|Brian Vermeier & Mercedes Colon|
Vin Di Bona Productions
Maximum Drive was a short-lived children's competition show hosted by Joe Fowler and co-hosts Brian Vermeire and Mercedes Colon that premiered alongside Masters of the Maze on The Family Channel August 29, 1994 to November 25, 1994. The show, a Vin Di Bona Production, lasted one season. On each show, three teams of kids competed in various motorsports to earn points, with the highest scoring team after five races winning the championship.
The show was nominated for a CableACE Award.
There were a total of 15 teams that made the roster for Maximum Drive, each team represented by an animal name. Here they are listed alphabetically:
These are the vehicles used throughout the entire run of the series.
- Argo (a six-wheeled amphibious vehicle)
- ATV (all-terrain-vehicle)
- Cubs (smaller motorbikes)
- Hovercraft (only appeared in the finals)
- Mountain Bike
- Wave Runner
- XR-80 (off-road motorbikes)
The events were completely random per each episode, but any game using the lake and/or multiple players were always the last two for teams to compete. Each had a specific vehicle used, and sometimes they used more than one player.
- Long Course Race (ATV, XR-80, Cubs) – In this race, the players would go around the long course for three laps on the vehicles permitted for the events. Only one person was allowed to race for each team. Teams had to deal with Hair-Pin Alley and the Horse Shoe turns throughout the race. The person who crossed the finish line first would win 1st place.
- Short Course Race (ATV, XR-80, Cubs) – Similar to the Long Course Race, teams had to take a shorter route on the Maximum Drive Course. Only this time they had to ride for five laps till they reached the finish line.
- Argo (Argos Only) – The six-wheel vehicles were used for this event only. The players would drive around another course on the Maximum Drive course which led into the two mud pits called the "Bog" and the "Gator Pit". They would drive for three laps on the course, and this event could use one or two players from each team to play.
- Slam Dunk (Wave Runner Only) – This was one of two water events of the whole series. All three players would participate in this game. The objective was to send one player on the Yamaha Wave Runner to retrieve floatation balls from two teammates on rafters in the Maximum Drive Lake and dunk them into enter-tubes. If a ball entered a tube, they would get a point. There were three balls (two yellow & one red) and they had up to 90 seconds to score. If a ball fell in the water, they could retrieve it as long as time permitted it; however if they failed, they had to move onto the next ball. The team with the most balls in the tubes would get 1st place.
- Soccer (ATV Only) – This event was basically soccer, Maximum Drive style. In the center of the course, one player from each team would try to knock up to three giant bean bag balls into the goal lines. Each one they got was worth one point, however they only had one shot with each ball and they had 40 seconds to complete it.
- BMX Rally (Mountain Bikes Only) – In this event all players participated and they would ride on Mountain Bikes on the Hair Pin Alley Course. They had three laps to complete before finishing, and the rankings were determined by how many players of the same team were among the top finishers. Example: 1st place (1st, 3rd, 4th) 2nd (2nd, 5th, 7th) and 3rd (6th, 8th, 9th).
- Hover Ball (Hover Craft Only) – The second of two water events and this only aired once in the finale. The goal of this game was similar to Slam Dunk, but one player from each team would ride a hover craft and try to toss four balls into a goal net in two tries. The player with the most goals would win 1st place.
- Over The Mat (All Ground Vehicles) – One of the few games that used all three track vehicles in the main games, and was most often the second or final event of the day. The players would make one lap around the long or short courses before making a turn to the center of the course where they would park their vehicles into a parking zone that had their team color. They had to avoid knocking a ball off a cone when parking, otherwise they were penalized five seconds before they could continue. Once they parked, they could jump on blue safety mats and the giant bean bag ball in order to switch to the next vehicle or tag their partner to continue the race. There were four laps for this and the first player to cross would win 1st place.
- Gear Up (All Ground Vehicles) – One of two final events, Gear up required all three players to play in a Relay race similar to Over the Mat. One player would race one full lap on the long course, then make a turn to the center field where they got over the mat, and pass either goggles or a glove to their teammate, where they had to put it on before continuing the course, and again they would repeat the process to the next team member. Then the final member would complete the final lap to lock 1st place for their team.
- Balloon Boogie (All Ground Vehicles) – Same rules as Gear Up, but players had to throw a water balloon to their team mate where they had to catch it and break it on the ground before continuing.
Teams earned points depending on how they placed in the game
- 1st place – 5 points
- 2nd place – 3 points
- 3rd place – 1 point
In the event of ties, the points would go as follows:
- Tie for 1st – 4 points
- Tie for 2nd – 2 points
Rules, Cautions, and PenaltiesEdit
There were penalties that could either delay or disqualify a team from the race.
- Five-second Penalty – In Over the Mat, Gear Up, and Balloon Boogie, if a team knocked a ball off their cone when parking, they were penalized for five seconds before continuing.
- Disqualifications – If a team parked into the wrong color zone, went into the wrong route, or quitted, they were disqualified and would not receive any points for that event.
- Technicalities – If a team stalled or knocked into the hay bails, they were still in the race but were given a yellow caution flag to the other teams until they were able to continue. If a team was unable to complete the course, they are automatically given 3rd place.
The teams weren't only playing for winner of the day, they were also competing for the playoffs near the end of the season. Each team played eleven games, and the twelve teams with the best records would compete in the playoff matches.
- Preliminaries – The twelve teams were assigned positions based on their performance for the entire season, and the winner of each round would advance to the Quarter Finals. Teams who did not win would qualify for wild card spots; the five teams with the highest scores would advance.
- The Quarter Finals – The nine teams advancing would repeat the same as the first rounds, and the winners of each round would advance and the top three scoring teams would also continue to the semi-finals
- The Semi-Finals – The remaining six teams would continue the same sequence again, and the two winning teams would advance to the finals and the team with the best score of the remaining teams would also advance to the finals.
- The Finals – Like any normal episode, the teams would play different games including the Hover Ball game in the finals, and the winners of the day would be the Maximum Drive Champions.