Our Co2 cars are raced on a 50 foot track. The cars are tethered on the track by monifiliment fishing line. Two screws eyes are attached to the bottom of each vehicle and the line is feed through them. This helps keep the vehicles on the correct trajectory when the are launched.
Two different races are used to determine a class champion. The first race is for time trials and determines a dragsters seating for the elimination round. In the first type of race the cars are launched automatically by a computer so that each Co2 cartidge is punctured at the same time. The Co2 is punctured by a sharp pin that is spring loaded and released automatically by the computer. Photoeyes and timers are used to display the time it takes to get from the start to the finish line.
In the second type of race the cars are manually launched by pushing a hand held plunger. The manual setting allows the student to launch the vehicles using their own reaction time. A light tree is used to signal the start of the race. If the cars have a close time trial result a faster reaction time makes the difference between winning and losing in the elimination round. If a person red lights (pushes the plunger before the green light is signaled) they are diqualified. The first car to cross the finish line is signaled by the finish line gate and is determined to be the winner and moves on into the next round.