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.
Stats for 2015-2016 After 8 Races-1