New Directions

900 Echols Street SE
Vienna, VA 22180    703-319-0840

High Performance, Affordable Accessories for
Pinewood Derby, Hot Wheels, Soapbox Derby, and other racing formats.

Split Gate
Drag Racing

Split Gate adds a new twist. It is not just the speed of the car anymore. Now, it's also the skill of the "driver."

Split Gate refers to a two-lane Pinewood (or other) toy car racing format where the start gate mechanism for each contestant is separately controlled. It is combined with a light tree that has the capability of detecting and indicating if one or both of the contestants activated his start gate prior to the light tree reaching green. This is called a "fault"

New Directions has been offering this system since 2007, when the first one, shown at the right, was produced for customer Sam Perry of Williamstown KY. The LT3 light tree is enhanced by a fitting at the top for fault logic and six fault display lights. The electrical connector was changed to provide for detection of the gate status (open or closed). If one or both of the gates fault, the red light(s) indicates which.

We also provided the finish line, a Judge Model G2-500 as part of this custom system. Mr. Perry travels all over the state doing work with youth, and his split gate system is a big hit. "It has never missed a beat in eight years."


Start Gates

Light Trees

Finish Lines

Track Manufacturers

More Products for BestTrack


The start gate has two hinged start pegs, each with their own latching mechanism. As you can see in the photo at right, one lane is open, and the other is closed. The lanes are spring-loaded so that they "want to open" and each is held closed by an elbow latch. The contestants stand at either side of the track with their fingers on their elbow latch, and anticipate the green, timing their release to avoid a fault.

Construction of this start gate is 1/2" MDF, using a vinyl-covered #8 screws as the pegs. Each gate is monitored for status by a miniature magnetic switch. The lanes of Mr. Perry's homebuilt track are separated, and the light tree stands between them.

We have produced many of this basic format over the years, for BestTrack, wood tracks and Hot Wheels tracks. Our techniques have improved over the years, just like our products. We currently offer solenoids to open the gates remotely, activated by push button switches.

Original Fault Detect Light Tree, above,
and Split Gate below, 2007

We have recently introduced our new Light Tree, Model LT4, which is available with fault logic and lights. Order the model LT4-1-F for single sided, and LT4-2-F for double sided lights. Each fault light is comprised of three LEDs, aimed respectively up the track, down the track, and to the sides. Every seat in the audience is a good seat, with the double sided LT4-2-F.

This light tree is the perfect companion for the new BestTrack Convertible Split Start Gate format, which is coming soon. It is functionally equivalent to their DragMaster light tree, but at a fraction of the price.

Click the pic to learn more about our Light Trees.


Split Gates are built to order. We make them for all tracks.

Give us a call if this interests you. If you already have a 2 Lane track, send some photos of the start area, particularly the area under your start gate.

Finish Lines


Light Trees

Start Gates