The 2010 Polytechnic West EV Challenge is complete, and we’re happy to announce that all vehicles and drivers emerged unscathed.
The challenge is a chance for youngsters from schools around Perth to build electric cars and then race them in a 21st century soapbox derby. Unfortunately, kids behind the wheels of homebrew go karts can cause some road hazards. After last year’s event, then known as the Swan TAFE EV Challenge, we told you about the thrills and spillsthat took place.
Despite a record number of entrants, this year there were no such shenanigans. “Determined to avoid a repeat of the incident filled event last year, the marshals did an excellent job ensuring the safety of the drivers and spectators,” said River Raiders team member Wayne Prangell.
The winning team, from Shenton College, completed 56 laps of the 1,500 foot race circuit in a one hour period, two more laps than last year’s winner. In addition, Prangell’s River Raiders achieving a new 50 second lap record for the course.
If those numbers don’t sound like F1 material, it’s because the EV challenge is a short-term endurance race with cars that are limited to a maximum speed of 19 mph. Teams choose batteries with a capacity of no more than 18Ah for 24 volt batteries and 12 Ah for 36 volt batteries — except for teams that use batteries provided by battery-maker Yuasa.
Cars are in different classes based on kids’ ages, how much adult help they got building the cars and what kinds of batteries they used. The rules require three drivers to complete 20 minutes of racing each. The teams that complete the most number of laps win.
“While the number of entrants running lithium polymer batteries was on the increase, the event winners drove consistently, avoiding incidents and completing the required two driver changes with precision, winning the event with sealed lead acid (SLA) batteries,” Prangell said.
Photos: Wayne Prangell
Here come the River Raiders
Time for a pit stop