Two years and two titles. That about sums it up for the notoriously quick and talented Madison, Wi., outfit. In their short time with our series, they have won more races than anyone else, earned more moxie than just about anybody else and have become the de facto toast of the tiny electric car racing town.
Their 2012 entry, aptly named Fauxrrari, was a prancing wheelie-popping horse of near perfection. Aside from a few bits of shoddy steering, the car was nearly untouchable. It was so dominant early in the season that it had the audacity to tow the team’s second car, Black Beauty, around the track while still leading.
The team continues its tirade for 2013 with the hope of finding another way to exploit the rules so it can win everything. The team has expressed its weariness of this, and desperately wishes for some new or old whipper snappers to show them who’s boss.
The official “best of the rest” team of 2012, the hometown heroes of the Detroit Grand Prix are considered to be perennial underdogs. Don’t ever tell this to their star driver Karen “Cannonball” Corbeill. She’s made a name in this series as the most aggressive and talented driver after a string of epic victories against all odds. Her squad won a title way back in 2010 but have placed OK in the series ever since. Karen has yet to win the title herself but odds are in her favor just about every season. Fingers crossed.
i3’s car was built to her spec and she seems to be the only one capable of wrangling the machine. The car has been described as difficult to handle, touchy on brakes and having a center of gravity akin to an elephant on a beach ball. Despite this, she has nabbed 7 victories away from Sector 67, and has even clocked faster lap times than a car that many in the paddock consider “infinitely superior” to her own.
The 2013 season will be i3’s 4th season in the PPPRS, which ties it as one of the longest operating teams with Milwaukee Makerspace, Omni Corp Detroit, and Pumping Station: One.
Championship hopes for Milwaukee Makerspace fell short once again in 2012 after a rough season with a tremendous yet overpowered car. The low, wide and furious Jakenstien was to be their rule-bending answer to the Sector 67’s dominance. Unfortunately this plan did not come to fruition as the car spent most of the season under repair or banned from competition. The team remained upbeat, as they usually do, with some on track antics that entertained the crowd, including driving a pair of flat tires down to the rim at the very last race of the season.
Much like i3, Milwaukee Makerspace has been incredibly close to title hopes. In 2010 they finished just shy of i3 with the smiley bearded face of Royce Pipkins in the aptly named Grave Digger. The car, having a regular need to prove its namesake proceeded to wreck itself out of competition in 2011 until it was written off completely in dramatic fashion during a mid-race flip in the Detroit Grand Prix. The team has since retired the car and have been building a better title contender since, but with limited success.
2012 was the first winless season for Milwaukee, yet they still managed a top 10 in the points, their 2013 operation will hopefully return them to glory once more.
Slow and steady might not win you the race, but it does reward you points. Having achieved 3rd place in 2012 with just a steady pace and incremental improvements to their car, you can bet that the Kansas City family of makers will be eyeing the main title for 2013. The team comprises the sunny and happy southern hospitality loving Mehl family. This group of roving maker engineers have terrorized the FIRST robotics scene and held their own against teams who had the financial backing that would rival the GDP of small EU nations. The Mehl family are best known for being ridiculously nice to just about every single person (whether they deserved it or not) and have used this to their advantage on the track. Keeping bumpers clean and making sure that their car is kept well prepared has rewarded them with some dead-on consistency.
For 2013 we imagine that they will build a new car, or if not they will probably just send us cookies. Cause they’re like that.
The oldest team in the Power Racing Series has finally finished in the top 5! The Bluesmobile was a promising machine with some impressive drive train innovations and a very solid custom built chassis. Despite all these features, reliability was not a standard option. Despite the clever efforts of the team, the machine fried motor after motor, leaving the immensely quick machine unable to compete like it should. By season’s end, reliability had finally found its place, culminating with a startling podium finish in the final endurance race of the year.
Starting its history as “The Todd Ianuzzi Experience” the team won the first ever PPPRS race in 2009. Ever since, the PS1:GP team moved from team owner to team owner and only found victory again in 2011 in an unlikely endurance race showdown with Sector 67.
For 2013, the team is going on a full moxie campaign, and paired up with J-Squad again, the odds of going for the title might be in their favor if they can just sort out that reliability.
2012 was full of pleasant surprises for Hack Factory. Climbing from 22nd to 6th was no small feat, and the team used two cars to build up their Moxie campaign. Their "Scooter of Death" was the team's front-runner and managed to score some critical points at the season ender in Evanston. It even managed to grab their first ever podium at the final race of the year.
Hack Factory will be back with an even stronger car for 2013 and looks to employ another two-car team. So far, the Factory has used a fast car/moxie car strategy, but they will have to ramp up the silliness this year to compete with the new slew of rules catered to the more ridiculous teams. If they manage to build a faster ride, they might even be able to grab a win this season.
