Power Racing Series – Detroit

Power Racing Series

Our story starts with Tom’s build of Red Lotus because he wanted to have a new car for the race at Maker Faire Detroit. Being a master craftsman, he was able to build the car in just one weekend! (Well, mostly.)

My part of the story is that I’ve never been to a real Maker Faire before, and never drove a Power Wheels car (that part is important later) so when I got to the Henry Ford Museum I stopped by the Power Racing Series track so see how the crew from Milwaukee Makerspace was doing. Shortly after that someone asked me if I could drive on Sunday. I said “sure thing!” because I’m a team player and like to help out. If only I’d known what I was in for…

PPPRS - Jason

Saturday’s races included the drag race, moxie race, and some other things. I missed some of it, but ended up helping as a track marshal for a bit. jason g. drove Red Lotus in the drag race and took 3rd place! jason still isn’t sure how that happened, but I think he’s just being modest.

Our other car (Big Jakenstein) won in the first drag race but got pulled later because of an accident due to a stuck throttle. (After some repairs we did run Big Jakenstein after all the races were completed at it was timed doing the fastest lap all weekend. That thing is a beast!)

PPPRS - Sean

On Sunday it was time for the endurance race. This is a 75 minute race with mandatory driver changes every 15 minutes. Sean started and I alternated driving with him. I should note that the first time I ever drove any Power Wheels car was about an hour before the race… So how did we do?

PPPRS - Pete

We were plagued by the chain breaking within the first 5 minutes of the endurance race which required about 10 minutes worth of repairs, which really put us back in laps. The front wheels fell off (or nearly fell off—there is still some debate about the exact degree the wheels fell off) about 1/3 into the race, but we got new wheels from Pumping Station: One, which were larger than the rear wheels, but lasted the rest of the race. Near the end of the race the throttle got a little wiggly, but we were able to complete the entire race. Besides the chain and wheel issues, Red Lotus performed quite well (in my opinion) and we managed to place 7th. I feel like if we hadn’t needed to sit out so many laps in the beginning for repairs we could have done a bit better, but major kudos to Tom for his quick repair job!

Power Racing Series - Chicago

I know you’re saying “Damn! I missed it!” But hey race fans, don’t worry… we still have the finale of the 2012 Power Racing season coming up… This Saturday night, August 4th, 2012 at Evanston Mini Maker Faire, we’ll see if Red Lotus can kick it into high gear and show ’em Milwaukee knows how to build (and drive) a souped-up kid’s toy car.

(Oh! Be sure to check out the PPPRS video too!)

Maker Faire Detroit is (almost) here!

Maker Faire Detroit

We’re just a few days away from Maker Faire Detroit, which is happening July 28th-29th, 2012 at the Henry Ford Museum over in Michigan. Since we’re in Wisconsin, it’s practically next door…

So yeah, there will be a bunch of Milwaukee Makers in attendance, and as for Power Wheels, yeah, we do that too!

I’m excited to the point of no return this week, as this will be my first official Maker Faire, and I’ll probably overdose on Maker-related things and activities. I’ll probably take too many photos, and talk to too many people, but that’s OK, as I can’t imagine doing anything else. I hope to see you there!

2012 Power Racing Series

Jim Burke from Pumping Station: One has created a kickstarter project for the 2012 Power Racing Series. The goal is to raise $20,000 by October 20th. The donations will go towards funding a new timing/scoring system, more races, safety equipment for drivers, and a few other things. We have participated in this event the past two years, and we had a great time both years. We are looking forward to next years races.

Please donate to this awesome kickstarter project at http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/308894311/ppprs-the-power-racing-series

Event description from PPPRS website

“The Power Racing Series (PPPRS) is an event where Hacker/Whateverspaces turn those toys cars that everyone wanted into highly competitive sort-of racing machines. Teams are allowed quite a few liberties (motors, batteries) but we also made a few restrictions so you masochistic engineers can pleasurably cry yourselves to sleep at night. You have $500 to do this with (aside from safety equipment, cause we don’t want to mop you up either). You also compete in three events, and you’ll have to do more than just drive fast (re: be entertaining) to win points. After all, it’s not like we want an actual race to break out. Oh and it is rather unsafe, so you’ll sign a waiver. You built it, so we knew you’d understand.”

 Photo by Opacity.

See the Power Racing Series website for complete details about the 2012 season and kickstarter project.

Tuesday April 6th

There were eight people at the meeting. We discussed team names and ideas for the power racing series in Detroit. We are now officially registered for the competition in Detroit and have decided on the team name of acrylonitrile. The team consists of Sean, Ben, Royce, and Tom.

We purchased our first power wheels vehicles at this meeting.

The next meeting(4/13) will be a build session at Tom’s house.

Ideas for Team Names

  1. Lubricated Lightning
  2. Plastic and Furious
  3. Random Generator
  4. Rust Bucket Brigade
  5. Homeless Makers
  6. Electronic Knuckle Draggers
  7. Milwaukee Frankenstein
  8. Electro-Mechanical Mayhem
  9. Red Dwarf
  10. Beeker’s Racing Team
  11. Burnt Plastic
  12. Plastic Chaos
  13. Plastic Skid Marks
  14. Milwaukee Beer Runners
  15. Team Silly Soliloquy
  16. Team Intended Acceleration
  17. Duck Tape
  18. Plastic Knuckle Draggers
  19. ‘Hot’ Wheels
  20. Cold Fizzin’
  21. Geeks Gone Wild
  22. Adrenaline Injection Mold
  23. Plastic Mayhem
  24. Cheat To Win
  25. Brat Mobile
  26. Epoxy Monkeys
  27. Bad Gas
  28. Static Cling
  29. Ionic Attraction
  30. Meat Grinders
  31. Sausage Packers
  32. Just Plain Stupid
  33. Road Hazard
  34. Orange Barrel
  35. Aaardvark (were always first)


Ideas for Power Wheels Modifications

  1. http://www.modifiedpowerwheels.com
  2. Margarita Maker
  3. Nerf Rockets
  4. Power wheels delorian


Task List

  1. Get spare wheels for our power wheels.
  2. Make Milwaukee MakerSpace T-shirts.
  3. Distribute our press release.
  4. Create advertisements for newspapers, magazines, and craig’s list.
  5. Discuss with American Science and Surplus to see if we can have a pre-race event.