivers from race to race in the 08 and 72 cars. Overall finish was 08 1st, 72 in 2nd, 90 in 3rd with Slam at the wheel and the 39 in 4th.
In the HS Class it was Simmons 35 in 1st, Middleton 80 in 2nd, Middleton Girls 133 in 3rd, Simmons 53 in 4th, Brandon 14 in 5th, Wharton 58 in 6th, Lennard 86 in 7th, TBT 242 in 8th, and Brandon 09 in 9th.
I want to give a shout out to the Florida State Fair Crew for their help with last minute issues to get the course ready and safe.
A shout out also to Steve Lamson and his friend from Post FX Digital Studios from Orlando. They were busy all day getting interviews, video and stills of the races. Can’t wait to see what they come up with.
Our last race of the season is May 14th at the Florida Solar Energy Center over in Cocoa. Plans are being finalized and we look forward to another great race to end the season.
The end of year banquet and awards are coming up, we will pass on the info as soon as it is finalized.
Our next race will be held on April 9, 2016 at the Florida State Fairgrounds located at 4800 US Hwy 301 in Tampa Florida. Our track is 1710′ long and includes an S curve and a tight turn on the North end of the track. Our first race will be at 10am and our second race will be at 1pm. This race will be part of the 2016 MakerCon Event which will include mechanical, electrical, communications, transportation, hardware and software development, heritage crafts and trades, arts, music, gaming, modeling and simulation, and STEM initiatives. We will have one of our Electrathon cars (ETO Car 60) on display inside with brochures for guests attending the event.
For the first time in Electrathon of Tampa Bay history teams went for speed over endurance but endurance did pop up in the first race. The races were held on the flat 1/4 running track at Middleton High School.
A normal race day has two one hour endurance races. This time around the teams went for speed over a pair of 20 min. races. One third the time of a regular race. With one third the time conventional wisdom would say you would not run out of battery power. Over two races a couple of teams did manage to run low on power.
In the first race of the High School Class the Middleton 80 car with their big gears installed jumped out to a very fast start and a commanding lead. They ran out of power late in the race and finished second to the Middleton Girls Team in the 133 car by one lap. But they also turned in the fastest lap of the day for the High School Class at 26.684 sec. over 1/4 mile for 33.72 mph. The fastest lap of the day was in the Experimental Battery Class by the Electrocutioners in the 90 car at 25.644 sec. for 37.908 mph.
If the Middleton girls could get some new/better batteries I think they could take the boys team on a regular basis. The car is fast enough.
Race day saw some new cars and new faces competing. Simmons Career Center showed up with their second car and a new driver. We want to welcome Lennard High School and their 86 car. For their first ever race day they posted very respectable lap totals. In the spirit of sportsmanship Simmons loaned Lennard a set of batteries for the second race since Lennard only has one set of batteries. As a new team they are still assembling the gear for their team.
In the open class Rodney in the 04 battled USF in the 132 car both races to come out on top. They were together in the first race till a few min. to go then the 04 took off for a one lap win with 34 total. In the second race the 04 car picked it up quite a bit and put in 39 laps.
In the Experimental Battery Class it was Drew and Pony and then Pony and Drew trading wins and cars in the two races. In the first race it was Drew in the 90 with 45 laps and Pony in the 72 with 45 laps with Drew by 3 sec. for 1st.
In the second race it was Pony in the 90 car with 45 laps and Drew in the 72 car with 44.
Both races went off without a hitch and the closest we came to an OOOPS was late in the first race when Pony in the 72 car got into the grass coming off of the last turn. She was able to recover with no problem but after race when she was in the pits one of her tires blew out. She literally drove the wheels off of her car.
The High School class is improving and getting bigger all the time. The cars are getting better and the drivers are getting more experienced. There was not a lot of difference between the Open and High School Class with the High School getting closer to the Open Class in overall performance.
Our next race in at the Florida State Fairground. We will NOT be using last years course. We will have a course picked out next week.
