Girl Scouts Championship Race

General topics of interest to racers and race coordinators alike.
Speedster
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Re: Girl Scouts Championship Race

Post by Speedster » Fri Feb 10, 2017 7:56 am

The race was SUPER GREAT !!!! It looks like Julia's car was crooked at the start but she won the race anyway. Maybe it was a rail rider and she wanted the car to start on the rail. I suppose I'll have to give that staging a try.



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Re: Girl Scouts Championship Race

Post by gpraceman » Fri Feb 10, 2017 9:39 am

All that prep work and lead up and then it is over in a flash. What a relief that it went off without a hitch! Once I get back home, I'll post some photos.


Randy Lisano
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Re: Girl Scouts Championship Race

Post by Vitamin K » Fri Feb 10, 2017 9:45 am

Any video available of the race?



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gpraceman
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Re: Girl Scouts Championship Race

Post by gpraceman » Fri Feb 10, 2017 9:51 am



Randy Lisano
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Re: Girl Scouts Championship Race

Post by gpraceman » Sat Feb 11, 2017 8:07 pm

The crooked staging was not deliberate. We were told that the co-host would do a practice run and then we'd immediately get ready to do the race. So, the test run was done with our set of test cars and then the girl's cars were quickly re-staged back onto the track. The guy that staged them didn't remember to check to make sure they were all straight. It was just one of those things that happens when one is in a hurry. Anyways, it certainly didn't hurt that car, as it ended up winning the race.

I do feel sorry for the 4th place car. She ended up dropping her car on the sidewalk just minutes before the race. She picked it up and dusted it off, no sweat. I can't help but think that affected how her car ran. I did do a quick check of the wheels and couldn't find anything obviously wrong, but at that point we could not do a test run of the car down the track to compare with her runs from the day before. (We did test runs for each car on rehearsal day, but didn't want to run them head to head until the actual race.)

Speaking of the track, it was 49 ft long. It was two 4 lane tracks that were combined to make up 8 lanes. Then they used what looked like laminate flooring velcroed to every other lane. They basically wanted to provide more spacing between the cars. They did build a custom support structure for the start section, since it was so high up off the ground. A custom stop garage was built, with foam padding to catch the cars at the end. It had The Champ timer and an ESS solenoid gate. We had some times on the track a hair under 3 seconds on rehearsal day.

It was a good thing that the crew brought two of everything (well, most everything), as we had the start gate fall apart at the end of rehearsal the day before. The two pieces of the gate (hinge and L-angle) are only held together with double sided tape and the tape failed. That made me worried about how well the replacement would hold up with temps in the teens at the show site. Fortunately, that didn't end up being an issue. We also had a timer issue on one lane at the show site, but a tweak of the timer positioning on the track got it working. They only had the one 8 lane timer, so there was nothing to fall back to.

It is sounding like Ford will continue to do races with the Girl Scouts next season. It may be 8 cities instead of the 4 they did near the end of last year. The cities have not been decided on.


Randy Lisano
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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.

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Re: Girl Scouts Championship Race

Post by gpraceman » Sun Feb 12, 2017 1:10 am

I posted photos on our Facebook page.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/grandpr ... recentral/


Randy Lisano
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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.

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Re: Girl Scouts Championship Race

Post by Speedster » Sun Feb 12, 2017 5:47 am

Thanks for the clip.
Did you run one of your cars down the track to see how fast the girls cars were? Was there anyone there from Best track? Did the girls use the BSA kit for their cars? Do you have any idea what rules they all were following?
I'm meeting with a Girl Scout Program Director soon and I'd like to have as much info as I can get.

Ya done a GREAT JOB, gpraceman.
Thank you.



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Re: Girl Scouts Championship Race

Post by gpraceman » Sun Feb 12, 2017 10:29 am

I ran some of our old cars down the track before it was shipped to New York. I made up some simple wedge test cars for the event, since I didn't want any of our family's cars to possibly get damaged, especially while traveling. The test cars were setup as rail riders, with Krytox as the lube. I slapped them together at the last minute. No wheel or axle prep at all. The axles were the ones from Revell, so they did not have any crimp marks to file off. They were a bit faster than the girls' cars, which were running graphite.

No one from Best Track was there. I was there to help with any track and timer issues as well as to help the girls get their cars tuned for the race.

BSA kits were used for the races in the 4 cities (Detroit, Dallas, Miami, and New Jersey). Each girl at the finals was representing their city. I think the councils in those cities provided the car kits to the girls.

I was not able to dig up a copy of the race rules. There was a few quirky things with the rules, but for the most part they were pretty standard. I made some recommendations on them for the next series of races.

If you are going to talk with your local program director, you might want to touch base first with the program director from one of the cities that hosted a race last year.


Randy Lisano
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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.

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whodathunkit
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Re: Girl Scouts Championship Race

Post by whodathunkit » Sun Feb 12, 2017 11:42 am

Randy Thank You For posting the Video and clips !

It's good to see the Girls Scouts racing and it looks like you had a grate time as well with the event.


What type of automobile can be spelled the same forwards & backwards?

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Re: Girl Scouts Championship Race

Post by Speedster » Sun Feb 12, 2017 4:03 pm

I know I'm going to like what you recommended. What did you recommend?

