Soap Box Derby Rules
1st ANNUAL Bedford Soap Box Derby
October 2, 2022 – Centertown, Bedford, VA
By understanding and complying with these rules and specifications, you will help to assure a SAFE and FAIR race for all participants.
The DERBY is open to anyone between the ages of 9 and above.
Since ramp starting will be used, you must build your Soapbox so that it conforms to the minimum and maximum dimensions. These are double elimination. All car inspected for safety. All driving positions are okay NO STANDING.
Car Length 97” maximum (8 feet 1”), Width 49” maximum (4 feet 1”), Height 48” maximum (4 feet), No poles, rods or other items added to the front of the car “greater than 12”. These extensions must be mechanically sound and part of the car. These will be inspected for safety before the race.
No car, motorcycle or lawnmower batteries permitted. No breakable material such as glass or porcelain.
Car must have some form of effective braking system. Each car must have functional brakes. (No Fred Flintstone style brakes, no anchors, or parachutes) Brakes must remain functional throughout the event to prevent disqualification.
Cars must not be power assisted in any way. No acceleration using potential energy devices such as springs will be allowed. Kinetic energy such as the movement of the driver within the car is acceptable (e.g. rocking back and forth), as long as the driver makes no contact with the ground. The overall weight of the car cannot be changed once a race begins.
Safety: Mandatory for Each driver to wear a helmet that is secured to their head by a strap. Full-face helmets and racing goggles are recommended. (bicycle helmet or better), closed toe shoes (no sandals or flip-flops). seatbelts and/or harnesses are recommended. Safe racing is a must: you will not be allowed to race without being properly equipped.
Failure to race in a sportsmanlike manner will result in automatic disqualification.
1. The race is open to all residents, and children of nonresident members within the age limits prescribed.
2. Each driver will race in the age class as specified by the Commission.
1. A driver may enter only one car. Each driver must have their own car.
2. A completed entry form, signed by a parent or legal guardian, must be on file with the
Commission prior to the pre-race inspection of the car.
3. A completed “Parental Consent Release & Waiver of Liability” form, signed by parent(s)
or legal guardian(s), must be on file with the Commission prior to race day.
4. A five $60 registration fee will be charged for each driver.
C. DRIVER SUBSTITUTION
1. In the event of illness or other emergency recognized by the Officials, the driver may
name a substitute who meets the same requirements as the driver. All substitute drivers
must be approved by Officials race officials before racing.
2. In the event an award is won by a car with a substitute driver, it shall be issued only in the
name of the driver entrant.
3. Once a substitute driver is named, he / she shall continue to drive the car so long as it
remains in competition.
PART II – SUPPLEMENTARY RULES
A. DRIVING RULES
1. Drivers must be fully seated in their proper place in the car, with helmets on, before the
cars will be released from the starting ramps.
2. Each car must stay in its assigned lane. If a car leaves its lane and interferes with the
progress of another car, (as determined by the Official), the offending car will be
assigned a “loss” for that heat. If only one other was racing in that heat, the other car will
be assigned a “win.” If two other cars were racing in that heat, all three shall race again
to determine the winner of the heat. If the interference is the result of, or results in, a
damaged or disabled car.
3. Any driver displaying unsafe driving or poor sportsmanship may be disqualified.
B. ACCIDENTS, DISABLED CARS
1. Any car involved in an accident or disabled for any reason, and not too severely
damaged in the opinion of race officials, will be given reasonable time to be repaired.
The official scorer may delay the start of that car’s next race, if necessary. Any delay will
not adversely affect the completion of the race segment in process. The repairs must be
inspected and approved by race officials before the car is allowed to race.
2. Disabled cars will not be replaced by another car.
C. RACE DAY
1. The driver and car must be present at the time assigned for race day registration and
inspection. Failure to comply may result in disqualification. Reasonable time may be
allowed for late arrivals, at the discretion of race officials.
2. Once a car has passed race day inspection, it will be allowed into the pit area. Cars must
not be removed from the pit area except for the purposes of a practice run, competition,
or as otherwise directed by race officials.
3. Race officials will call each car by number to the starting ramps. Failure to stage a car in
a reasonable time may result in a “loss.” Once a car is staged on the starting ramp, the
crew must leave the staging area as soon as possible, to allow for timely staging of the
4. Wheels may be lubricated only with lubricants readily available at any hardware store.
Icing of wheels and tires is not allowed. For safety reasons, there shall be no flammable
lubricants or cleaning materials at the track site. This includes, but is not limited to,
kerosene, fuel oil, gasoline, etc. Other potentially harmful substances, such as dry ice,
compressed or liquefied gases, or aerosol cans, shall not be allowed in the pit area.
Smoking is not allowed in the pit area. Violation of these safety rules will result in a “loss”
for the first offense, and elimination of the car and driver from competition for a second
1. Racing will be on a triple-elimination basis: A driver is not eliminated until he / she has
had three losses in a class of races. Finishing second or third in a particular heat is
considered a “loss.”
2. The top two drivers in each race class will become “finalists.”
3. The two finalists in each class will compete to determine the three fastest cars in each
class. These cars will then compete to determine first, second and third place in
their class. First place is named the “class champion.” (See item 5 below).
4. The class champions in each race class will compete to determine the overall winner for
the event. This overall winner is named the “champion of champions.” The class
champion of classes C and B will move their cars to the impound area once they have
been declared class champion. The cars may be covered but may not be worked on.
Class A champion will remain in the pit area since the “Champion of Champions” races
will begin when the class A races are over . (See item 5 below).
5. Scoring for the “class champion” and “champion of champions” races will be run on a
points system: 6 points for the first place driver in a heat, 3 points for second place, and 1
point for third place. Three heats will be run in each of these champion races, with each
driver having the opportunity to run in each lane.
6. The decisions of the Officials will be final with respect to the scoring of a race.
PART III – OFFICIALS
1. The decisions of the Officials will be final and binding on all concerned.
Each driver and crew, by participation in the event, agrees to be bound by the “Official
Racecar Specifications, the “Official Driver & Event Rules,” and any and all decisions by
2. The authority to approve or disqualify cars and / or drivers rests solely with the race
3. Any car which is judged unsafe, or not in accordance with the “Official Racecar
Specifications,” may be disqualified, even though it may have passed previous
B. FINAL NOTES
1. The “Official Racecar Specifications” and the “Official Driver & Event Rules” represent the
best attempt by the Bedford Soap Box Derby Commission to provide you with an
enjoyable, FAIR and SAFE race. These documents are written to provide for fairness
and safety, yet allow creativity and flexibility in design and construction. DRIVER
SAFETY is our primary concern.