Open Class 1st Tiger Racing 04 car 73 laps, 2nd USF 132 car 68 laps
Ex. Battery 1st Electrocutioners 90 car 90 laps, 2nd Electrocutioners 72 car 89 laps
High School 1st Middleton 80 car 74 laps, 2nd Tampa Bay Tech 242, 3rd Middleton 133 car, 4th Simmons 53 car, 5th Simmons 35 car, 6th Brandon 14 car, 7th Lennard 86 car, 8th Brandon 09 car
Our next race will be held at Middleton High School, located at 4801 N. 22nd Street, Tampa, FL 33610 on March 12, 2016. This race will be unlike our normal races as our drivers will have only 20 minutes to obtain as many laps as possible. The course will be the oval track at the stadium. In between our Electrathon races, 11am to 1230pm our Junior Solar Sprint Teams will be racing their cars.
Our High School and College Divisions will race at the same time, line up for the first race will be at 945am, green flag racing will be 10am to 1020am. The second race line up will be at 1245pm, green flag racing will be 1pm to 120pm.
Our Open and Experimental Divisions will race at the same time, line up for the first race will be at 1025am, green flag racing will be 1040am to 1100am. The second race line up will be at 125pm, green flag racing will be 140pm to 2pm.
It was a great day for racing, Sunny, Clear Skies, Cool Temps and a great USF course. This is the 8th time we have raced at USF and it has always been a great event on our most challenging course. Its a great test of teams and equipment.
As the cars lined up for the start of the first race and were checking their transponders for the automatic scoring system, a HITCH struck the 80 car from Middleton High School. As they were pushing the car under the scoring bridge to check the transponder they noticed that one of the front wheels was going straight and the other was in a hard right turn. A catastrophic steering system failure. The team had to carry the car back to the pits to work on it.
The race started on time with the Electrocutioners in the #8 and #90 cars and the Tiger Racing #4 car jumping out to an early lead and stayed there. The #8 car which is one of the faster cars had problems with charging the Lithium Ion batteries and ran low of battery power and had to withdraw late in the race and was not able to start the second race. The 90 car was the class of the field taking both class races and First Overall with 150 laps.
Simmons Career Center showed up with a new car. The #35 car was built by Robinson Racing and was one of the faster cars during the day. They were the first in the High School division first race by one lap over the TBT 242 car. In the second race they got bumped with 10 min, to go and had to pit. That allowed the TBT 242 car to pick up laps and finish first overall in the High School Class by three laps.
Wharton High in the 58 car had a drive wheel eat up the bearings and had to withdraw in the first race. They were turning some fast laps when it happened.
Now back to the HITCH/disaster with the Middleton 80 car. They pulled off a feat never seen before in an Electrathon race. They first repaired the steering system with the welder they just happened to bring with them. When the repair didn’t work they fabricated a complete new steering system and had it ready to go for the second race where they put in some fast laps.
We had some Electrathon Alumni stop by. We want to give a shout out to Ken Nay, a retired instructor from Plant City and his number one driver and builder Zack also from Plant City. They stopped by to say hello and just like when they were running their cars back in the day they jumped in and helped Middleton with their car.
We have a race scheduled at the Florida Solar Energy Center later this year and representatives from the center came over to check out the Expo and our race. They had many favorable comments on our race, the teams, the pits and the enthusiasm and cooperation exhibited by all.
High School Division: 1st TBT, 2nd Simmons, 3rd Brandon 14, 4th Brandon 09, 5th Middleton, 6th Wharton
Open Class Division: 1st Tiger Racing, 2nd USF, 3rd Robinson Racing
Experimental Battery Division: 1st Electrocutioners 90, 2nd Electrocutioners 08
Next race is on the track at Middleton High School on March 12th. Hope to see everyone there.
Our next race will be held at the University of South Florida Campus located at 4202 East Fowler Avenue, Tampa 33620. The Engineering Expo will have events on Friday, February 19, 2016 of which ETO will have cars on display. Our Junior Solar Sprint (JSS) and Electrathon Races will be Saturday, February 20, 2016. The green flag for the first Electrathon race will drop at 10am. Our JSS Races will be between 11am and 1230pm. The green flag for our second Electrathon race will drop at 1pm. The Electrathon course is challenging for our drivers and exciting to watch as a spectator. Come out for a free day of fun for the entire family.