Thoughts from the pits on race day.

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 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.

Vic Nieves


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *