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The Ultimate Speed Racing Division is an International Soap Box Derby sanctioned racing program developed to preserve the tradition of innovation, creativity, and craftsmanship in the design of a gravity powered racing vehicle while generat­ing intrigue, excitement, and engaging the audience at the annual FirstEnergy All-American Soap Box Derby competition.

The 2015 Ultimate Speed racing events consisted of two races during the 78th First Energy All-American Soap Box Der­by. The Ultimate Rally Challenge was held during race week and featured a wheel/lane swap using a Xootr project wheel bank. On Saturday, a second race was held using issued Xootr wheels and ran in the traditional All-American format with no lane or wheel swap.

The spirit of the rules ensures the following:

• The event must be safe for contestants and spectators.

• The cars must be able to be launched from the existing Akron Derby Downs starting gates, meet all dimensional requirement of the inspection gauge, and trip the timing equipment.

• The cars must not damage the track facilities or the run-out area.

• The cars are limited to gravity power only and will include no propelling or driving assisting devices of any kind.

Team Selection Criteria: The International Soap Box Derby headquarters will process online registration for the 2016 Ultimate Racing events by using their web-site. All applications must name the Crew Chief and Driver.

Registration will include the same car into both races as no substitution of cars, between races, will be allowed. The registration fee for both Ultimate Speed events is $350. Regis­tration will be limited to the first 12 qualified teams. Crew Chiefs will be notified if their application is accepted. Further details will then be issued.

A racing team will consist of a Driver and Crew Chief. The Crew Chief must be an adult and represent the sponsor or owner of the car. The Team Driver must be 16 years through 24 years of age on All-American Soap Box Derby annual race day. The Team Driver must have participated in an annual All-American Soap Box Derby Competition at Derby Downs in Akron, Ohio if their age is less than 18 (minor) on race day.

The teams are expected to provide at least one helper in the run out area, to assist with their car.

Safety: The race car must be constructed so that the driver can maintain a line of sight that assures safe navigation from starting gate to the finish line. Driver must wear approved protective headgear. The driver’s head cannot be in front of his feet, no lay forward positions.  No glass or other materials that would shatter or cause injuries to drivers or spectators can be used in the construction of the car. Braking and steering systems must pass pre-race inspection and a track test. The car must be able to stop multiple times within 200’ without adjustments. To make sure there is enough brake leverage travel to stop a car even if it has lost a brake pad the inspection will be as follows: The car will be rolled up on blocks that will be under the wheels and will be 1/2” inches high. When the brake is applied, it must make contact with the ground and have enough pressure to stop the car.

Akron Derby Downs Starting Ramp: Dimensional rules assure that the cars will successfully launch from the Akron start­ing plates and will cross the finish line triggering timing equipment consis­tently. Some, but not all of these dimensional rules are: The maximum length of the car is 96 inches, including wheels. The car nose must be the forward most portion of the car body at all times. The nose shall be no sharper than a one inch radius and shall be located on the centerline of the fuselage. The starting ramp paddles must contact and support the car by the nose. The contact patch of the nose and the starting paddle must be greater than seven inches and less than nine inches above the ground. The maximum width of the car is 40 inches. A ground clearance of 2 ¼ inches must be maintained to insure the car clears all structural components of the starting ramp area set forth by the inspection gauge. A minimum inside wheel to wheel clearance of 25 inches is needed. Cars must remain stable and have at least four wheels touching the ground at all times. A measurement gauge specification is provided to assist in designing and building a car to pass the dimensional requirements and limitations of the track facility. 

Car Limitations: No propelling devices will be permitted by mechanical, electrical, magnetic or pneumatic or any other device or method designed to store and/or release energy. No electrical devices will be permitted. The driver must remain still at all times, except for steering and braking maneuvers. No lunging or other motions intended to assist in propelling the car will be allowed. The driver must be able to easily enter/exit the car in 30 seconds or less. No liquids can be used for bal­last. All ballast must be bolted in a fixed condition to the chassis with 5/16” bolts, minimum. Maximum weight of car and driver is 300 pounds.  If a drag brake is utilized, the track contact pad must be made of rubber and of sufficient surface area to stop the car as described above.

Wheel Covers: Beginning in 2016, any form of wheel covers or any construction beyond the inner wheel bearing, will be prohibited. There will be nothing allowed outside the inner wheel bearing besides the wheel and its attachment device. No part of the wheel attachment device, car body, axle fairing, or anything else, will be allowed over, under, on either side of, in front of, or behind, the wheel. The “intent” of the elimination of wheel covers will be the foremost determining factor in regards to legality; and the intent, as determined by the Ultimate officials, will exceed any written clarifications. Please refer to the diagram explaining wheel cover inspection and limitations.

Ultimate Speed Rally Special Consideration:  To insure the indispensable pace required for the wheel swapping process, a team must demonstrate that the Xootr wheels and covers, can be removed and installed within five minutes.

Eligibility to Race: The 2016 track scheduling and activities that result from the wheel/lane swap rally racing in all divisions during race week preclude the flexibility afforded the Ultimate Speed Racing teams in the past. To be eligible to race on race day the car must come to inspection in a “Race Ready” condition. The car must not be “Under Construction”. Minor repairs to meet rule requirement such as length, road clearance and minor mechanical problems will not be considered as “Under Construction.”  If a team has not met the deadline for check in, registration, has not passed inspection and gauge dimensional limits, and passed brake and driving test, by the finish of the last trial run day, the team will not be permitted to race.

Inspection: The car must pass all dimensional maximum and minimum limits, upon the All-American’s Ultimate inspection gauge, to be eligible to race. Legality and interpretations of all rules will be determined by the judges whose decisions will be final.