Running 2 50 car races in 1 hour 15 min. Any Suggestions?

Discussions on race planning, preparations and how to run a "fair" and fun race.
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Pinewoodgarage
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Running 2 50 car races in 1 hour 15 min. Any Suggestions?

Post by Pinewoodgarage » Thu Feb 28, 2013 8:42 pm

Ok, I am not new to PWD or cub scouts, I am an Eagle Scout along with my 4 other brothers. My dad has run district races before along with us helping. Fast forwardsome years my girls are in Awana. The first Grand Prix we smoked them not knowing what type of racing they did. Over the past next years we are still smoking, easily placing or winning for best design. We help the program buy a better track, computer program and finish line. The first year with the computer it crashed. So, they automatically they disliked the computer. Now this years race is coming up fast and and I still would like to see them use the computer for a better race. I believe the reason for the race is to race the car they have worked hard on and bring people and families in to hear the message.

I believe that one hour fifteen minutes is a disservice to the kids and families. I do realize that people have busy schedules and bedtime comes quickly. The race starts at 6pm on Wednesday night.

Ok finally the question...

Is there a computer program that will run two 50 car races. One sparky and TNT race and an overall winner in one hour and fifteen minutes?

Thank you for the help.
Signed one frustrated racer
Yes I searched but did not find a similar post



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gpraceman
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Re: Running 2 50 car races in 1 hour 15 min. Any Suggestions

Post by gpraceman » Fri Mar 01, 2013 1:13 am

Certainly, using a computer along with a timing system will make things easier and help make the race go faster. After that, how long a race will take will be highly determined by how efficient the race crew is at keeping the cars flowing to the start line and what particular scheduling method that you are using.

How many lane track? What type of scheduling do you want to use? One round of racing or multiple rounds?


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.

Pinewoodgarage
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Re: Running 2 50 car races in 1 hour 15 min. Any Suggestions

Post by Pinewoodgarage » Fri Mar 01, 2013 1:32 am

4 lane best track, champ timer with ( i wish ) Grand Prix software. The race uses some type of double elimination. The slowest cars seem to only race twice. Four cars race. 2 winners 2 losers. The more a car wins the further it goes. Does this type of race seem funny to you? It seems that depending on how fast the cars are in your heat you might be eliminated early causing slower cars to advance.



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Re: Running 2 50 car races in 1 hour 15 min. Any Suggestions

Post by MaxV » Fri Mar 01, 2013 8:16 am

GPRaceman couldn't say it because he is the vendor, but use Grand Prix Race Manager (GPRM). You can get it from him, or several other web vendors.



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Re: Running 2 50 car races in 1 hour 15 min. Any Suggestions

Post by StevenLawyer » Fri Mar 01, 2013 8:26 am

If you are hyper proficient, you might be able to run that many cars in a fair race in an hour and half. I could do it. I'll give you a summary here and welcome you to contact me directly.

I have been running races for years using the exact setup you have (4 lane best track, champ timer), along with Grand Prix Race Manager. We run on a time basis, with each car going down each lane once. We have Grand Prix set to throw out the slowest time, average the rest. Double elimination is totally unfair. Depending upon pair ups, a very fast car could be eliminated early because he or she races the few cars that are faster in early rounds. The reason your group is doing that is because they don't have a computer and electronic timing gate. To conduct a fair race, you have to (1) race by time--everyone is actually racing the clock, (2) have every car go down every lane once--eliminates a slower car winning because it went on the fast lane of the track.

The other downside of any kind of elimination runs is that, once someone is out, they're just sitting down. Grand Prix allows you to configure it to mix heats so that a racers runs down the track are spread out.

Here's what we do (very brief description). We have a car stand just adjacent to the head of the track. Every car is required to have a sticker with it's racing number on the left side of the car. The stand is a stair stepped stand (easy to build one) that holds the cars so the numbers are facing you. Cars go on the stand in numerical order. Between the stand and the head of the track is a small table where the cars for the next heat can be placed in the same order as they go on the track (make sure they can't roll off). You need one (better with two) person(s) manning the car stand, one person manning the start gate at the head of the track, and the computer operator running grand prix race manager. Grand prix's racing screen can be set to show the current heat running, plus the on deck display. We put four chairs off the end of the track where the racers can sit and watch their cars come at them. We then have four more chairs to the side where the racers who are on deck can sit so that they can quickly move into the race chairs. As soon as a race has been run, the guy at the start gate is loading the next set of cars from the table. At the same time, the racers are retrieving their cars off of the track and bringing them back to the car stand. The car stand operator is receiving those cars and pulling the next race's cars off the stand and putting them on the table. The racers in the on deck chairs move into the racing chairs. The on deck racers get into position in the on deck chairs. And the race is run!

