New York Race

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Speedster
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New York Race

Post by Speedster » Mon May 13, 2019 5:28 am

I've read the rules for the Stock Class and I think they've made a huge mistake. ( 4 on the ground and NO bending axles ). That is far from making it fair for everyone. I think only the SUPER skilled will be able to accomplish building a very fast car.

This, of course, is simply my opinion, because I need to bend axles. OK, I'm a Crybaby.



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gpraceman
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Re: New York Race

Post by gpraceman » Mon May 13, 2019 9:15 am

I'll be at that race this year. I do intend to have a discussion with them regarding their rules.

No filling and redrilling wheel bores. How do you inspect for that? Who does that anyway? Seems more likely that you will drill a tad off center, only hurting your chances.

On minimum axle diameter, are they actually measuring that?

When I talked to people at Mid America about competing in this race, most everyone stated that they would not due to the poor rules.


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: New York Race

Post by Speedster » Mon May 13, 2019 11:46 am

Randy, I wish you the Very Best on getting rules changed to try to make it more fair for everyone. It probably is too late for this year but I think it would benefit everyone in the future if the rules were different. You did a Great job on the rules for " Ford Fast Track Racing " and made it a lot easier for 800 Girl Scouts to build their cars. If enough racers would complain perhaps those making the rules would take another look at what they've done. I would think the number of those wanting to race would increase which would benefit everyone.
I hope you have Beautiful weather.



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gpraceman
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Re: New York Race

Post by gpraceman » Mon May 13, 2019 11:54 am

I'm not sure how open to rules changes they will be. At the council level, generally those in charge can be pretty resistant to rules changes, but we'll see. It would certainly make the race more appealing if the rules were improved, which would boost attendance.

I hope that weather is good as well, as we want to do some sightseeing while we are there. I've been to NY City before, but my wife has not. We've planned a couple of days to sight see. Not much time, I know, but NY is just the first leg of this trip. After the race, we will be going to San Juan, PR to visit our daughter who is now working there. Gotta save some money for that.


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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Vitamin K
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Re: New York Race

Post by Vitamin K » Mon May 13, 2019 1:18 pm

When folks from the Derby community tried to engage about the poor ruleset in the past, the organizers pretty much doubled down and stuck to their guns.

Hope they find a voice of reason to listen to.



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Re: New York Race

Post by gpraceman » Mon May 13, 2019 2:15 pm

They had the dream of making this the biggest race in the country, attracting people from all over the US and getting national media coverage. If they want to keep pursuing that dream, they will need to look at ways to encourage people to participate, not discourage them. I think that starts with a close review of the rules. The first thing I hear when I even mention the NYC Times Square race to people, is regarding the rules.


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: New York Race

Post by Nevin » Wed May 22, 2019 6:02 am

What's the biggest gripe people have with the NYC Times Square race rules-wise?



Speedster
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Re: New York Race

Post by Speedster » Wed May 22, 2019 8:41 am

For me, the order of importance would be as follows:

1. 4 wheels on the ground, no bending axles. I stay away from the ONE district in the Erie Council that requires all 4 wheels be on the ground. I can't imagine how many very fast 3 wheel rail riders would now need to put the 4th wheel down, probably set with Negative camber and tow out, to obey the rules. A senseless, hurtful rule for no reason. Are adults really thinking of young children when they make rules?

2. Any rule that cannot be enforced without tearing a car apart.

I apologize for getting a bit upset when thinking of the 4 on the ground rule. My doctor told me to quit thinking about that rule.



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Re: New York Race

Post by gpraceman » Wed May 22, 2019 11:48 am

Currently, their rules do seem to discourage highly competitive racers from participating. When I chat with someone about the Times Square race, almost invariably, the first thing they mention is regarding the rules. If this is to be the premier race in the nation, shouldn't it be looking to attract these competitive racers? When I look at 2018 results for the Times Square race (Pro Stock) vs. Mid America (Qualified Scout), only 2 racers that placed in NY would have even placed in Mid America. Right now, it seems that the most competitive race is Mid America. Of course, there are some rules differences that may come to play in that.

Here's some things that I gleaned from their posted rules:

+ Cars must clear the center rail of the track, which is 1 5/8 inches wide by ¼ inch tall along the entire length of the car. Minimum clearance between the entire bottom of the car and the bottom of the wheels shall be 3/8 of an inch.

If they don't actually try cars on the track (or a segment thereof) that are under that 3/8" clearance limit, they may be rejecting cars that have no issue with belly rubbing. They use a Best Track, so there is quite a bit of space in the middle of a lane that would be no issue for low hanging weights.

+ Aftermarket purchased axles prohibited.

Maybe the intention was to prohibit parts that were not purchased from "an authorized BSA retailer such as a Scout Shop". So, how can you tell an official BSA axle purchased from one of the online derby vendors from a Scout Shop axle? Seems like one of those rules that really is not enforceable.

+ Wheel bores may not be filled and re-drilled to alter bore diameter or to achieve better fit with the axle

Not sure why this rule is necessary. To me, you run more the risk of drilling your wheel bores off center, hurting performance.

+ Modifications to the Axles are allowed that include straightening, sanding, polishing, canting, grooving, beveling and tapering of axle head as long as the Diameter of the Axle is not reduced. The Diameter may not be less than 0.084 inches (2.13mm)

Seems rather contrary to good performance for a racer to reduce the diameter of an axle and make for a sloppier fit to the wheel bore. Though, maybe this relates to the no filling and drilling wheel bores rule. So, are they measuring axle diameter? If so, how and does it require pulling a wheel from the car? Maybe they are using an appropriate go/no-go gauge to determine compliance without requiring the removal of a wheel?

+ Axles may be canted for alignment purposes BUT Axles may not be bent

So, you can drill angled holes but not bend an axle? What?? Bending an axle is easier for a novice racer. On a Pro Stock car with drilled axle holes, you likely will not be able to determine if axles are bent or not.

+ All 4 wheels must be in contact with the track at all times. The wheel tread does not have to be flat on the track.

Such a rule always gets my goat. If you give a novice racer a kit and they slap on the wheels, almost always one wheel will not be touching. You make it harder on the racers to get all wheels touching. Making things harder on racers, especially novice ones, helps discourage participation, not encourage it. We should be trying to encourage participation.

Then there is the issue of a car meeting the rules at check-in, but later goes out of compliance during the race from handling, rough stops, or whatever. This would be a more likely issue with the Stock cars, as they must use the slots. If that car ends up winning a trophy, someone could easily contest the results if they notice that all wheels are not touching. I ran into a very similar situation at a district race that I ran. We had a rule about no angled axles at the time. Not angled at check-in, but somewhere along the line one became angled. The next year, we removed that rule.

+ No lubricating oil or liquid lubricant of any kind may be used.

I don't really have a problem with this rule, as I feel it can be appropriate to separate oil cars from graphite cars. I just think that if they want to increase participation, they should look at adding separate oil divisions.

Many races outlaw oils due to a fear of oil slicks on the track. If you have a slick on your track, then your check-in crew did not do their job properly. We've allowed oils for many many years and we have yet to have an oil slick on the track. That is because our check-in crew will look for oil seeping out of the wheel bores. If there is, they hand it back to the racer to remove the excess oil. I maintain that graphite is a far messier lube than oils. Just look at the hands of the people handling graphite lubed cars during the race and the mess at the pit area table.

+ No mention of a height limit.

While it is not very likely to be an issue at a council race, with very competitive cars, I still think it is better to list a maximum height. You don't want any part of a car to collide with the timing unit at the finish line. I've seen cars with all sorts of tall structures, like whip antennas, tails, masts, etc.


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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