Test & Tune Night

Discussions on race planning, preparations and how to run a "fair" and fun race.
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*5 J's*
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Test & Tune Night

Post by *5 J's* » Tue Jan 25, 2011 11:55 am

Some of the latest posts got me thinking about a Test & Tune night. Our Pack has never had a test & tune night. What are the thoughts on a having one? What do you do to ensure that it doesn't become an early race?



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Darin McGrew
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Re: Test & Tune Night

Post by Darin McGrew » Tue Jan 25, 2011 12:08 pm

We don't have a test & tune night. We do provide access to an inclined section of our old track at our workshops, but that isn't the same thing.

Anyway, I've heard of test & tune nights setting up the track but not the timer. I've also heard of test & tune nights restricting access to the track to one car at a time. Techniques like that should help prevent the test & tune night from becoming an early race.



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FatSebastian
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Re: Test & Tune Night

Post by FatSebastian » Tue Jan 25, 2011 12:25 pm

*5 J's* wrote:What are the thoughts on a having one?
In reply to another topic, I posted some comments that might be related to the question.



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gpraceman
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Re: Test & Tune Night

Post by gpraceman » Tue Jan 25, 2011 12:58 pm

I highly recommend having one. Our pack would do the check-in the night before the race and allow racers to run their cars down the track two times. No head-to-head competition was allowed, of course. This helped identify the cars with the biggest issues, the ones that wouldn't even finish. Nothing is worse to a racer than when their car can't even cross the finish line. Racers whose cars did not have such issues were able to do a bit of tweaking with those two runs.

It also leads to much less stress on race day for the race crew, as the track is already setup and cars already checked in.


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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Nitro Dan
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Re: Test & Tune Night

Post by Nitro Dan » Tue Jan 25, 2011 4:35 pm

We have the opportunity at our Pack to set up the track the night before. Since we got to be there anyways to setup the track and make sure everything is running correctly, we make that our Test & Tune night. Like Graceman, we only allow one car on the track at a time, with no head to head racing, and no times being displayed. This is done so that no one is allowed to know which car might be faster than another before the race. It's very important that each kid comes to the race believing that they have a chance of winning. The purpose of the test is to check your car's alignment and the ability to reach the end of the track.

-Nitro Dan


Take good and make it great. Take fast and make it faster. Performance drives success!

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Re: Test & Tune Night

Post by *5 J's* » Tue Jan 25, 2011 6:13 pm

Thanks. Some good ideas to contemplate.



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3 Cub Dad
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Re: Test & Tune Night

Post by 3 Cub Dad » Wed Jan 26, 2011 11:02 am

Our pack doesn't have it's own track, something we're working on. However, I do own a 40' two lane aluminum pantedosi track. This year we will be having a test and tune night. We'll be setting up my track at the school one night at the school, for 3 hours, a few days before the derby. My preference is to do it a few days before the derby, so that if any major issues are found, (like glued wheels!!!), there's plenty of time to fix them!

I've run test and tunes in the past. The rules are explained and are absolute! Only one car allowed on the track at a time, (in a prior pack, and I'll be doing it for this one too), a piece of wood is clamped across all but one lane, just after the starting gate, or at the gate, so that, literally, only one car can race down the track at a time. The display on the finish line timer is covered with paper so that it cannot be seen. However, the computer is hooked up so that the racer can see his time and try adjustments. We also tell everyone NO discussions of time is allowed between racers. Actually, they seem to police themselves on that one pretty well!

3 Cub Dad



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Re: Test & Tune Night

Post by *5 J's* » Wed Jan 26, 2011 11:45 am

Good suggestions 3 Cub Dad



dna1990
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Re: Test & Tune Night

Post by dna1990 » Wed Jan 26, 2011 1:10 pm

It takes some extra software or record keeping, but one way to keep time gossip down...is to not share any absolute times.

The racer runs one time, and you record that time, but do not share it with the racer. Then on subsequent runs, you share only the difference +/- to that first run.



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Re: Test & Tune Night

Post by gpraceman » Wed Jan 26, 2011 1:20 pm

dna1990 wrote:The racer runs one time, and you record that time, but do not share it with the racer. Then on subsequent runs, you share only the difference +/- to that first run.
Good idea :thumbup:


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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: Test & Tune Night

Post by dna1990 » Wed Jan 26, 2011 1:34 pm

GPRM v11? <grin>



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