To make a Pinewood Derby car fast, competitors should avoid designs with a pointed nose, put additional weight at the rear of the car, make the car the maximum weight allowed and extend the wheel base. These tips allow air to flow around the car smoothly.
Cars with a pointed nose have difficulty resting properly on the pin at the starting gate. Also, when the pin drops at the start, it could push a car with a pointed nose in the wrong direction. Finally, a pointed nose interferes with the accuracy of electronic timing systems.
A wedge design is not only simple to make, but it also puts additional weight at the rear of the car, which makes the car faster. Also, a wedge design has a more aerodynamic profile than a rectangular design, allowing air to flow around and over the car.
Most races allow the car to weigh up to 5 ounces, and the heavier the car, the faster it is likely to go. Competitors can add weight to their cars by adhering coins or other weights to the rear of the car.
The front and rear wheels should be placed as far apart from each other as possible. A large wheel base increases speed and durability of the car.