Electric Cars to Race at Brandon High School
Photo/text by Carl Wagenfohr
Stephanie Wagenfohr shakes down the USF Alumni electrathon car on the Brandon High School track last weekend.
BRANDON - While NASCAR, IndyCar and the American LeMans series have concluded their 2009 seasons, Electrathon of Tampa Bay will be heating-up the running track at Brandon High School this Saturday - Silently!
The first of six planned events in the 2009-10 season, the Eagle Electric Racing Doubleheader Electrathon Race is billed as the "Clash of Champions" pitting Brandon High School Electric Eagle Racing against their Panhandle rivals, the Milton High School Tigers, to crown the 2009 State Electrathon Champions.
The field will also include teams from USF Alumni ET Racing, ASME USF Electrathon, Middleton High School Electrathon, Plant City High Electric Raider Racing, Tampa Bay Tech Titan Electric Car Club, and King High School Academy of Robotics. The car constructors and drivers are largely high school and university students.
An electrathon is a custom built three or four wheeled electric vehicle, somewhat similar in overall appearance to a Go-Kart, but powered by an electric motor and batteries. Driver's weight is ballasted to 180 lbs for fairness. Safety regulations require features such as braking systems, roll bars, and electrical disconnects.
The basic format is to determine which car can travel the furthest distance in one hour's time within the limitations of battery weight and other factors. The main design problem is posed by the fact that fast speeds drain the batteries rapidly, resulting in the car not being able to continue in motion for the entire hour. Design teams must compromise speed in order to gain distance.
Saturday's on-track activities kick-off at 2:30pm with a 45-minute practice session, followed by a drivers meeting at 3:30.
The first of two 1-hour races will start at 4pm, with the green flag falling for the second race of the double header at 7:30pm. A half-time show is scheduled from 5:45 to 7:15pm.
Seating will be in Brandon High's grandstands, a DJ will provide entertainment and a food concession will be operating to satisfy fans appetites. Admission is free.
Brandon High School is located at 1101 Victoria Street in Brandon. More information is available on the event website, electrathonoftampabay.org.
Return to Current Edition