Tripoli Rocket Car Safety Code

& Rules are Here!


What Is Drag Racing?

In basic terms, a drag race is an acceleration contest from a standing start between 2 vehicles over an 1/8 mile, 660 ft. course. These races are started by means of an electronic device commonly called a "christmas tree". Upon leaving the starting line, each rocket car activates a timer which is in turn stopped when the same rocket car reaches the finish line. The start to finish clocking is the cars ET (Elapsed Time). The car to reach the end of the 1/8 mile first is the winner. An additional set of lights measures the Miles Per Hour.

The following Rocket Car Racing Rules are copyrighted by Ky Michaelson & TRIPOLI High Powered Rocket Association. No part of these rules may be reproduced without the expressed written permission of Ky Michaelson or TRIPOLI High Power Rocket Association.

 MOTORS  Only commercially made TRIPOLI certified motors may be used.
 CONTROL  All cars will be guided on a cable. The primary control of the rocket car shall be cable guided at all times.
 CABLE REQUIREMENTS The guide cable shall be made out of aircraft cable. A minimum of 1/16" 7x7 strand minimum tensile strength of 480 lbs. 2,000 ft. long.
 ROCKET CAR CONFIGURATIONS  Acceptable body designs included dragsters, funny cars, streamliners, coupes, sedans, roadsters, vans, pick-ups, sports cars and panel trucks.
 WHEELS  Rocket cars shall have a minimum of 3 wheels, although 4 wheels are recommended. It is al right to mount 2 of the front wheels side by side. The tire and bearings must be capable of withstanding high speeds.

 CLASS H- Sportsman shall have a minimum wheel base of 24" and a minimum weight of 7 lbs.

CLASS I- Super Modified shall have a minimum wheel base of 32" and a minimum weight of 14 lbs.

CLASS J- Pro stock shall have a minimum wheel base of 55" and a minimum weight of 28 lbs.

CLASS K- Super Pro shall have a minimum wheel base of 72" and a minimum weight of 56 lbs.

CLASS L- Experimental shall have a minimum wheel base of 72" and a minimum weight of 106 lbs.

CLASS M- Unlimited shall have a minimum wheel base of 96" and a minimum weight of 110 lbs.

   TRIPOLI will monitor elapsed times and speeds and in time may make changes in minimum weight to thrust rules
PRELIMINARY TEST RUN  The first time that the car is ever run, it shall be tested on a motor that is at least half the Newton Seconds that the car was originally designed for, in order to check the stability, tracking and control of the vehicle.
 RACE COURSE DIMENSIONS  The length between the starting line and the finish line is 660 ft. The remaining 1,340 ft of cable will be used for shutdown.
 RACE COURSE LAYOUT  The race course shall be laid out so that the rocket cars are at least 100 ft. from the spectators at the starting line. The cable shall be laid out 10 degrees or more away from the spectators. The minimum distance between the 2 cables shall be 10 ft. The minimum distance between the cars shall be 6 ft. The minimum length of the course will be 3,000 ft. 660 ft. for acceleration, 1,340 ft. for shutdown and an additional 1,000 ft clear area at the end of the cable for safety.
 ROCKET CAR SITE  The course shall be hard, flat surface with no rocks or debris on the course. It must be clear of flammable materials (such as weeds, dry grass, etc.) The ideal place would be an existing 1/8 mile drag strip, airport taxi way, dry lake or salt bed.
 SAFETY EQUIPMENT  At least one fully charged fire extinguisher should be at the starting line and one at the end of the track.
 CARGO  Rocket cars shall NOT carry a vertebrae animal cargo of any kind or anything that is explosive or pyrotechnic in nature.
 IGNITION SYSTEM  Rocket motors shall be remotely ignited by an electronic system that includes a switch that automatically turns to the off position when the switch is released in conjunction with a manual push button or key switch.
 IGNITER INSTALLATION  The igniter can only be installed after the car has been prepped and staged (attached to the cable)
 GUIDE SYSTEM  The rocket car must have at least 2 guide points. One on the front axle and one at the rear axle. The guide shall be made of material that will not wear the cable (materials such as Teflon or nylon) The guides will be constructed so the car can be easily attached or removed from the cable. If the car is using 3 wheels, the guides distance must not exceed no more than 2" off the center line of the car.
 SAFETY NOTE  Rocket cars shall not run if the wind exceeds 20 MPH. Spectators shall be made aware that the rocket cars are going to run and by announcing a 5,4,3,2,1 countdown. If a christmas tree is used, a heads up warning still must be given before the tree is activated.
 SAFETY INSPECTION  Each car will be inspected by a range safety officer before it is allowed to run to make sure the car has the proper weight to thrust combination. That the wheels are aligned and the bearings are in good working order. The cable guide system is not overly worn and the car has a good structural integrity. The RSO has the final word regarding vehicle safety.
 ADDING WEIGHT  Ballast may be added to qualify for a particular class provided that it is securely attached.
 GROUND CLEARANCE  A minimum of 1" ground clearance will be allowed not counting cable guide system.
 ROCKET CAR CONSTRUCTION  The cars can be constructed of wood, phenolic, aluminum, fiberglass, carbon fiber, rubber and steel.
 VEHICLE BRAKING  All cars must be equipped with a parachute for stopping that may be actuated by a timer, radio controlled or mechanical way. All cars weighing over 80 lbs. must have a parachute and a breaking system that is either mechanical, hydraulic or a skid break.
 MOTOR MOUNT  The motor must be mounted so when it is running the thrust of the motor is applying downward pressure to the front axle. Additional canards are also recommended for stability to keep the car from becoming airborne.
 STARTING LIGHTS  A traditional christmas tree with a stage light, red light, 3 countdown lights and a green light may be used for drag racing.
 MPH AND ELAPSED TIME LIGHT SET-UP  The elapsed time photo cell shall be set up at the starting line and 660 ft (finish line) The miles per hour (speed trap) photo cell shall be set up at 66 ft. before the finish line and 1 photo cell at the finish line. Each lane shall have an independent timing system.
 ESTABLISHING RECORDS TRIPOLI Rocket Car records will be established to recognized individuals whose rocket cars have obtained the quickest elapsed time and highest miles per hour in 660 ft. Speed or ET record attempts will not be allowed if the wind exceeds 10 MPH or greater wind from the rear. These records will be established only at TRIPOLI Rocket Car National Events. A rocket car setting a record, then losing the record by another car on the same day at the same event will not receive credit for establishing that record. If a record is set the car shall be checked for weight and proper motor size for it's class by the RSO or other official.
 QUALIFYING FOR TOP ELIMINATOR AWARDS  The quickest 8 rocket cars in their class will run for the top eliminator awards. The car with the quickest ET. will race against the car with the slowest ET. The car with the next fastest ET. will race against the car with the next slowest ET. If a car red lights, that car is eliminated. If a car hits another car and wins, the car responsible for the accident will be eliminated.
 LANE CHOICE  In competition rocket car racing, the car with the quickest ET will have lane choice.
 PROHIBITED ACTS AND SUBSTANCES  Any owner or pit crew found to be under the influence of alcoholic beverages or drugs regardless of the amount will be asked to leave the event. Such a condition will be cause for suspension of competition privileges.

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