Dr. Destler’s E-Vehicle Autocross

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Teams will take part in an autocross race that tests for speed and maneuverability.

The winning vehicle will run the racetrack in the fastest time. The race will begin from a standing start, and vehicles will run the track one at a time. Each vehicle will run the track two times, and the fastest run will be recorded. If there is a tie between two or more vehicles there will be a third run to determine a winner.

The track takes approximately 30 seconds to run. See a map of the course here.

Vehicles must check-in for a technical inspection by 8:15 a.m. on event day. The event will take place rain or shine.


Parking Lot G at RIT


The race will begin promptly at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday, May 3, 2014, to conclude prior to the opening ceremony of Imagine RIT, which takes place at 10:00 a.m. near the Sentinel. Winner(s) will be announced and prizes awarded by President Destler during the ceremony.

If desired, each team will be given an area to exhibit their vehicle during the festival from 10 a.m.-5 p.m.


1st Prize in each category: $1000 or a banjo from Dr. Destler’s collection. Other prize categories will be announced at a later date.


  1. The race is open to all RIT students, faculty, and staff (individuals or teams). Teams will be asked to complete a registration form and submit a fee of $25 to participate. Email hadpro@rit.edu to request a registration form.
  2. Teams are responsible for obtaining their own funding and this funding may be in the form of RIT college/departmental or external/community sponsorships.
  3. There are two vehicle categories for entry and teams may enter a vehicle in both categories if desired:
    1. “PowerWheels” (PW) class
      1. Chassis is a child’s ride on electric powered vehicle
      2. Acceptable brands are: Power Wheels; Fisher-Price; Little Tikes; Peg Perego (if a brand is not listed here, please check with the contest organizers before using it).
      3. Teams who participated in the 2013 e-durance challenge are welcome to reuse their PW vehicles as long as they meet all current contest requirements (i.e. four-wheels).
        • The vehicle may not exceed 70” long by 40” wide. Seat height may not be lower than the axle height. Overall height is restricted to 72” including the height of the driver while in the seated position. (These dimensions represent roughly the size of the Jeep Hurricane, the largest Power Wheels vehicle on the market as of 2011.)
        • Budget criteria: Your team is allowed to spend up to $500 to modify their PW class vehicle including batteries. This amount excludes the actual cost of the vehicle as well as any money spent on chargers or safety mechanisms such as brakes, helmets, and harnesses. You may be asked to provide an itemized list of expenses related to meeting your $500 maximum.
        • Teams are allowed to secure monetary donations and/or parts and equipment as gift-in-kind donations as long as the total amount spent plus the value of any gifts-in-kind does not exceed the $500 maximum. It is the responsibility of the team to acknowledge any sponsorship received (e.g. putting company name on vehicle, signage, reporting the gift to a department/college).
    2. “E-Vehicle” (EV) class
      1. Teams who participated in the 2012 e-dragster challenge are welcome to reuse their e-vehicles as long as they meet all current contest requirements (i.e. four-wheels).
      2. Homebuilt chassis are allowed.
      3. Previously non-electric chassis are allowed (e.g. go-karts, small buggies)
      4. Heavily modified electric chassis are allowed (e.g. stripped down golf cart)
      5. Previously street legal chassis are NOT allowed (e.g. Chevy Volt)
      6. There are no budget restrictions for the EV class.
      7. Maximum Weight (without driver): 500 lbs.
      8. Maximum Width: 8 ft.
        • As with the PW class, teams are allowed to secure monetary donations and/or parts and equipment as gift-in-kind donations. It is the responsibility of the team to acknowledge any sponsorship received (e.g. putting company name on vehicle, signage, reporting the gift to a department/college).
  4. All vehicles must have four wheels.
    • Third-party wheels and hubs are allowed. There are no limitations to how the wheels can be modified to connect the chassis (internally or externally) as long as power to the ground is derived from these wheels and hubs. Treaded tires are required if track conditions are wet on race day.
  5. The sole energy source should be from an electric chemical battery.
  6. All parts of the vehicle should travel with the vehicle during the race.
  7. Vehicles cannot be constructed from the chassis of a commercial vehicle, but can contain various components from a commercial vehicle. Commercial parts are encouraged for the safety components of the vehicle, such as the braking and steering system.
    • The majority of the vehicle chassis being used must remain functionally intact; however, teams are encouraged to be creative when decorating and modifying their vehicles. Keep safety in mind when considering the addition of external decoration to your vehicle. We encourage teams to install on board cameras as a way to capture fun and interesting footage.
  8. Vehicles cannot be remotely operated.
  9. Drivers/teams will be asked to sign a liability waiver that holds RIT harmless.
  10. Vehicles must conform to the below specifications:
    • Maximum Number of Seats (Passenger Limit): 1
  11. Vehicles will remain within the boundaries of the track.
  12. Vehicle drivers are required to wear a DOT approved helmet and appropriate safety gear for the vehicle design and expected speeds.
    • Brakes are also required safety equipment. Brakes must be mechanical in nature. Motor braking must not be the only method of braking.
    • All motors must be electrically powered. A kill switch or a method to immediately cut power must be incorporated in the vehicles.

Participation in the Imagine RIT Festival is at your own risk. Organizers, exhibitors, and volunteers cannot be held liable for any loss, damage, injury, or other liability resulting from your, or your child’s, participation in the Imagine RIT Festival at any of the festival locations. Activities at the Imagine RIT Festival may be filmed or photographed for educational or public relations purposes. By attending the Imagine RIT Festival, attendees authorize organizers and exhibitors to use their or their child’s photograph, image, or video for such purposes.

RIT works diligently to assure the safety and welfare of our guests. At Imagine RIT, our security personnel will conduct checks of all bags carried into the festival. We appreciate your understanding as we undertake this security measure.