I hesitate to contact some other director. I want to make the rules. This is the STEAM program. I don't want some other director telling me we must have 4 wheels on the ground because that's the way my mother always did it. I want to start out from everything I've learned on Derby Talk since 2012 and have the little ladies go from there. I do not want them "Dumbed Down" in any way from the start. I want legally to be able to teach and build rail riders. Natalie is going to be on my side. If at any point some powers don't want me around, just say "Goodbye" and I'll leave quietly, no hard feelings. My involvement is not going to be a democracy, It's going to be a Dictatorship. OK, OK, I'll be nice. Natalie is very high up in the Girl Scouts and has been for a long time. She's heavily involved in the Lego program. She is a very good friend of mine. The Big trophy from the Sponsor race displayed at church doesn't hurt either. Today, the powers at church decided they want to have a FUN pinewood derby where kids could just come and play and run a bunch of cars down the track. I still have Pack 217's wood 3 lane Piantedosi track in my garage. Even if we sell it, I have 2 other wood tracks in my garage that were donated to the Erie council from the Owens Corning Corporation (World Headquarters in Toledo, Ohio) when they were the Pacesetter for the United Way in 1996. I store them for the Council. With my personal "Best" track, that gives me access to 4 tracks. Tell me there's no such thing as LUCK.
A side note. I'm so old that in 1985 my son, Jeff. and I raced scouts in his Tiger group. I took over Pack 217 Derby a few years after that. I now have raced their children, get ready for this, and their GRANDCHILDREN. I now have been blessed with working with the Girl Scouts. No, I'm not slowing down.
Everybody, don't ever give up the Pinewood Derby. It is so much more than a block of wood going down a hill.
Cheers,
Bill



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Re: Girl Scouts Championship Race

Post by gpraceman » Sun Feb 12, 2017 7:22 pm

Here's my recommendations on rules changes:
While it is too late for this year's races, the following should be considered for the 2017 races:

1. Wheel Diameter - Rules stated a minimum diameter of 1.175" but the go/no-go gauge only works for 1.18" and 1.17" limits. As per the Maximum Velocity website, they recommend that if no wheel modification is allowed, use the 1.18" diameter and 0.36" width limits. If some sanding of wheels is allowed, use the 1.17" diameter and 0.32" width limits.
2. Wheelbase - Not sure the origin of the minimum 4" wheelbase rule. A short wheelbase is of no competitive advantage. As with real cars, a wider wheelbase makes for a more stable ride. If you are looking to even the playing field, maybe make a maximum wheelbase rule, which coincides with the distance between the slots on the car blocks.
3. Four Wheels Touching - This rule hurts novice racers. If you slap 4 wheels on a block, like a lot of families do, invariably, one wheel will not be touching the track. So, it takes more effort for racers to comply with that rule. Additionally, handling of the cars by the race crew or the cars hitting the brakes in the track's stop section can easily change the alignment of wheels so one of the wheels will no longer touch. Then some parent can get a burr under their saddle if they see a car without a wheel touching after check-in. This happened to me when I ran a Cub Scout District race, so the next year we eliminated that rule.
4. Height Limit - Consider increasing the limit. As long as cars do not hit the timing unit, then there should be no problem to let them run. There is no competitive advantage to having a taller car. It can actually be a disadvantage, as it can make a car more unstable. Allowing taller designs can lead to racers coming up with more creative designs. The car inspection go/no-go gauge can be set at 3", 4" or 5". I believe that a 5" tall car will clear the timer.
5. Allowable Wheels - I know the check-in inspectors were looking for the blue BSA wheels, but I didn't see a written rule on what wheels are allowable. At a minimum your rules should require BSA wheels. The color doesn't matter. BSA has black, blue, red, orange and yellow wheels available. Any of those should be acceptable.


Randy Lisano
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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.

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Re: Girl Scouts Championship Race

Post by gpraceman » Sun Feb 12, 2017 9:23 pm

The best time on the track, for the girls, was at rehearsal, 2.9936 secs. The winning time on race day was 3.0236 secs,


Randy Lisano
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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.

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Re: Girl Scouts Championship Race

Post by Speedster » Mon Feb 13, 2017 9:22 am

1. I think we'll go with the 1.170. No modifications. Light sanding allowed. If they sand it they'll probably make it worse. If someone has a vendor do nothing to the wheel but make it round I can live with that. Other then Derby Evolution, nobody makes the wheel round anyway unless other modifications are made - step removed, material removed from inside, etc. I'll have to think about what problems fenders would present at inspection time.
2. Stock wheelbase of 4 3/8" using slots. I'm sorry to hold the racers back but I still think it takes expensive tools and lots of skill to extend the wheelbase, even if you are cutting slots. Maybe later this could be changed.
3. 4 wheels turning. My Time with the Girl Scouts will be very short.
4. We have a 2 1/2" height limit and have had it for the past 31 years. I think it was because of the clearance of the home made timer. I realize the "a" in "Steam" stands for Art but they'll have to get creative with their Art because I like that rule. I might get over-ruled on that one. Women are buying a lot of cars and trucks these days.
5. Allowable wheels. BSA Made in U.S.A. Why were the inspectors looking for Blue wheels?

Opinions on my choice of rules Welcome. Please be kind.



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Re: Girl Scouts Championship Race

Post by whodathunkit » Mon Feb 13, 2017 9:49 am

Speedster wrote: Why were the inspectors looking for Blue wheels?
That's a good one Speedster! maybe they wanted the girls to show support for the Ford Blue Oval logo?


What type of automobile can be spelled the same forwards & backwards?

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Re: Girl Scouts Championship Race

Post by gpraceman » Mon Feb 13, 2017 10:04 am

1. They were using the MaxV wheel go/no-go gauge for inspection.
2. The problem that I have with mandating the use of the slots is that they can be out of perpendicular with the sides.
3. I do hate 4 wheels touching rules.
4. If there is more clearance under the timer, then raise the height limit. Don't use the "we've always have done it that way" excuse. If you can't even accommodate the typical 3" height limit, then the timer should either be modified or replaced.
5. It seems that the kits that were distributed only had blue wheels. Not sure why. Certainly, the color has no competitive advantage, so any BSA color should do.

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Randy Lisano
Romans 5:8

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.

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