One of the highlights of this weekend's first Detroit Maker Faire was the Michigan premier of a new grass-roots racing event, the Power Racing Series. This new competition class was conceived by Jim Burke and, like the LeMons series, the machines have budgets limited to just $500 (not including safety equipment). The vehicles for this series are based on Fisher-Price Power Wheels or Little Tykes toys that have been modded to support the mass of adult drivers and larger 12-volt lead acid car batteries.
This weekend's competition included three individual events: a drag race, a 15-lap road race and a one-hour enduro on Sunday afternoon. The drag race was won by Royce Pipkins, president of the Milwaukee Maker Space in his Grave Digger. When the 15-lap event began on Saturday afternoon, the #3 car built by the crew at the I3 Detroit hacker space clearly had more speed than any other vehicle. Unfortunately, about halfway through the race, the car ground to a halt. A key that was connecting the rear wheel to the axle had sheared the soft metal of the axle. The crew repeatedly tried pounding in new keys but the car would only run another lap or two before running into trouble again. Ultimately, Pipkins had the durability and speed to finish 15 green flag laps before anyone else. Look for the Power Racing Series at a parking lot near you soon.