NASCAR Isn’t The Only Racing Action in The Daytona Orlando Area
Lab Tech, Jim Robinson, and Jim Sr. running 1st & 2nd at USF race in February
Test Equipment Connection Race Team has “Banner Year”
You won’t see these cars like this in the Coke Zero 400, but the Electrathon racing season has ended and the Test Equipment Connection sponsored Electrathon team turned in their best year yet. The team is comprised of lab technician, Jim Robinson (Jr.), and his dad, Jim Sr. and they race under Electrathon America sanction. The majority of races in the Central Florida area hosted and officiated by the Electrathon of Tampa Bay organization, but take place in various places around the state including Cocoa and Pensacola. You won’t see these cars like this in the Coke Zero 400
2012 Early Season Results
The season this year began November 3rd with a parking lot “road course” race at Hillsborough Community College. Jim Jr. was not available on that weekend, so Jim Sr. drafted an old friend and former go-kart champion from Indiana, Jerry Bristow, to drive the #13 car. Jim Sr. finished 2nd and Bristow finished 3rd.
The next race was another road course held December 8th at Middleton High School in Tampa. This is one of the toughest courses in the series; long straights, hairpin turns, and rough pavement that is murder on tires. Jim Jr. was leading the first race when a tire went flat with 4 laps remaining. Although he won the second race, he was unable to overcome the lost laps in the first race and ended up 3rd overall for the day. Jim Sr. in the #94 was 2nd again.
2103 Late Season Results
January 19th brought the team to St. Petersburg for a race at Northeast High School. This time the racing took place on a quarter-mile oval around the football field, so Jim Sr. bolted front and rear bumpers on the cars and the team “bump-drafted” its way to another 2-3 finish. This time the order was reversed, though, with Jim Jr. finishing in 2nd and Jim Sr. in 3rd.
For the February 23rd event, Electrathon teams went to University of South Florida in Tampa to race on another tough course. Jim Jr. worked his way into the lead early, but late in the race was crowded into a curb by a rookie driver. Despite some wheel and front axle damage to the #13, he managed to hang on for 1st place with Jim Sr. in 2nd. For the second race, the two Jims traded cars. Jim Jr, now in the #94, set a blistering pace in the second race and won it by several laps. Jim Sr. limped the damaged #13 around for enough laps to get 3rd place for the day.
View USF Electrtathon Racing on Youtube
Both Robinsons were unavailable for the March 23rd race, so Jim Sr. sent the #94 car to Aparicio-Levy Adult Center in Tampa with Ralph Foss. The car experienced a minor electrical problem in the first race and a flat rear tire near the end of the second race. Despite the problems, Ralph finished in 3rd place for the day.
April 27th was the yearly race at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola. The Test Equipment team chose not to make the long expensive trip this year.
May 4th we invaded the “Energy Whiz Olympics” at the Florida Solar Energy Center in Cocoa, Florida. The Test Equipment Connection cars dominated the first race and finished right together on the same lap with Jim Sr’s #94 prevailing by a nose. In the second race, Jim Jr’s #13 was crowded off the track in a turn where tree roots snagged the motor mount underneath and caused the chain to derail. At the end of the day, Jim Sr. and another competitor had both completed a total of 192 laps. When the lap time sheets were compared, however, they showed that Jim Sr. had completed both races with a combined advantage of 7 seconds, so the Test Equipment #94 garnered another 1st place!
The last race of the season was held the following weekend, May 11th, at Brooks County High School in Quitman, Georgia. Jim Sr. took the #94 Test Equipment car up there and dominated both races, winning the first race by 2 laps and the second race by 13 laps!
Season Totals and Next Year
Overall season stats show the #94 Test Equipment car ran a total of 7 events achieving two 3rd places, two 2nd places, and three 1st places. The #13 Test Equipment car ran 5 events achieving one 4th place, three 3rd places, and one 2nd place.
Next season tentatively starts November 2nd at Hillsborough Community College. The Test Equipment team will be ready with the #13 and #94 cars again plus a new “streamliner” creation. If you’ve never seen an Electrathon race, come to one of the events and see the action. Admission is always free to spectators.
It ain’t NASCAR but it sure is fun! The engineering passion and creative design that goes into these vehicles is pretty impressive.
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