Racers claim record for drill-powered trolleys
Sunday's electric drill-powered trolley race at Trafalgar Park set a speed record and got the wheels of enthusiasts' imaginations turning even faster.
Two trolleys built for the annual trolley derby in Collingwood St were specially rigged with battery-powered electric drills.
The Red Rak Racer, piloted by 14-year-old Jared Dacombe, achieved 46kmh over a measured 500 metres on the cycle track.
The Lightning Racer II, in the hands of his 11-year-old brother, Morgan, recorded 42kmh.
Their grandfather and trolley builder, Gordon Dacombe, said the result exceeded expectations and he hoped others would pick up the challenge.
Inquiries had failed to discover anyone else in New Zealand or overseas using 18-volt single-battery drills to power trolleys, so Sunday's speeds had probably established a world record.
"As far as we're aware, nobody else has attempted to set a record. We're just looking for someone to come and challenge us and do better.
"There may be nobody else out there interested in doing such crazy things - but if they want a relatively cheap challenge, that's what it is."
Nelson Trolley Club president Tim Bayley, who owns the Red Rak Racer, said the event had gone very well and had possibilities to provide more of a spectacle. Members were thinking of building up the trolley numbers and possibly introducing a Le Mans flavour, with drivers running across the track and climbing into the trolleys at the start, and then handing over to a second driver with a fresh battery.
"Not so much speed, more endurance. It could be a lot of fun."
The trolley challenge was held at halftime during the Nelson Falcons' 1-0 win over Otago United in their ASB Youth League football match.