Chassis and Body Design

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VMSVC 2018 Car Regulations, Section 9 (Car Specifications, or see below)

Section 9. Car Specification



The following is intended to be used as a quick reference guide only. It contains the important basics but does not cover all the detail. YOU MUST REFER TO THE COMPLETE REGULATIONS FOR FULL DETAILS. Remember that car design and construction is to be the work of students and only students are to undertake the operation and any repairs on cars, penalties for adult input will apply. (See Administration Section)

Note: These regulations apply to the Victorian event. If you are invited to participate in the AIMSC event ensure you read their regulations and make any modifications necessary to ensure your car complies with their regulations.

Maximum body dimensions: 500 mm long, 320 wide, 180 mm high and less than 190 mm from centre line of guide rail at all times.

Wheels: minimum width 1 mm or 0.6 mm radius at contact point with track.

Guiding: must be on the outside of the guide rail

Side panels: one each side, minimum 150 mm long by 80 mm wide and flat.

Cargo: The car must carry an empty undeformed 200 ml drink carton when operating without electronics. The carton is to be full when operating with electronics. This cargo must be carried at all time when engaged in time trials or racing.

Solar array: Practice will be conducted with an array provided by the competitors. All races and time trials will be conducted with the array provided by the organisers. See 9.4 for details. The array provided by the organisers will have a power output of 5.5 watts + or – 0.1 watts.

Wiring: all wiring and electronics (If used) must be visible, otherwise circuit diagram required.

ON-OFF switch: commercial switch required easily visible to the starter, off clearly marked. (This switch may also be used to configure the solar array in series or parallel.)

Energy storage: not allowed, except capacitors up to 0.2 farad provided they are discharged immediately prior to race starting. Inductors to 1 mH allowed.

Electronics: teams may elect to either use or not use electronics systems. When an electronics system is used a full 200 ml drink carton must be carried.

Driver & Passenger: The car must have space for a driver and passenger in the form of standard 60 gram eggs. The eggs must have the normal view expected in a motor car and be protected from the weather. (Eggs will not be carried in the Victorian competition but will be carried in the AIMSC event.)


9.1 Test criteria

Unless otherwise specified all references to car behaviour and measurements will assume that the car is on a flat, straight section of the track, and in full racing configuration.

9.2 No commercially built cars

Cars must not use any part of the chassis or body of any commercially available model car. This only refers to the structural frame and body, not to the drive train components such as gears, shafts, wheels, tyres, or to suspension and steering components.

9.3 Size limit

Maximum car size allowed is 500mm long, 180mm high and 320mm wide, at no time may any part of the car extend sideways more than 190mm from the centre of the guide rail.

9.4 Source of power

In all races and time trials the car must only use the solar array provided by the organisers and must operate only on the energy provided by this solar array during the course of the race.

The array provided will be configured to produce a power output of 5.5 + or – 0.1 watts at AM 1.5 conditions.

Details of this unit are included below. As this array will be provided immediately before a race and collected immediately after, car design must allow for installation and removal in less than 30 seconds.

Practice will be conducted with a solar array provided by the competitor. It is strongly suggested that this array have a maximum nominal power of 6 watts and similar characteristics to the panel which will be provided for racing.

The array provided by organisers is a Scorpio Number 26 solar panel mounted on an aluminium backing for protection see below for details.


Overall dimensions, length 276 to 280 mm not including the terminals, width 165 to 170 mm maximum height of sides 20 mm at terminal end other sides 12 mm.

Weight 240 plus or minus 15 grams.


Jaycar banana chassis sockets catalogue PS-0406 (red) PS-0408 (black) are mounted on one end.

The two sections of the panel have their positive and negative terminals brought out to these banana sockets allowing for connection in either series or parallel as desired by the competitors.

The banana sockets are spaced at a nominal 20 mm (+ or – 2mm) apart.


Velcro loop tape 25 mm wide is available all around the outer edge.

Array Power:

Each array will be configured to produce 5.5 watts + or – 0.1 watts at AM 1.5 conditions when connected in series. Typical electrical output of the provided array at AM 1.5 25 Deg. C when connected in series.

