8Th Annual USF Electrathon Comes Off Without a Hitch – Almost

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.

2-20-16 USF

Vic Nieves

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