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gravitywerx mail-in series

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markkaz 6/7/10

Hi George,
Sorry for not getting this uploaded sooner.

Here is the video that George sent me showing the whole track
in one shot.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iNMVNC1X8fY

Your other YouTube videos were really good at giving the impression
that the track had lots of curves.

In the end, it is up to the eyes of the beholder whether it is a race track
or just a rain gutter. While it may be lots of fun for the neighborhood to
play with, I'm not sure that it is worthy of a grand event.

Regards,
Mark

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georgeb 6/7/10

Maybe a rain gutter with turns. The straights are metal stud runners but the curves are handmade with great difficulty not to snag or purposely upset a pilotless $1.00 vehicle. Gravity powered vehicles do not slow down for the turns, in fact they hit the turn at full straightaway speed. A banked turn causes the straight to be banked also tracking the car to track to the inside of the turn which causes the car (which wants to go straight) to hit the wall at a severe angle with undesireable results. They must be guided to the outside of the turn so that they hit the fence at a shallow angle to guide it around as much as possible. This is done by cambering the straight before the turn with a tension rod. Also the seams joining the sections must be near perfect as well as where the turn wall meets the track. I torch-welded all these joints, but MIG would have been better. The welds are ground down and Bondo'd, standard shadetree bodywork. It was painted with flat black enamel and smoothed with fine steel wool. I coat the track with Armour-all before every race. It is really fast but not as fast as a plastic track would be. I would like it to be a little less gnarly but it is probably just about right if you like suspense. The cars that win on RDR drag strips would spend most of a Gravitywerx race on their roof. George

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redlinederby 6/8/10
Site manager

I can totally see that finding well suited cars for the Gravitywerx would be a challenge. I think I'd just find the toughest-looking cars and let it fly. I have no doubt the wrong car would just skid slowly down on its roof. But I guess without a track accessible, I'd just pick a random car and see how it does. I like the chaos and beat-em-up aspect of this racing but there are a lot of variables to account for, which makes it difficult to think about which cars do well and which ones don't.

@George - Do you have any data on what type of cars do well on your track? On a standard downhill track you're looking at weight, axles, wheels...are those all considerations for the Gravtiywerx track too? As rough as that track looks, I'm guessing car stance is important so it is less likely to tip over. Heck, I can see wheel alignment being important too!

Do have a downhill Gravitywerx track? If you're looking to get people involved with your racing then starting with something people are more familiar with might help. Just having to adjust thinking to find cars that do well going downhill without the luxury of lanes is one thing, let alone trying to think about that AND trying to consider a complex track with curves.

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redlinederby 6/8/10
Site manager

Just found this other video of the Gravitywerx track also, good shot of the curve

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4nEHZuc2lnM

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georgeb 6/8/10

Having had hundreds of races on this track using my own cars, I definitely know what works and what doesn't. I've also had a ten-week series and a one-day triple-round event with contestants. You learn by observing not only the outcomes but by how often certain cars crash and how straight they track down the straights. You also see how they react to the turn wall. A good car will stay pointed forward and hound any car that is in front of it, waiting for an opening. Out-of-the-box cars work great, with equal friction on each wheel. But modified ones work better. At one dollar a copy, the pack can upgrade to the winning formula for the next round. Don't forget, the races are ten laps (runs) long, plenty of time to watch the goings-on. There's some essential elements to insist on when selecting a car, which I will not devulge. George

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georgeb 6/10/10

I selected the cars for my Gravitywerx event. 20 cars, enough for an A and B race. The only requirement was that they make it down the track first time. About 4 or 5 didn't, but my two 2010 purchases, an Acura NSX and FTE Mustang, made it. I put the NSX on the pole for the A race and the Mustang on the pole for the B race to see how fast they pull away from the pack. I don't expect them to be in front for long; they both did lousy in testing a while ago. All total, there are 12 Hot Wheels cars, 4 Racing Champions, 1 Matchbox and the rest who knows. If they win something I'll peak underneath. One car came from a cereal box. I'll replace the last couple finishers after every round like a contestant would, keeping the same number, which also is their starting position. I also named the series: "The Raingutter Grand Event", which beat out "No Interest Whatsoever Gran Prix" and "Fantasy League Hiatus 500". I will start a new thread under that name. George

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redlinederby 6/11/10
Site manager

Raingutter Gran Prix has a good ring to it

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JDC442 6/12/10

Your 'Raingutter Grand Prix' is a different flavor of racing, not clean cut like the orange track head-to-head most of us are used to. I am curious though, so I'll keep an eye on your new thread


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