2009 Ford Challenge Human Powered Vehicle and recumbent bicycle races

Home Schedule of Events Event Information Results and Pictures

Michigan Human Powered Speed Challenge
(formerly Ford Human Powered Speed Challenge)

Schedule Of Events

4 pm Gates open, Setup, Registration. For those staying in Imlay City at the Days Inn, I hope to have a pre-meeting there to do some advance registration. This might be around 2 pm, afterwards we can carpool down to the track.

5 pm to 6 pm: 1/4 mile and Straight-line Kilometer (combined event). Riders go out an back along the main straightaway. The traps are a Kilometer long, with a Timing split taken at the 1/4 mile point as well. You can opt to run only the 1/4 mile if you want. These are not drags against another rider, just you versus the clock. Our goal is to get these over as quickly as possible to get the Hour Record contenders on the track. The inside lane of the track will be open for test riding. Sean Costin is trying for 1/4 mile record on his stock NoCom

7 pm to 8:30 pm: Hour Session I for Record Bikes.
First priority to Ellen, Hans and Chuck plus anyone else who wants to run. These three want to also attempt a record six-hour on Sunday, so their preference is to a record Hour this night. *Record bikes means those trying for IHPVA world records.

9 pm Departure: Vehicles, tents and other stuff can be left at the track overnight.

6:30 am to 8:30 am: Hour Session II for Record Bikes
Competitors who didn't run Friday night, or if they had an aborted run Friday night, will get an opportunity to run during the best and coolest time of day.

9:00 am to noon: 200 meter Sprints
These are only for low-altitude marks. As it is a short events, we don't have to worry about riders cooking in the sun for too long.

Noon to 2 pm: Electrathon Hour Session I
The Electrathon cars would then make their runs when the sun is the hottest. For insurance purposes we can't have them on the track at the same time as us. C. Michael Lewis is our IHPVA artist and the current one hour electrathon record holder at 58 miles. 4 to 6 cars will be competing.

4 pm to 6 pm: Mass-Start One Hour
This is for all Stock, SuperStock, SuperStreet and Streamliner bikes that are not going for a world record. This is about the time when it should be cooling down somewhat. For many, this may their most important race of the weekend. Their opportunity to set a personal best. We will use transponders and also have observers around the track to take time splits on the last lap, so you don't have to ride a full five miles back to the start.

6:30 to 8:30 pm Hour Session III for Record Bikes
There will again be an opportunity for Record seekers to go for One-Hour marks. This would be the third and last real opportunity to go for an exclusive shot at the hour mark, as much of Sunday morning and afternoon is taken up by the six hour. Of course, they can also run Sunday morning.

9 pm Departure: Vehicles, tents and other stuff can be left at the track overnight.

SUNDAY, JULY 19, 2009
6:30 am to 2 pm Six-Hour, 100 mile, 100 km, Hour Session IV
The World record seekers in the six hour (Ellen, Hans, Chuck) plus stock and streamlined riders going for 100 miles, 100 km and six-hours will all be on the track at once. There could be 10 to 15 bikes out there. I'm getting more participants than I thought for these distance events. If a One-Hour Record seeker wants to go, even with the slower moving traffic on the course they can do so. Observers will be needed to work in shifts around the track during this event.

11 am - Unfaired Trike Race
This would be held on a Infield Course likely near our Gathering area. It is not on the main track. The Trike race is for HPRA racing series points. It has become a racer favorite in the past few seasons.

2 pm to 4 pm Coast-Down Event?
This is a tentative event which could be run on a Hill outside the track. But this subject to availability from Track. We've looked at the option of running on the track, but it might conflict with this schedule.

2 pm to 4 pm: Electrathon Hour Session II
Electrathon cars get another opportunity to run for one-hour.

I imagine many people will start heading home by then.

No plans yet for a dinner or awards banquet.

We will have the track till 9 pm on Sunday, so my goal is to make the most use of it. If someone wants to go for an hour record at 7 pm Sunday night, I'm staying around. Maybe even, if we want to rerun a Kilo or 1/4 mile on Sunday there might be an opportunity for those that didn't get there Friday evening to have a shot at it.

Notes: On Saturday evening, we will run multiple riders on the track at once. Riders will be started according to a time-trial format. Depending on the heat or weather, riders can wait till later to start their runs, as long as they can finish before the evening session for One-Hour Record attempts. These include stock and full-faired contestants who want to try for their personal bests in one-hour distances. We had discussed running a 100 KM event during this time as well. A stock unfaired bent may take 2.5 hours to complete this distance at 25 mph / 40 kph average speed. A faired streamliner might take 1:15 to complete at 50 mph / 80 kph average. The stock unfaired recumbent can choose to run a 100 km Sunday night as well. A faired streamliner can choose to run 100 km during any of the One Hour sessions if they go fast enough to complete it within the time period.

