Columbus, Neb. – Saturday’s sunny conditions shined on this year’s Power Drive championships with Columbus Lakeview and Bancroft-Rosalie high schools capturing top honors in their respective divisions during the finals held at Warner Park in LaVista. The event has been held annually since 1998 and is co-sponsored by the Nebraska Public Power District and the Omaha Public Power District. Forty teams from Nebraska and Iowa competed Saturday.
Students build their cars throughout the school year and test them during spring rallies. In the finals, each car’s performance in endurance, braking, maneuverability, design engineering, as well as documentation, supplied by each competing school, determined the championship winners. Points were awarded in each category for teams competing in Advanced and Standard classes, and were combined to tally a final score.
Columbus Lakeview was the overall competition’s winner in the Advanced Class followed by Elkhorn in second, Bancroft-Rosalie third, Cedar Rapids (IA) Kennedy in fourth, and Beatrice in fifth place. Beatrice took top honors in the Braking performance, Bancroft-Rosalie led the Maneuverability category, Wayne and Lakeview tied for first in Design Engineering, and Elkhorn led the way in Documentation.
In the endurance rally, Columbus Lakeview topped the Advanced Class by completing 48 ½ laps in the 60-minute race, followed closely by Elkhorn with 48 1/4 laps, and Harvard with 47 laps.
Bancroft-Rosalie was the overall champion in the Standard Class, followed by Cedar Rapids Kennedy in second, Elkhorn in third, Syracuse fourth, and Wayne fifth. The Iowa School for the Deaf took top honors in Braking, Bancroft-Rosalie led the Maneuverability category, and Elkhorn was tops in both Design Engineering and Documentation.
In the Endurance Rally portion of the Standard Class, Cedar Rapids Kennedy led the competition with 45 laps completed, and Elkhorn finished second with 44 laps to edge out Bancroft-Rosalie by just seconds.
Wayne was first in the Exhibition Class endurance rally with 48 laps completed, followed by Bellevue West and Southern Valley from Oxford, Neb. In the Novice Division endurance rally competition, Stanton finished first with 41 laps and Dundy County-Stratton took second with 33 laps.
The award for Best Pit Crew went to Bancroft-Rosalie, and Dundee County-Stratton received the award for Best Performance by a First Year Team. Elkhorn High School won the Ken Kitchen Best Paint/Finish award for the second year in a row.
Morgan Shane Smith of Bancroft-Rosalie High School was the recipient of the $1,000 OPPD Power Drive Scholarship.
Saturday’s event marked the completion of this year’s Power Drive program. Previous races were held 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.
The following were the top three in each of the various categories (some schools had more than one vehicle compete).
Braking – 1. Iowa School for the Deaf; 2. Bancroft-Rosalie; 3. Syracuse; Maneuverability– 1, Bancroft-Rosalie; 2. Cedar Rapids Kennedy; 3. Iowa School for the Deaf; Design Engineering– 1. Elkhorn; 2. Bancroft-Rosalie; 3. Syracuse; Documentation– 1. Elkhorn 2. Wayne 3. Cedar Rapids Kennedy.
Advanced Class winners top three schools:
Braking – 1. Beatrice; 2. Deshler; 3, Beatrice; Maneuverability– 1. Bancroft-Rosalie; 2. Columbus Lakeview; 3. Deshler; Design Engineering– 1. (tie) Columbus Lakeview and Wayne; 3. Bancroft-Rosalie; Documentation– 1. Elkhorn; 2. (tie) Wayne and Columbus Lakeview.