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Pinewood Grand Prix Rules

These rules are updated for the 2024 Grand Prix

Troop 19’s Pinewood Grand Prix aims to teach children basic woodworking, engineering, and physics in a fun, hands-on way. Kids design and build wooden cars to race, learning about creativity and sportsmanship in the process. It’s a great opportunity for parent-child bonding.

The intent is to have the children build as much of the car as reasonably and safely as possible. It can be a wonderful activity for them to work closely with their family members.

The most important rule of the Pinewood Grand Prix is to HAVE FUN! The second most important rule is to show GOOD SPORTSMANSHIP to all racers. In the spirit of competition, the following rules must be followed:

Car Rules


  1. The overall length of the car MUST not exceed 7 inches.
  2. The overall width of the car MUST not exceed 2 ¾ (2.75) inches.
  3. The car MUST have 1 ¾ (1.75) inches clearance between the wheels.
  4. The car MUST have 3/8 (0.375) inches clearance underneath the body, so it does not rub on the track.
  5. The maximum height of the car must not exceed 4 inches, so it can travel under the timer.
  6. The weight of the car shall not exceed 5.0 ounces.
  7. The official race scale that is used at car registration shall be considered final.


  1. The car MUST be primarily built from pine wood using the troop-provided car kit.
  2. Participants MUST use a new kit each year and not race previously made cars.
  3. Axles, wheels and body MUST be from the materials provided in the car kit.


  1. Wheel hub caps, washers, inserts, sleeves, bushings, and bearings are NOT permitted.
  2. Wheel hub cannot be shortened, nor the diameter widened.
  3. Wheel treatment is allowed (hub and tread smoothing/polishing) but it may NOT result in substantial removal of mass or reduction in wheel width or diameter.
  4. Axle nails must be mounted parallel to the track surface.
  5. Wheels must run flat on the track surface.
  6. The car shall not ride on springs.
  7. Only dry lubricant is permitted.
  8. The car must be freewheeling, with no starting or self-propulsion devices. No rockets.
  9. No liquids or loose materials of any kind are permitted in or on the car.
  10. All car parts and accessories must be firmly attached prior to the official inspection.

Race Day Rules


  1. Each car must pass inspection by the official inspection team before it will be allowed to compete.
    • The Inspection Committee shall disqualify cars which do not meet the rules.
    • If a car does not pass inspection, the owner will be informed of the reason his car did not pass.
    • Cars which fail the initial inspection may be taken to the garage and make modifications.
  2. Once a car passes inspection and is registered, only race team members may touch it.
  3. The Inspector is responsible for disqualifying cars that do not meet these rules.

Race Competition

Racers will compete within their own age group. Racer’s placing 1st through 3rd of their primary category may also participate in an overall race category.

Show Competition

In addition to racing, cars will participate in a show competition. All cars will be judged by our team of impartial judges. Interpretation of the car design categories will be at the sole discretion of the judges present at the event.

Awards will be given for multiple show categories including “People’s Choice”, “Most Original”, “Best Detail“, “Fastest Looking” and others as decided by the judges.