Columbus, Neb. – Cool temperatures, high winds and a little bit of rain and snow didn’t dampen this year’s finals of the Power Drive championships, as Elkhorn and Wayne captured Saturday’s overall championship, held at Warner Park in LaVista.
A combination of the competitive endurance rally, design engineering, and documentation supplied by each competing school determined the winners. Points were awarded in each category of Standard, Advanced and Exhibition, and were combined to tally a final score. The event has been held annually since 1998 and is co-sponsored by the Nebraska Public Power District and the Omaha Public Power District.
Elkhorn topped the field in the Standard Class followed by Columbus Lakeview in second, Bancroft-Rosalie in third, Raymond Central in fourth, and Beatrice in fifth. Lakeview was ranked first in Design Engineering with Syracuse second and Adams Central third. Elkhorn was first in Documentation with Wayne second and Bancroft-Rosalie third.
Columbus Lakeview topped the Standard Class in the Endurance Rally portion of Saturday’s competition with 45 laps completed in the 60-minute race, followed by Elkhorn with 44 laps, and Raymond Central third with 42 laps.
Wayne was the overall champion in the Advanced Class followed by Elkhorn in second, Raymond Central in third, Bancroft-Rosalie in fourth, and Cedar Rapids Kennedy from Iowa finished fifth. Adams Central was first in Design Engineering followed by Elkhorn and Wayne. In Documentation, Elkhorn earned first place followed by Bancroft-Rosalie and Wayne.
In the Endurance Rally portion of the Advanced Class, Wayne led the competition with 43.5 laps completed. Following closely was Raymond Central with 43 laps, and Elkhorn earned third place with 42 laps completed.
Bellevue West was first In the Exhibition Class Endurance Rally with 43 laps completed, followed by Raymond Central with 35.5 laps and Bancroft-Rosalie was third with 26 laps. In the Novice Division Endurance Rally competition, Winside topped the field.
The award for Best Driving Team went to Columbus Lakeview, and Bancroft-Rosalie won the Best Pit Crew Award. Chase County received the award for Best Performance by a First Year Team, and Elkhorn won the Ken Kitchen Best Paint/Finish award.
Cody Slater of Syracuse High School was the recipient of the $1,000 Power Drive Scholarship, and Callen Hedglen of Bellevue East received the $1,000 Paul High Scholarship.
Saturday’s event marked the completion of this year’s competition that included previous races in Lincoln, Hastings, Grand Island and West Point. The Power Drive program gives high school students hands-on experience building a safe, energy-efficient, electric vehicle. Teams design and build electric-powered vehicles during the school year, and then student drivers test their creations against other teams in several categories: braking ability, endurance, maneuverability and overall design/construction.