In the freely creative spirit of the Canary Derby, we highly encourage the construction of soapbox cars from an original design. Since the idea of the event is focused around fun, family, and raising money for the cause, the race team wants to be as inclusive as possible with the cars that take to the course. As a result we have kept the specifications and rules very loose, controlling for variables that are known to have the greatest effect on speed such as weight and length.
If the team is using a kit car, major modifications must only be made with the permission of the race director. Primarily, red-flag modifications include: changing the wheels without accounting for axle strength and braking system modifications.
- Therefore, unless the team decides to re-engineer the axle mechanism on these cars, the only allowed wheels are the AASBD approved wheels available for purchase with the kits. These wheels act to keep the lateral forces off of the axles, while keeping the centre of gravity low.
- If the team decides to modify the kit car, the two-stage race director consultation process is mandatory.
If the team is building a car from scratch, and this will be it’s first appearance in the Vancouver Canary Derby, the following rules apply:
- Thought and testing must be put into place regarding axle strength if the wheels exceed 10” in diameter.
- Two-stage race director consultation process is mandatory.
Two-Stage Race Director Consultation Process
- After the first several team meetings, and one a design and general ideas for part sourcing has been developed, the team will engage the race director. At this time, the race director will consult with the team regarding their design, and provide early stage advice regarding safety. Please note, the race director is sworn to secrecy regarding design and strategy, this information will be kept completely confidential upon the request of the team.
- At least 10 days prior to race day, upon completion of the primary structure of the car (unfinished body, axles, wheels, brakes, steering) the team will again engage the race director. The race director will visually inspect the car and again provide safety criticism.
This process will ensure that glaring safety issues are identified early and significantly increase the level of safety on the racecourse. Since the primary objective is to get everyone down the course safely, this two-stage process significantly decreases the chances of the soapbox car not meeting approval on race day.
The following rules apply to all cars participating in the 2011 Canary Derby:
- Gravity is the only form of motive power allowed. No energy-storage mechanisms that relate to forward motion of the car are permitted.
- Cars must have four (4) wheels. Four wheels must touch the ground at all times when racing.
- The floorboard of the car must be made of minimum 5/8″ plywood or of material(s) that provides equivalent structural support. Particleboard is NOT acceptable.
- Feet must be foremost when driver is in racing position.
- One (1) brake mechanism is required to stop the car, but it is recommended that cars have two (2) brake mechanisms.
- Each individual brake system must be capable of stopping the car in a short straight line, with no damage to the road surface.
- Each braking system must be able to stop the car before it crosses the out-of-bounds line in the finish area. Failure to do so will result in a 2.5 point penalty for the team.
- Steering wheel must not have any protrusions that may present a hazard in a collision.
- If cable is used in the steering mechanism, it must be of the “marine/aircraft” grade. Clothesline cable is NOT acceptable.
- b. The car must be able to slalom through three (3) cones spaced forty (40) feet apart.
- Drivers must be able to exit the car unassisted.
- The weight of the car including driver(s) must not exceed 375 lbs.
- Any ballast added to the cars must be securely attached to the car and cannot move during the race.
- All major components must be attached with through bolts, not screws.
- All turnbuckles must be safety wired or otherwise secured to prevent them from vibrating loose.
- Each car must display its assigned number and event-supplied graphics clearly on both sides of the car body.
- Drivers must wear a properly fitting Snell / DOT-certified helmet providing full-face protection, shoes or boots and protective eyewear during competition and clothing should be selected to provide maximum safety and protection.
- All drivers and team participants shall be required to sign a release in a form to be provided by the event organizers.
- All cars and drivers must pass the official safety inspection. This will include checking maximum weight, construction methods, braking capabilities, steering capabilities, car dimensions.
- All vehicles must have a 2.5” tow hook placed at the rear of the car. This hook will be used to secure the cars while they are being transported from the finish line to the pit area.
- All external body parts must be fixed to the car and cannot move during race.
- Failure to complete an obstacle course will result in a 2.5 point deduction, with deductions reducing the team’s score to no lower than 10 points.
Kit cars are permitted in the Canary Derby. Teams who cannot build a complete car on their own are encouraged to look for kit cars (and even completed cars) to participate in the 2011 Canary Derby.
If you are thinking of purchasing a kit, please ensure it meets the rules for the event. Some kits do not include the necessary safety and structural features our event requires. If you are concerned that your kit may not be compliant, please send the dimensions and details about the kit to Ryan, the race director, at email@example.com. We will try to help answer your questions.
Materials used to build the car cannot cost more than $1500. Teams must keep receipts for all items over $50. Teams must submit expense reports to the race director at Practice Day or Race Day. Should a car’s materials cost be greater than $1500, teams must pay a “fine” of 10 times the difference to the Canary Derby. This amount will count towards the team’s overall fundraising goals.
Specific Safety Requirements
The following list of items is recommended for competition. Cars in the Canary Derby have reached speeds in excess of 40km/h. Please ensure your car provides the utmost level of safety for your driver, other competitors and spectators.
Recommended Safety Equipment
Teams should evaluate incorporating the following items into their vehicle’s design in such a manor as to ensure the safety of the driver in the event of an accident or other incident.
- A safety restraint system for drivers (ie: seatbelt / harness). It is recommended teams evaluate the use of a four-point harness system in search for a safety restraint solution.
- A roll bar. It is recommended the bar have a high point that is above the top of the driver’s helmet when the driver is in racing position and extend the edges of the driver’s shoulders.
- A headrest capable of restraining any sudden backward movement of the head
- Vehicles with an open cockpit should ensure the driver’s neck and head are a safe distance away from the edge of the cars bodywork.
Mandatory Car Dimensions
- Total Car Width: Maximum 40″ (measured at the car’s widest point)
- Protrusion of axle beyond wheel hub: Maximum 1″
- Distance between the Rear axle and the front of the car: Maximum 90″
- Front Wheel Placement: The front wheel of the car must be located behind the foremost part of the car’s body.
- No part of the car can extend beyond the starting gate when it is loaded on the ramp
While we feel the rules allow for new and innovative designs, driver and spectator safety is paramount. All cars must meet the mandatory official dimensions and pass the safety inspection or they will not be allowed to race. If you are unsure whether your car design will violate these rules, teams can consult with the race director as needed.
Please note that passing the official safety inspection does not guarantee the driver’s safety. The driver is responsible for ensuring adequate safety measures are in place within his or her car. Cars and drivers that do not pass the safety inspection cannot participate in on-track activities.
If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact the race director at firstname.lastname@example.org.