Grand Prix can be configured to prevent any car from racing back to back heats. The same car in back to back heats slows you down, because you are waiting for the car to come from the bottom end of the track. Also, Grand Prix can run master schedules. So, for your race, you would build race tables for the TNT's and for the Sparky's separately, but then use a master schedule so that their heats are intermixed. In other words, Sparky's would race only Sparky's and TNT's would race only TNT's, but the heats would be intermixed. Keeps everyone there and involved. A racer doesn't know when they are racing until they come up on deck. And their four runs down the track are spread out throught the racing time. To run races as fast as you want, you probably need to eliminate having the racers sit at the end of the track and, instead, have another adult moving cars from end to end. To run every car once down each lane, you're talking about running the same number of heats as racers--so you're talking 100 heats. You're pushing the envelope to run that many in an hour and 15 minutes. That gives you about 45 seconds per heat.

Here's my concerns for your situation. Grand Prix is great software, but you need to practice at it. Trying to run heats as fast as you want to on your first try is going to be very difficult. To do so, you need to set up your champ timer, hook it to your computer, and spend this weekend practicing (there's a way to simulate your start gate for your champ timer). My other concern is convincing the host to let you run fair races. They're used to double elimination. If you convince them to change it and then racing takes two hours because you aren't proficient, you're going to be done for good. You may need to convince them to use timed races, but just run each car down two lanes. That cuts your number of heats from 100 to 50--much easier to do on your first try.

If you buy Grand Prix Race Manager today and want to practice this weekend, send me a PM and I'll send you my phone number so we can discuss how to configure your software and practice.


Steven Lawyer
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Re: Running 2 50 car races in 1 hour 15 min. Any Suggestions

Post by StevenLawyer » Fri Mar 01, 2013 8:31 am

Can I just add a quick off topic comment. In this single thread, we have Randy Lisano, the developer of Grand Prix Race Manager, and Randy Davis, author of Maximum Velocity. Thanks to Randy Davis, my son has built three cars that have never been beat and thanks to Randy Lisano, our Pack is regularly asked to run races for other Packs because our races are entertaining, exciting, fast, and fair! I feel like I'm among celebrities!


Steven Lawyer
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Re: Running 2 50 car races in 1 hour 15 min. Any Suggestions

Post by Pinewoodgarage » Fri Mar 01, 2013 9:28 am

Thank you guys so much. My girls and I have been using Mr. Davis for our supply of blocks and graphite for some time now. We have helped Wes Mills ( Mills-Craft ) run the raceway ministries PWD at the NASCAR events in Fontana. We have sent cars into the PDDR ( Glen Jeweks ) and the NPWDRL ( John Haliburtion ). I run a .com but, I do much more local stuff and facebook. I have helped local packs run races and have help a lot of families build better cars. We do have the Grand Prix software however we are probably due to download the latest version. I have a workshop planned for the 23rd of March. Our race is not till the 10th of April . We have time but not much. Yes, I will send a PM Steve thank you all. I pray that I can persuade them to use the software.



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Re: Running 2 50 car races in 1 hour 15 min. Any Suggestions

Post by rpcarpe » Fri Mar 01, 2013 10:03 am

I've recently had good results by inviting others to a well-run derby.
A much Senior leader came to a Derby we ran, and will now recommend the same format to 10 other Packs.

Perhaps you and the Cubmaster/Chair could go to another derby that races the clock?

I also see that the start time, in the middle of the week, sets you up for a very tight schedule. Does no one want to race on the weekend?


My wife started a new support group... Widows of the Pinewood Derby.

Pinewoodgarage
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Re: Running 2 50 car races in 1 hour 15 min. Any Suggestions

Post by Pinewoodgarage » Fri Mar 01, 2013 11:08 am

I have asked for that before. " They " say that parents would complain. I have suggested a church out reach and bring cubs, awanas, royal rangers, the police activities league, mens group, or any other outlaw class to race on a Saturday and make it a fund raiser to support the Awana program. Sell food , give a message and have fun. Still " they" say the schedule is full. I have been accused of cheating so I volunteered to put on a workshop aside of car cut out night. Most parents that know me have on their own have said the same thing that I have posted here. After four years of this I think I will not help this group as much. Then " they " can complain as much as they want. Sorry for venting.



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