OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

OSU to host electric car race

05/10/2005

CORVALLIS - Oregon State University's second annual electric car race will take to the starting line at noon on Sunday, May 15, with some 50 cars and an expected 500 spectators.

"It's like Mario Kart; only in real life," said race organizer Kathy VanWormer, referring to a popular electronic video game.

The 1.31 mile OSU Electrathon Invitational race starts at 15th Street and Jefferson Way on the OSU campus. The entry fee for pre-registered vehicles is $15 for each vehicle in student class, $25 for each vehicle in open class. Day of race registrations cost an extra $5. Registration starts at 10 a.m. For information, contact Hai Yue Han at 541-908-0817. Information is also available online at http://oregonstate.edu/groups/osert.

Cars will travel along the second longest track in the Pacific Northwest, said VanWormer, an OSU senior in botany from Hillsboro.

"The cars each hold one person, and they are weighted if the driver is too light to keep the races fair," she pointed out. "OSU's entry is powered by a 64-pound battery and drives up to 46 miles per hour, balancing weight and speed."

The OSU car was designed and built by the university's Electrathon Team and features a double wishbone front and swing arm rear suspension. All entries are completely handmade by teams ranging from the general public to students from middle schools to colleges, as well as businesses from all over the northwest, she said.

The route winds from the starting line south to Washington Way and then west to 26th Street. Racers then veer north to Jefferson Way, east to Waldo Place, north to Campus Way and then south on 14th Street to finish back at the starting area.

The event is expected to last about two hours and street closures will cause traffic delays in areas in and adjacent to the race route. Last year's race attracted 44 cars and about 400 people, VanWormer said.