I have seen a couple of times in here parents or other interested parties complaining that having only one latch on the start gate (referencing the Pack 80 plans) doesn't provide a fair start - Yes I agree that's probably not the case - but I decided to try to solve the problem on the track I am building to avoid any complaints.
My solution - move the start gate mounts and latches (hold on it's coming) to the inside of the frame. Add another latch for the other side and then link the two latches with another 1 1/4" dowel screwed into the latches (to help prevent torque during an uneven pull on the dowel). Now the starter stands behind the start gate (as opposed to beside it). It seems to work quite well - I was surprised that something I came up with worked so well - although we haven't had our race yet - so I will discontinue patting myself on the back.
I would like to take this opportunity to again thank the individual from Pack 80 that has taken the time to document the specifications of his track so completely and post it so that we all can benefit. I followed your plans to the letter and (again) was surprised that something I built looks so good and works so well (but I think all the credit goes to the Pack 80 plans as opposed to my wood-working skills). Thanks Again !!!
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Awana Grand Prix and Pinewood Derby racing - Where a child, an adult and a small block of wood combine for a lot of fun and memories.