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Derby Planning Documents


Quick Note on Our Vision
The under-girding and overarching principle behind this event is fun. That's it. If it's not fun, what's the point?

Everything we do can be traced back to that.

  • Safety. It's no fun to get hurt.
    The sport has inherent risks--if it didn't have it wouldn't be racing and it wouldn't be fun. Recognizing that, we try very hard to establish building and racing guidelines that keep parts of humans from contacting mechanical things and roads in a way that tears up the humans.
  • Fairness. It's no fun to feel cheated.
    This is why we have the classes and most importantly the spec wheels. If you think we're restrictive you've never raced Pinewood Derby cars and you know nothing about NASCAR. If you don't have a level playing field--perhaps a bad metaphor in downhill racing--you don't have a competition. You can have an event, but if someone has an advantage that someone else doesn't have access to, you can't pretend it's a competition.
  • Accessibility. It's no fun to be left out.
    We've tried very hard to make the threshold to entry as low as we can without compromising safety. Derby cars are not hard to build with the skills and tools available to anyone. If you don't have them it's a good excuse to get involved in the sport with a friend or neighbor. The wheels are cheap, but they're the same crappy wheel for everyone (see above). We don't want anyone to be left out because they couldn't afford to be competitive.
That's it. World Peace doesn't hang in the balance. Other than details of making the cars fit on the ramp and get moved around, every rule we have targets one of those areas. If it doesn't, it's just in the way and we need to look at it.

Last Revised 7/15/13


Salem City Gravity Gran Prix has no affiliation with The All-American Soap Box Derby