Get your valve covers started

THE SKEENA Valley Cruizers, Terrace’s car club, want to get the word out about valve cover racing before their annual race.

SHAYLA RUCHOTZKE and car club member Bryan Gascon show off Shayla’s duck-race themed valve cover racer. Valve cover racers can be decorated as much or as little as one likes.

THE SKEENA Valley Cruizers, Terrace’s car club, want to get the word out about valve cover racing before their annual race during Riverboat Days in August.

What is valve cover racing?

It is a series of races between cars made using the valve covers of car engines – the long, narrow, wheeled devices don’t have engines, as motors aren’t allowed, so what results is kind of like a miniature soap box.

Since they don’t have motors, the race depends on gravity.

Cars start at the top of an incline, which can be straight or curved. They’re released at the same time, and, obviously, the first one to cross the finish line wins the race.

Terrace’s track is usually around 20 feet long with 18-inch-wide lanes.

“It’s interesting to watch,” said car club member Bryan Gascon.

They’re also fun to make, he said.

“They can be as simple or as complicated as you want,” he said.

Some people go all out, decorating their valve covers with elaborate themes and teching them out so that they are more aerodynamic.

The car club hosts valve cover races during the Show and Shine during Riverboat Days.

This year’s event will be held on August 4, right after the Riverboat Days parade.

It will be the third year these hobby races have been put on.

“We typically have 15 to 20 racers,” Gascon said. “But I’m anticipating a couple of new entries this year.”

Although the race isn’t for a few weeks, Gascon wants potential new participants to start thinking about their racers now so that they have enough time to construct them before the Show and Shine.

There are a few guidelines for constructing a valve cover car to enter in the Cruizers’ tournament.

Cars can’t be more than 10 pounds, 30 inches long, 10 inches high and 15 inches wide.

Engines, propulsions and moving weights are not allowed.

The vehicle has to have four wheels that are no more than six inches in diameter and those wheels must have a non-metallic surface contacting the track. And it doesn’t matter how the wheel is attached to the car, so long as it isn’t extending beyond the front of the valve cover.

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