Grand Prix Racing - How To Make A Fast Pinewood Car

Make a Racer Spacer

Construct a racer spacer to align your wheels when you place your car on the race track on race day. The spacer slides over the lane median to push your wheels out from the car body and in from the axle hub.

Dimensions of a Racer Spacer.

To make a racer spacer:

  1. Cut four 8 inch long pieces of 3/16th inch square balsa.
  2. Cut one 1 inch by 2 7/8 inch rectangle of 3/16th or 1/8th inch thick balsa.
  3. Cut one 1 inch by 1 3/4 inch long piece of 1/16th inch thick balsa.
  4. Use wood glue to cement the shorter pieces at right angles to and on top of the longer ones so that the long pieces are separated by 3/8 inches, 1 3/8 inches and 3/8 inches. The rectangular pieces should be separated by 6 inches.

Check fit to your car and adjust the spacing before the glue sets. Your racer spacer will probably fit over the lane median with room to spare. Glue a small piece of felt or some cotton to the inside edges of the racer spacer to help center it. If you have some small strips of springy metal they can be hot glued or slotted into the inside edge instead. Make sure the free end of each spring strip (or wire) points forward or they might catch on the median when you slide the spacer out from under your car.

On race day, many organizations only allow you to touch your car, put it on the track and recover it from a race. Place the racer spacer at the starting line. Set your car on top of it so the wheels slot in as shown.

The car should fit snugly, resting against the starting post. Carefully slip the racer spacer out from under the car toward the rear while not allowing the car to move with the other hand. Be careful to see no one knocks it from its position.

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Grand Prix Racing - How To Make A Fast Pinewood Car
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