Getting started with MISFITS
MISFITS currently has 2 classes of cars running. Spec Cars, which are all identical cars designed to put a premium on driver’s skill and car preparation. These are open cars with no body work or aerodynamic aides. They run an inexpensive wheel/tire package.
We currently require a minimum of 2 races in a Spec Car before you can move up into the Unlimited Class.
The only things adjustable on these cars are tire pressures and the toe setting on the wheel alignment. Managing tires is a tricky compromise in this class. Everyone knows that higher pressures mean less rolling resistance and therefore greater speed, but going much over 20psi tends to make these tires go badly out of round. And when they get lumpy and out of round, they don’t go fast.
This is by far one of the most competitive classes in gravity sports with the cars normally being in a tight group at the finish –providing everyone did a good bearing prep and made the correct choices on tire pressures and alignment.
While these cars may not reach the speeds of the other classes, they still provide the sensation of speed and plenty of thrills! They also help you to develop skills you will need to do well in the faster classes.
At this time we have 6 Spec Cars built. A few of them are being used by racers who are intent on running the entire 10 race series in a Spec Car and they are battling for the Championship. As such,some of those cars are on permanent loan to those racers.
But we do have a few other Spec cars that are available for new drivers to use. If you would also like to use one for the remaining races of the season, that’s fine with us! Or if you would prefer to just get your 2 races in and then move up to the Unlimited Class, that’s fine with us too!
If you would prefer to build and own your Spec car, we will be happy to help you do so as well. As these cars are identically built Spec Cars, we do have a few jigs and fixtures which are used to keep them all the same as much as possible. Once all the parts and materials are gathered, it normally takes 2 to 4 days to complete the build from the time you cut the first piece of metal until the final coat of paint dries. It normally costs just over $400 to build a Spec Car.
Once a driver has completed their 2 race minimum in a Spec Car, they are eligible to move up into the Unlimited class. Some drivers will do this, while others like the simplicity of the Spec Car class and prefer to remain in that class.
The Unlimited Cars are normally faster then the Spec Cars. And with that speed usually comes a much more complicated build as well as much higher expenses in both the initial build as well as routine maintenance.
While we do have rules concerning the build requirements,much of what you can and can’t do is left up to your imagination of what you think works best to go fast.
We do occasionally have loaner cars in the Unlimited Class as well. But many of these are on long term loan to drivers who use, maintain, store and transport them for the entire season. There is no cost for the use of a loaner car, however we do expect you to help cover the expenses involved in any damage it may suffer while in your care. And of course we would also appreciate physical effort and help to get it race ready again following an incident.
You are free to make any improvements or upgrades you wish to the car within the guidelines of the rules.
So, how do you get started? The first step is to come to the Gravity Garage in Catonsville and get fitted to, and familiar with your car. Gravity Garage is really a back yard but this is where most of the off track action takes place regarding builds and many of the cars are based here.
It’s also a good idea to sign up for the Asylum Message Boards. While the message boards have lost a lot of their appeal with the popularity of Face Book, they are still an important place for us to post information you need to know. And we also appreciate any input from racers regarding a multitude of subjects posted there.
The message boards is also where you will find the Rules posted. And it is important that you read and understand the rules so you know what to expect and what is expected of you.
Next you need to fill out and turn in your Emergency/Medical/Contact information before you can go racing. This information goes into a SEALED envelope and is kept confidential. It stays with our Emergency Medical Response team in the chase car at each event. If you are involved in an incident, this information would be turned over to Emergency Medical personnel.
Entry fees to race are entirely based on our expenses to put on the event. They can range from free to around $30 based on our permit fees, insurance requirements and other expenses involved in putting on the event. Since we base these fees solely on our expenses, the more participants we have, the lower the entry fee will normally be.
New people coming into the group sometimes find it a little more comfortable to bring a friend or two along. We would encourage you to do so! This gives you a familiar cohort to compete against, or if they don’t want to drive, it gives you someone to help you with your racing efforts. It never hurts to have crew along to assist you on race day.
We also often need volunteers to help with traffic control, transportation, shuttle service up and down the hill, spectator control, timing and scoring, registration, and a number of other tasks on race day.
In addition to putting on our 10 race Championship Series each year, MISFITS also puts on several other events.
One of those is the East Coast Challenge (the ECC). This is the Super Bowl, World Series, Indy500 and Daytona 500 of OUR sport! This year the ECC takes place October 3&4 in Central Pennsylvania. We consistently pull drivers from not only the Mid-Atlantic states, but also from Georgia,Wisconsin, and California! At this time we have 2 confirmed International racers coming from the United Kingdom for this year’s event, as well as a few others still considering making the trip.
The ECC is organized by the MISFITS, but runs under an entirely different set of rules. While those rules are similar, there are differences. There is not only a class for Spec Cars, as well as a class for Unlimited Cars, we also have a class for the Super Cars. The Super Cars are mostly designed and built for all out speed runs more then for pack racing. I believe the “official” record set in 2014 is 84mph, with the unofficial record being 88mph.
The ECC is a great opportunity to socialize with other gravity races, meet new friends, and see first hand what other groups are doing. It’s also your opportunity to race wheel to wheel with some of the best gravity racers in the world!
So if you want to get started with the MISFITS, step one is to e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org and make arraignments to visit the Gravity Garage.
In addition to the cars, we also welcome other gravity disciplines such as trikes, gravity bikes, and gravity side cars. Rules for each will vary depending on the class.