Valve Cover Racing at the $2018 Challenge

By Tom Suddard
Oct 10, 2018 | $2000 Challenge

We are bringing Valve Cover Racing to the $2018 Challenge this year. To register, simply show up with your car ready-to-race during the concours on Saturday.


  1. Maximum wheelbase shall be 24 inches (measured from center to center).
  2. Maximum track shall be 12 inches (measured from the outermost part of the wheel and should not include the hubcap or rim).
  3. Maximum weight shall be 30 pounds.
  4. Maximum wheel diameter shall be 6 inches (measured with the car on track at the highest point of each wheel).
  5. Each car must have four wheels on the track.
  6. The only motivational force shall be gravity, so there shall be no extraneous help—mechanical, electrical or otherwise.
  7. The launch ramp will be 8 feet long; the track will be an additional 20 feet (or so) beyond that.
  8. Any car crossing the centerline and interfering with the opponent’s car will be disqualified.
  9. Each run will consist of three heats. The winner of any two heats will continue through the competition to the next series of heats.
  10. The first car to cross the finish line without any disqualifications will be the winner of the heat.
  11. Lanes will be swapped between heats.
  12. Car owners are responsible for catching/stopping their own valve cover race cars.
  13. A neutral party will control the start gate.
  14. All cars must be designed so that they are held in place at the start gate by the most forward point of the car. The start gate is 1-7/8 inches tall. (No portion of the car can break the plane of the start gate.)
  15. This is all about having fun.

These rules are not designed to eliminate any specific car from competition, but if your car does not comply with these rules it will not be eligible to race.

And no, you don’t need to be registered to compete in the $2018 Challenge in order to participate. Anybody in attendance–even spectators–is welcome to join the fun.

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View comments on the GRM forums
Justjim75 HalfDork
10/10/18 9:09 p.m.

In reply to Tom Suddard :

I know this isn't the right place but I cant find the right thread.  Host hotel for the Challenge?

Stampie GRM+ Memberand UberDork
10/10/18 9:13 p.m.
Justjim75 HalfDork
10/10/18 9:27 p.m.

Thank you

Stampie GRM+ Memberand UberDork
10/10/18 10:11 p.m.

No problem. Glad to see you in a few hours. 

Justjim75 HalfDork
10/10/18 10:14 p.m.

In reply to Stampie :

Haha, we shall see.  I'm just now doing my budget and build book, have no place to stay yet, have not packed, and need to bring 4 race wheels and tires in a Miata.

Stampie GRM+ Memberand UberDork
10/10/18 10:24 p.m.

In reply to Justjim75 :

Sounds like my first year.

spin_out HalfDork
10/15/18 10:47 a.m.

We have a $2018 VCR winner.  He has a pretty sweet trophy.  (That's not a design on his shirt, it's the trophy).  I held the car because they can be pretty berking heavy.  

The final round came down to a pair of Twin boys duking it out.  I assume the dominance of the twins has now been sorted for Life.    :)    The winner did pilot the same VCR that won last year, so sometimes car selection can be a factor.  

My thanks to Nancy and Miles for getting the ramp to the site, etc., etc..    Oh, and I would be remiss if I did not thank the catchers and people who took the slow motion videos to determine close races.  Yes, they were that close.  

Photo credit - FastDan Sheilds

Danny Shields
Danny Shields GRM+ Memberand Reader
10/15/18 6:12 p.m.

We can thank Spin_out (Mark) for building an impressive group of valve cover racers, and then recruiting the kids to race them.  Possibly the most memorable part of the weekend for some of our future Challenger competitors!

spin_out HalfDork
10/17/18 10:18 a.m.

I do want to thank all that brought VCRs.  Some lent them out to Challenge kids.  Some had the guts to run against kids.  (I admire you the most.)

Oh, and for future builders...... Don't build your wheels out of Metal Cut off wheels.  They will cut up the pavement then snap in half.    (Oh, I mean they might theoretically cut up the pavement, because that certainly did not happen this year.  ;)

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