PISSburgh PISS Soap Box Racing


Frequently Asked Questions

Can I join?

Yes. We need participants at every level.  But driving is NOT for everyone.  And we want to make sure you have what it takes to run with us safely and successfully.  We're not saying we aren't' open to new blood, we are. Read the build rules and if you're into it, perhaps we can fit you in. If you need help with your build, register on the Message boards and let us know!  Someone will be happy to help you out. If you are not into driving, or don't have a car yet, we do need volunteer helpers.  There is a lot to do on a race day!  We need help with traffic control, getting everyone in line at the start, chase cars, tow cars, camera people, etc.  So even if you arn't driving, we can use you!

What are the rules for the cars?

We get this one a lot. Everything you need to know is in the
Rules section.

Can girls race too?

Yes. We have women drivers!  Other groups have had women drivers who did a race or two and quit.  But yes ladies, you're welcome to come race with us.  Just don't expect any special privileges because you are a girl!

When do you race?

P.I.S.S. has a yearlong season, though a higher number of races happen during the decent weather months.  And a few times through out the year, we may have other non-championship races, or even travel as a group out of our region to race with another group.
And we run the East Coast Challenge each year in October where other soap box racers from all over the east coast come to compete. 

Can I borrow a car to use?

Yes, Sometimes, Maybe.  We have a few loaner cars which we have built for people who have not yet started or completed building their own car.  These cars are first offered to those members who helped build them.  Then it is on a first come, first served basis.  So if you would like to use a loaner car to race, get your request in EARLY through the message boards.  Just keep in mind, asking for use of a loaner car does not mean you are guaranteed a ride. We may also have a few Loaner Helmets available if you don't have one.  But again, there is NO guarantee one will be available when you need it.  These are also first come, first served. If you give us enough time and YOU want to come help with the build, we do sometimes have enough materials laying around to build another loaner car.  So if you really want to try this, come help us build a loaner car for you to use.

Can I sponsor a racer or races?

Sure, just get in touch. We'd be interested in hearing what you have to say. 

How can I find out when an event is happening, or whats going on?

The fastest and easiest way is to go to the message boards and sign up, then read along or ask.  Our members usually check the message boards several times a day, so it shouldn't take long to get an answer. Or simply go to the "Contact Us" page of the site and fill out the form!

We want all the drivers to have some input in how things are done, we like to get some feedback now and again. New hills are always a good thing!  If you have ideas or comments feel free to contact us. Before you do this however, please make sure you read the following guidelines to avoid unnecessary BS. 

Safety is a main concern, keep in mind that some drivers and cars cannot perform in ultra-intense situations. Some of the courses are short and easy so everyone can have some fun, we're not trying to skirt death. There are bigger, more death-defying hills out there, we want everyone to finish the races and go home intact, not on a stretcher. Keep this in mind when looking for new hills and be sure to carefully read the :

Course Selection and Use Guide Lines Winning is not important as just being involved is, this is a group activity.  Ideas and suggestions that are only to make certain kinds of cars and drivers win will be discarded out of hand. If you want the rules set up so you win every time, you need to re-think why you're doing this. Just replace the words "win" or "victory" with the word "snowman", that's how important it is.  Just because you complain about things often does not mean you get your ideas pushed through. The squeaky wheel does not get the grease.  Saying things like "Do this or I'll stop racing." will get no response, in fact we'll be glad you're gone. Ultimatums don't work.  Personal conflicts are not ours to arbitrate. You can't like everyone you meet.   Keep your ideas on group fun and longevity, put the group before the individual.

Some failed ideas:

Elimination Heats.
NO NO NO NO! What if we get one heat in and the cops come and break it up, what then? The other half of the racers get to just pack it up and not race?  We use a standing
start, all cars at once, and we're not going to do it any other way. Don't ask.

Tell us where the course is.
No. Too much lurking around the course, the desire to run it before the race may be too strong. Out of town racers have no ability to see or test the course, it keeps things fair as they can be. We don't want to burn out the spots. We've spent countless hours locating these courses, we don't want to mess it up. Veteran drivers will know where the course is based upon the meet location, this does not mean we want people going up there, nor should you go around telling people where it's at. Our commando style set-up ensures that we get to get in at least one race, normally two.  There are few really good hills in our region that work for the large number of drivers we have. We'd have to do some serious out-of-town trekking to find new hills. 

Some suggestions that are now rules:

No more fast cars in the back.The playing card line up is as fair as it gets, we made this change after many drivers expressed a desire for a better system.

Brake inspections: After some close calls with failed brakes, drivers suggested that we do brake checks so we don't have cars going out of control.

We need a tech page so drivers can get help building their cars.
We got that now, check it out. And make sure you contribute to it any positive way you can!

Size Limits:
Yes we now have a size limit on our cars!  No longer then 8 feet and no wider then 4 feet.  Seriously, if it's bigger then that, is it really still a soap box car?