At any point in the season, the Lone Hacker has been a contender for not just the Moxie Cup, but for the entire series. That's right: one man from Omaha has been able to hold his own in front of some of the best hackerspaces in the Midwest. However his first win in 2012 was bittersweet. He sat out rest of the season after leaving the country for a business trip to India.
LHR is a crowd favorite and yearly the most entertaining builder in the series. Last year, he built a hand mounted nerf gun that had the best aim/firing ratio of any nerf gun on the track. He also had a rear-mounted nerf booby trap that managed to shoot Jordan Bunker in the face. Twice.
Kyle THE "Lone Hacker" has vowed to wow us this year with a legitimate attempt at the title. If the previous seasons have been displays of the opposite, we can only imagine what he can achieve next.
The Power Racing Series contains two distinct classes of teams: one is a team that wants to win and the other is a group of misguided weirdos who like to have fun. All Hands falls into the weirdos category. Despite relying entirely on crowd support, the team managed a very respectable 9th place in points. It was the only team (ever) to utilize a strange steering linkage that permitted the driver to stand upright during the race. It was like watching a moving dance platform complete laps in the world's most baffling race.
All Hands is set to return in 2013 with another attempt at the Moxie cup. Their closest competitors are the respectable and formidable Omni Corp Detroit team, who busted out all the stops for last year.
If there's a team to bet on for 2013, it would be HackPGH, however we would like to point out that it is totally not OK to bet on Power Racing entries (though we can't control what we don't see, wink wink). Since their 2011 debut, they have been slowly building momentum and producing more reliable and fast machines. What makes this hackerspace so plucky is their resourcefulness and character. When they built a car with the wrong tires, they laboriously rebuilt it with better ones. When they dressed up as James Bond in NYC and the heavens opened up, they stayed out and clocked some serious laps in the rain. This team has the right balance of speed with the right understanding of Moxie to really make a name for themselves on the East Coast. If only we could get a few more races out of them per season and perhaps a few more races out of the East Coast, they could be legitimate title contenders.
Luck does not fare well for LVL1. For the 2011 season, they built a car to 2009 spec, which means a car that was bone stock yet stunningly gorgeous. In 2012 they built what would be a fantastically competitive machine, only for it to fry itself on the eve of its debut. Always colorful, always ambitious, and never a team to simply pack it in, they show up and race anyway. Though they didn't fare any better in 2012 than in their debut, they still managed to put on some fun, even if we let them race with a totally illegal entry. We hope that for 2013 they glue some four leaf clovers to the frame of their chassis and perhaps do some sort of tribal dance/sacrifice for some non-existent god. Just maybe, perhaps with a little bit of good timing and a few misguided superstitions, we just might see them roll triumphantly into town, where they can feel the soul crushing satisfaction of having a competitive and wonderfully prepared car breaking down in the middle of a race.
If you were to plot the philosophies of each team on a line, with one side for the serious racers and the other for knee slapping absurdism, Omni Corp Detroit would occupy that corner that is the exact opposite of Sector 67. What more could you possibly ask for from a hackerspace that shows up to a racing series with a rolling tiki bar? Their barely movable chicane from 2011 was updated considerably with a full fledged roof, disco ball, more car stereos and a complimentary toolbox full of PBR. They also armed their pit crew with tshirt cannons and confetti bombs.
The real crowd pleaser though was the slightly faster secondary car, because it was a giant puppy. Puppy Car proceeded to charm the crap out of the bewildered Detroit audience all the while lifting its cute little felt leg and peeing on families. What was even more exciting was the nigh-unthinkable 4th place it scored in the Detroit Endurance race. OCD is not a team that is accustomed to finishing races, let alone performing admirably well in them. But here it was: the single weirdest thing of what ever to grace the track, and it was beating the "better" three quarters of a field in a race that defines mechanical ingenuity. What more could you expect a team to do to shock the establishment? Well played Omni Corp, well played.
Two teams went with brushless motors in 2012: the somewhat successful Pumping Station: One outfit, who had to resort to rebuilding their motor no less than five times, and the Wedding Party. The latter did not rebuild as many motors, because they managed to burn them to a crisp. Is this a bad thing? Probably not. The Moxie they managed from their various fires were legendary.
The team also was in good spirits throughout 2012: their theme was solid, their costumes were clever and in general they seemed to take the consistent and ever-looming failure that is Power Wheel racing in stride. It is hardly the fault of a new team though: PPPRS tends to either reward them with a championship or dash their hopes into balls of fire.
Though the Wedding Party crashed often, it didn't dim the bright future for the little team that could and 2013 may very well have some podium finishes if they can figure out how not to BBQ their ride.