Grand Prix Racing - How To Make A Fast Pinewood Car

Design for Looks or Novelty

Grand Prix competitions rate design just as highly as speed. Design usually means, "what looks good" rather than "clever things done to make a faster car". Though the two goals may seem at odds, many design winners have also placed in the speed category. Before you read about making a fast Grand Prix car, consider that a fast car can also look good.

Design for looks involves building for the judges. In order to have any advantage in the design category, you must know what the judges are looking for. The design judges often have a section in the rulebook indicating what they are looking for in design. Ask for a copy of the design judging guidelines from your race coordinator.

In local races, judges are often selected on the spot from on looking adults who have no children in the competition being judged. They may be asked to read a judges' information sheet. Even if they do, chances are they will still look for the car that appeals to them most based on their own ideas of craftsmanship and look.

If you want to build a sleek, futuristic, high-powered, movie-type car, the kind that seems to get most acclaim, you will probably find enough "room" in the speed design procedures to make it fast. But there's no reason to think that a clever, well executed novelty car, the kind that seems to win second or third place for design, can't be made fast either!

To create these designs, you may find it necessary to weaken one or more of the speed design procedures. But as long as the main ones affecting wheels, axles and weights are observed, you probably stand a good chance of placing in speed too. The importance of some of the speed factors may depend on how well acquainted your club is with them. If everyone builds low air resistance cars and observes the other basics, an odd shaped car could be in trouble!

Even if you are a pure design artist, you can still benefit from this manual by paying more attention to the sections about shaping, accessories and finishing your car. You'll need to make more time for drawing your car, sculpting it and blending the finish. But don't forget, most rules state that your car must at least FINISH one race!

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Grand Prix Racing - How To Make A Fast Pinewood Car
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