Why would grown men and women want to race around a track on hacked and modified Power Wheels toys? Simply because it might just be the most fun you’ve ever had, and the hardest you’ve ever laughed. Welcome to the world-renowned (at least in our world) Power Racing Series! What has been the rowdy crowd-pleaser at three years of Maker Faire Detroit is making it’s way to the Big Apple for the upcoming Maker Faire New York, taking place September 29 and 30 at the New York Hall of Science in Queens.
We chatted with event organizer Jim Burke before the Detroit Faire, and he gave us a great window into the how, what, where, and why. We just touched base with Jim again to see how the summer racing series has been going and what to expect in New York. You have a month left, so sign up your hackerspace team today and get to hacking!
1. How did the races go at Maker Faire Detroit?
Two parts hectic, one part epic. The Sunday endurance race had a massively fantastic crowd. OmniCorpDetroit (OCD) was going all out for Moxie and brought a T-shirt cannon, but armed it with denim cut-off shorts. No idea why, but that’s the point. Sector67 and i3 Detroit resumed their yearly slug match and were tearing into each other on the track. I was kind of amazed at how intense the Detroit crowd was; everytime i3 Detroit battled Sector67 the crowd really got behind it. The in-car camera on the back of i3’s car was simply epic. You can check that out here:
2. Any notable stories/memorable moments you can share?
For the whole season? If we’re talking over the course of the regular season, I’d have to pick three events. The first was Sector67 towing their secondary car in the Endurance race for 50-something laps. The crowd got a kick out of that. The fact that OCD returned to Detroit by making their Banana Car into a rolling tiki bar was pretty fantastic as well. Finally, having our first night race in Chicago was also a highlight. The qualifying session for that race was actually intense, with cars coming within mere tenths of a second between each other. Ambassador Carol Mosley Braun presented the trophies for that too.
3. What other races have been in the Series this summer?
We had our season opener at the Kansas City Maker Faire in June. In July we had our 3rd annual installment of the Detroit race and then we returned to Chicago for the grand finale for the first time since 2009.
4. This is the first time the races are coming to Maker Faire New York. What do you have planned?
We have a special Race of Champions planned. We are bringing our 2-time Champions Sector 67 out to challenge ANY East Coast hackerspace for a secret grand prize. We are also handing out 3D-printed trophies care of MakerBot Industries. We might have a few special guest teams, including a possible showing from MITers.
5. How many teams are signed up already? Can teams still sign up to compete? How?
Right now it’s still early so we currently have about 5 teams, but we have room for up to 12. We’ve had teams in the past build cars in less than a month, so there is plenty of time. If you go to powerracingseries.org and go to Sign-Up you can submit your team. We will get in touch and get you set up. You can also download our PPPRS 2012 rules packet there too. If you’d like to see who you’ll be competing against, head to the Fauxrarri page and check out Sector 67’s incredibly custom craziness. They built this machine over the course of a week, so by all means submit your team and start making!