Thanks for the comments! I definitely tried many of the things mentioned but was never really pleased with the results. Not that they aren't good ideas, I'm likely just not a good enough builder! I do agree that the back of the pod is a bit large, but to me, pods should have a bit more more protection for the driver. That is why it is on the larger side as it is acting like a roll bar of sorts protecting from not only crashing but also from other pods bumping into it! I wanted a mini tumbler-like design for the pod but wasn't happy with the results. I also tried a pod with the driver laying down a la the motorcycle that comes out of the tumbler but didn't think it would really work in an actual pod.
I'm not trying to be argumentative here, I'm just trying to give a feel for what I was thinking in my design. I went about this from a functional standpoint as if someone was actually going to build a podracer they would use to race. While I know everyone loves greebling, to me, it just doesn't belong on a podracer. Anything extra sticking off of the engines is just going to get knocked off. I built what I think would make for an aerodynamic, durable pod that could stand up to actual podracing conditions. My original design did have wings on the engines, but it didn't really make any sense to me as they would just get ripped off in the first half lap! I personally like the engines as I think they have an armored, strong look and feel to them.
I think there are three ways to go about this competition - form, function or a mix of them both. I think most have gone the form route and there is nothing wrong with that. I think the Red Fleet Racer is a good example of both form and function. I think the best pod so far is the iPod Racer, but let's be honest, it's not going to win an actual podrace!