Electric ElectrathonRacing on the Salt Flats
World of Speed 2007
September 12 to 15, 2007
This is Kirk Swaney's car. More information can be found at http://www.destinyparts.com
What is Electrathon?
The main restriction is only 67 pounds of sealed lead acid batteries are allowed, about the weight of one truck battery. During an Electrathon competition, the cars compete to see who can go the furthest in one hour.
The 2007 World of Speed Salt Flats racing event saw two electrathon racers compete on the Salt for a land speed record. This is the first time Electrathon racers ever competed. One went 86 miles per hour (sorry, no pictures), and the one pictured went 89 miles per hour! This is very impressive considering it was powered by a truck battery's worth of energy. The Utah Salt Flats Racers Assocation (USFRA) was very gracious in working with Electrathon rules and allowing them to compete. It'll be an exciting class with close competition. Here is a link to the USFRA Electrathon class rules.
Kirk's car was not only great looking and fast, but also had absolutely beautiful workmanship. The car generated alot of spectator interest, and often had a crowd around it. Enjoy the pictures and videos below.
The round cylinders labeled "EnerSys" are the batteries. There are 18 cells for 36 Volts nominal voltage. The Electrathon rules state the batteries must be nonspillable for greater safety. Kirk's feet barely crammed in beside the batteries.
The black box is the controller. It varies the voltage to the motor like a big dimmer switch. The motor is below it, and is a very efficient Briggs and Stratton electric motor.
The electric motor is part of the swingarm, but near the pivot point so it doesn't add much unsprung weight. This also prevents the chain from tightening or going slack as bumps are hit.
The upper body for the electrathon car is carbon fiber, and so light one person can easily carry it.
Here Kirk is strapping in. Note the umbrella shadow -- it gets hot wearing a sleeved shirt, pants, and a helmet for safety, so it is common to shade the racers as they strap in.
Kirk was lowering his drive tire pressure to try to get more traction, and the tire went flat on a run, possibly a pinch flat. Here he is changing out the damaged tube and tire.
Salt gets into everything, and could potentially harm the motor or the electronics. Here you see a bunch of red tape used to shield the motor and electronics.
Even with all the tape, quite a bit of salt was flipped into the Electrathon racer by the drive wheel.
Click here for the getting tech'd video
Note how easily this very efficient vehicle rolls!
Click here for a video of the electrathon racer being pushed to the start
Note again how easy it is to push, and how light the canopy is.
Click here for a video of the first run
Normally, your first run is supposed to be a calibration run at 100 mph. Since the Electrathon racer is not that fast, Kirk just went for it. Note the spectator giving him some shade.
Click here for a video of Kirk strapping in
Note how many people are interested in seeing it run!
Click here for a video showing forgetting to plug in and then doing a run