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Rocket Cars--Brought to you by Schamadeke's Physics Class Answered

So the story is, our class is doing an experiment to see if we can log the acceleration of matchbox cars with C or B model rocket engines. (Estes, if anyone's curious about the brand.) The experiment  went... Err, well. We destroyed two photogates. Our setup is as follows:
>4.8m 2x4s, with metal plates at both ends.
>20-or 22-guage steel wire, running between holes in the metal plates, tied to both ends.
>Photogates at more-or-less 1m intervals.
The experiment went over more or less as planned. We had one car's frame come loose of its body and fly away with the rocket, one work fine except for actually hitting every photogate it was supposed to pass through, and on several other runs the wire jumped up and down so much that it triggered the gates all over the place. With these difficulties in mind, we would like to ask Instructables' advice on the matter. Does the incredibly talented community of Instructables' little corner of the Interblag have any advice for us?

Dammit, I lost the game.

Anyway, go on.

Oh, and that last picture contains the car that ran off the track.


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