Volts open circuit 8.64

Volts at maximum power 6.88

Current at maximum power amps 0.808

Current short circuit 0.9

Maximum power watts 5.56

9.5 Use of electronic devices

Teams may elect to use electronic circuitry for such purposes as solar panel regulation or motor control.

If using electronics of any sort, the cargo in the form of a 200 ml drink carton must be full and the seal intact. Racing without the required ballast will result in disqualification.

9.6 No energy storage systems

No energy storage system, whether electrical, mechanical or chemical, which assists in the performance of the car, will be permitted. Capacitors of less than 0.2F and inductors less than 1mH are allowed as part of the electrical system. Capacitors above 0.047F must be discharged immediately before the race.

9.7 ON/OFF switch

Each car must be fitted with a commercial ‘ON/OFF’ switch, the ON and OFF positions must be clearly marked and the switch must be in a location easily visible by the official starter when the car is on the start line. Note: the starter is on the left hand side, so typically the switch would be mounted on the left hand side or on the top. This switch may also be used to configure the solar array in series or parallel but must have an off position clearly marked.

9.8 Car wiring

All electrical wiring and electronic modules in the car must be reasonably visible. Teams will be required to explain any wiring going into sealed body areas. A simple block wiring diagram will be required if this condition is not met.

9.9 Motors

There is no restriction to the type, size, or number of motors that may be fitted to the car. However, the motor manufacturer and/or part number must be made available to the scrutineers for data base information.

9.10 Wheels

To reduce damage to the track, knife-edge wheels are not allowed. Each wheel must be at least 1mm wide or have a radius of 0.6mm on the running surface.

9.11 Steering

Each car must incorporate a means of steering around the track. The guide rails are approximately 16mm wide and 13mm high. The steering mechanism must be designed to operate on the outside of the guide rail.

9.12 Cargo

The car must at all times when racing or engaging in time trials carry a single undeformed 200 ml drink carton of any brand. For cars operating without electronics the carton can be empty. If operating with electronics the carton must be full with the seal intact.

9.13 Side Panels

The car must have two side panels capable of retaining their shape at all times for attaching numbers and sponsors logos. These must be easily seen by spectators while the car is racing. They will be located one on each side of the car. Each side panel must be capable of supporting a sticker 150mm long and 80mm high and flat.

9.14 Autonomous operation

After the race has started the car must operate totally autonomously for the duration of that race. This means that team members or any other person must not provide any input of any type to the car during the course of the race. This of course means the use of any form of remote control, or even the operation of a mechanical switch by anything external to the car during a race is prohibited.

9.15 Non Conformance

If a car fails to conform to the requirements detailed in any section of the regulations it must be modified in order to conform or penalties may be imposed. Penalties will normally be in the form of the requirement to carry additional ballast weight. Minor non-conformances will typically attract a 50g penalty with this increasing to 200 g for more significant breaches of the regulations. The magnitude of penalty will be determined by the chief scrutineer in conjunction with the scrutineering team. In the event that the scrutineers believe the non-conformance gives the car a significant advantage unlikely to be negated by the carrying of additional ballast the car will be excluded from the event. Penalty decisions will be final and not open to appeal.

9.16 Structural Integrity

The car must be constructed such that the stresses of racing and normal handling will not cause damage. No responsibility will be accepted for any damage no matter how it occurs.

9.17 Driver & Passenger

The car must have space for a driver and passenger in the form of regular 60 g eggs which will not be carried in the Victorian competition but will be carried in the AIMSC competition.

The top half of the eggs is to have a field of view extending from straight ahead to 90 degrees each side of straight ahead in the horizontal plane, as well as vision 90 degrees upwards in the forward vertical plane. The exception to this view is that vision may be blocked by the other egg as would be encountered in a normal motor car.

The drivers must be fully protected from the weather and have at least 10mm clearance to any part of the cabin and windscreen. See the diagram below.

Draft VMSVC2018CarRegulations-Sections1-8.pdf