Event Descriptions and Current Records


Currently, the world record is 54.14 miles, 87.12 kilometers pedaled in One-hour by Damjan Zabovnik on July 12, 2008. In the past three years, the record was broken by Fast Freddy Markham in 2006, then Sam Whittingham in 2007. Historically, there have been 11 times that a human has pedaled over 50 miles in one hour on pedal power alone. This distance represents ten laps of the Ford oval. All riders are welcome to attempt this mark, which is one of the two most famous records in cycling. For individuals wanting an exclusive attempt at the record in the the late afternoon or early morning, when winds are calmest, special track time will be set aside for them. For all other attempts, multiple riders will be on the course at one time during afternoon sessions.

200-METER SPEED ATTEMPTS (Low-altitude Record):
The IHPVA last ran an attempt at records on a course this large at Casa Grande. This record has existed for 29 years at 62.92 mph by the Vector Tandem. Even Sam has not broken it, but has come very close with 62.51 mph for the single-rider mark. For many who have not had a chance to get out to Battle Mountain, this will be their chance to see what they can do on a flat, well groomed course. The distance to accelerate may be up to a full five mile lap for the fastest streamliners, or as short as just the main-straightaway for stock bikes. The slope of the entire course, including any launch off the banking is still well within the IHPVA legal downslope. For WRRA the 200-meter straight-line sprint is still a relatively new category that has no recorded records. This course is 968 feet (295 meters) elevation all the way around.

The current IHPVA record is 222 miles at an average speed of 37 mph by Axel Fehlau in the WhiteHawk. I hope that there at least three challengers currently at this mark: Ellen van Vugt in the LadyHawk, Chuck Royalty in the Orion Trike, Hans Wessels in the SpeedHawk. Would any stock riders like to attempt this mark?

This is a test to determine the aerodynamic efficiency of the vehicle shape. It will either be conducted on hill, or on a flat section of the course. The faster the coast-down speed on a hill, or the further that a vehicle coasts under no power input, the more efficient its aerodynamics. Timing stations will be setup to monitor the speed of the vehicle at different points on the course selected.

The 1/4 Mile Drag of 26.9 seconds for a single rider was set by Kirk Edward of UC Berkeley in the fully-faired streamliner in 1992. It hasn't been broken by an unfaired rider (though unofficially I have some mathematically proof that some powerhouse UCI riders like Chris Hoy broke it during their Kilo records). The 1/4 Mile Drag record for a Multi-rider vehicle was never officially recorded properly, only the exit speed is known, but not the time. It needs to be amended in the IHPVA records

There is increased interest in this event as it tires competitors out less than a 1/4 mile. Some auto racing events are now running this for safety. How fast can a bicycle go over the same distance? No IHPVA or WRRA records yet for this distance.

This record is currently held by Lars Teutenberg, who after setting an Hour record, rode for another 14 minutes at 50+ mph to get the mark. So a 100KM for the fastest riders is theoretically only a little longer than an hour. At least one stock bent rider would like to attempt this distance unfaired as well. Assuming a 25 mph speed, that would be about 2hrs, 30 minutes. This course being a flat, large oval will offer a good baseline for the recognition of a New Record by the WRRA in stock.

There is no record currently for the fastest 100 miles on a stock, partial faired, or full-faired recumbent. Various marks have been reported, but since all on different courses, and most of them not a smooth loop, and with large elevation changes, they can't be compared. The best times reported have been under 4 hours for both streamliners and stock. The British Road Racing Club lists a record of 3hrs 11 minutes by an upright rider. This is set on a course with downhills, tailwinds and drafting help from passing cars allowed. This course being a flat, large oval will offer a good baseline for the recognition of a New Record by the IHPVA in streamliner and WRRA in stock.

600 / 200 METER RECORD:
The 200/600 IHPVA record originated in the early days of HPV racing when good long courses could not be found. When race directors could only get a flat road that was a 1/2 mile long, this was an event run. I think it might have originated at the Ontario Motor Speedway during the 1970's / 1980's IHPSC. Racers have only 600 meters of acceleration before going through a 200 meter trap. Since this distance fits comfortably within a Kilo distance, it can be measured within it. No one has attempted this in a while.

The Kilometer has been run at many events including many HPRA events and in Europe. It has been run both on a velodrome and in a straight line. The Ford event will feature a straight line kilo. Both IHPVA records for streamliners and WRRA records for stock bents can attempt records at this distance. There are an abundance of marks summarized in a recumbents.com web forum thread, but the best times are 58.13 (full-faired X2) by Sandro Bollino in a straight-line and 58.875 (unfaired UCI bike) on a velodrome.

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