Join Date: May 2002
Location: Lombard, IL (a western suburb of Chicago)
When the kits are given to the boys (at the Christmas pack meeting) we also hand out the offical rules and I give a quick speech re-iterating that the boys are supposed to be the ones building the cars with parental assistence, not the other way around! In our rules we discuss weight limits, and prohibited modifications such as not using the axles, wheels and block as supplied, no changing of the wheel base, no machining whatsoever (you can polish axles and wheels), and no moving weights. Our pre-race tech night includes a complete inspection; weight check, dimensional checks, and rule infringement checks. I offer my workshop to anybody who wishes to tweak their cars and many take advantage of the oportunity. We'll fine tune car weights and I even set up a couple of sections of track so they can test roll it to check their alignment.
[brag on] Since I've taken over, our overall speeds have improved dramatically, the cars are much more competitive (we've had multiple ties even after 4 heats), and I'm seeing more scout/less parent built cars. I remind the scouts on race night we're here to have fun, race fair, and appreciate all the work every body puts into their cars. [/brag off]
It's a lot of work to put it all together, but the look on the boys faces makes it all worth it! ::
Regarding areodynamics; our track is a really old handmade wooden one and I've seen some areodynamically horrible cars win. In our case, it seems the key is maximum weight and a good alignment. (everybody seems to do a good job of lubricating and polishing axles) The cars that go straight and don't hit the rails are the ones who win.