Columbus, Neb. – Four preliminary races are now in the books for the 2013 Power Drive competition. Next up are the championship finals this Saturday, May 4.
The fourth and final rally prior to the finals was held this past Saturday with the Cuming County Open, staged at the Cuming County Fairgrounds in West Point, Neb. This Saturday’s Power Drive Championship will be staged at Werner Park in LaVista, Neb. The event begins at 7 a.m. with check in and vehicle inspection, followed by braking and maneuverability testing for the vehicles at 8 a.m.
The first heat of competition will begin at 10 a.m., with the second heat at 11:15 a.m. and a third heat at 12:30 p.m. The awards presentation will be held at 2 p.m.
The Cuming County Open had two challenges for the competitors this past Saturday: early morning fog and a race length that stretched from the usual 60 minutes to 90 minutes. In the Advanced division, Wayne High School, runner-up last week in Grand Island, topped Elkhorn High School by completing 84 laps to the runner-up’s 81. Bancroft-Rosalie High School was a close third with 80 laps.
Raymond Central captured the Exhibition division, completing 72 laps with Omaha North finishing second. In the Novice division, Syracuse was a repeat winner from the previous week, completing 65 laps.
Columbus Lakeview won a closely-contested Standard division for the second week in a row, completing 75 laps over the 90-minute race period. Second place went to Bancroft-Rosalie with 74 laps and Raymond Central took third with 71 laps. Raymond Central also won the award for “Best Pit Crew.”
The Power Drive program gives high school students hands-on experience building a safe, energy-efficient electric vehicle. Teams design and built 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.
Omaha Public Power District (OPPD) began offering the Power Drive program to high schools in its service territory in 1998. Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD) became a partner in 1999 and began encouraging schools in the central and western parts of the state to participate. In addition to high schools, several colleges have developed Power Drive teams who compete in the Exhibition Class. Programs similar to Power Drive are currently operating in 28 states.