Grand Prix Racing - How To Make A Fast Pinewood Car

Typical Grand Prix Rules

Rules are needed to make the competition fair and orderly. These are some typical Grand Prix rules for building the cars and for conduct at the race.

Car Specifics

  1. The length of the car is not to exceed 7 inches
  2. The width of the car is not to exceed 2.75 inches to avoid bumping other cars
  3. The height of the car is not to exceed 3 inches due to the finish line sensors
  4. The weight of the car is not to exceed 5 ounces
  5. The car must be built from the block of wood supplied in the kit
  6. The car must use the axles and wheels supplied in the kit
  7. No springs, bushings, washers, etc. may be used with the axles or wheels
  8. The wheels must be free-wheeling; no "starting" mechanisms are allowed
  9. Accessories may be made of model parts or other materials as long as they are securely fastened to the car.
  10. The car must not leak lubricant at check-in nor get any on the track during a race
  11. It is wise to leave 3/8 inch clearance under the car so it does not get stuck on the lane median (it's 1/4 inch tall and 1 3/8 inches wide).

Competition Rules

  1. Each contestant must check their car in. Check-in is a qualifying inspection. Contestant's cars are placed in a "Go, No Go" box. The inner dimensions of the box correspond to the specified legal size of the car. A cover is placed over the box to insure the height limit is not exceeded. The maximum weight of each car is also checked at check-in. If the car does not pass, the competitor must go to the "repair station" to make the necessary changes to pass on another try at check-in. When a car passes check-in it is assigned a race number (perhaps different from the car's number) and is placed by the contestant into the staging area.
  2. A competitor may NOT touch another competitor's car, once it is checked in.
    The maximum penalty is disqualification from the race.
  3. Cars may only be handled when they are specifically called for before a race or after a race to move it from or to the staging area or effect repairs after a race.
  4. Lubricating a car is considered a repair.
  5. Parents or leaders may assist a contestant in use of repair equipment and supplies. In the case of some tools, only an adult may use them. So please ask the repair table attendant for help.
  6. Cars that have been repaired, must be checked in to resume racing.
  7. Only competitors who are racing are allowed to walk near the track along the designated paths and sit at the end of the track.
  8. For the protection of the track, no one is to cross over any part of it.
  9. Only line judges may sit near the finish line.
  10. The race coordinator's decisions are final on any matter pertaining to the race.
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Grand Prix Racing - How To Make A Fast Pinewood Car
Copyright © 1997, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2004 by Michael Lastufka, All rights reserved worldwide.