To learn more about the Rookie Rod formula select an option below to read about it.
The Rookie Rod formula was setup a few years back with a large number of drivers moving on to other formulas using Rookie Rods as a stepping stone. The formulas main aim is to get people to have a go at oval racing and to do it at a reasonable price. The cars you're allowed to use consist of three different models. You're allowed to use the Vauxhall Corsa, Vauxhall Nova or the Ford Fiesta.
The object is to complete the set amount of laps and be the first over the finish line. The formula is a non contact one with black crosses handed to those who make contact with other cars.
You're allowed to make minor tweaks to the car but nothing major as the aim is to keep the formula a low budget one and to encourage others to join. For information on what you can and can't do on the cars you should always read the rules or call Spedeworth if you are unsure of something.
The formula uses a grading system where as the grade you have determines where you start on the track. New drivers start as a white top and work there way up to Yellow, Blue, Red and then onto Superstar which consists of three strips and they are Red, White and Blue. The points champion may use a silver roof.
It's also worth noting that if you win a heat you must start at the back of your grade for the next race. If you win twice in the same meeting you are automatically promoted to the next roof grade.
Note: In championship races, drivers might start differently to usual. The promoter may choose to run 'out of the hat' and in this case in heat 1 you will start in a completely random order so if you're a white top you might be at the back with a red top depending on how you are drawn 'out of the hat'. Heat 2 it would be reversed so if you started 1st in heat 1 you'd start last in heat 2. For the final which would be the main championship race the points gained from heat 1 and heat 2 will be added up determine where you start. This is known as points order.
The Rookie Rod formula has strong turnouts at most meetings and therefore it's sometimes hard for drivers to get a booking.
Due to the strong turnouts there are various championships run throughout the year were drivers usually have to earn there place on the grid
In 2012 the DB Mechanical Services Series will be run at all Spedeworth tracks and Incarace for one meeting at Northampton. The series lasts for 11 meetings.
Other notable championships run throughout the year include Norfolk Champion, East Anglian Champion, Sussex Champion, Southern Champion, Long Track Champion & London Champion.
Note: More information about individual grades is available in the 'Grading System' section.
All tracks operate a flag system to indicate to drivers the conditions on track. The flags below are used at Spedeworth.
Blue Flag This is shown to a driver who must hold his racing line. You may be holding up another driver who has been trying to pass you but is being baulked, or you are spoiling a race by holding up a pack behind you, by your driving style.
Once shown the flag you must either hold a racing line on the inner part of the track or the outer part of the track, not weave between both. If after two laps you fail to obey this Blue Flag you will shown a Blue & White Flag.
Waved Green Flag Go, the race is on.
Held Yellow Flag Beware, you are approaching a hazard on the track, continue to race but be aware of the hazard.
Waved Yellow Slow down to 15mph, hold your position, and do not overtake any other cars.
Waved Red Flag Stop racing, slow down & stop immediately.
Chequered Flag Race winner has crossed the line, continue to race until the Red Flag is shown.
Waved Black Flag You are disqualified, pull off the track immediately.
Other notable flags
White Flag with a Blue spot Indicates that there is oil on the track.
Blue & White Flag Give up your track position, you have not taken notice of the Blue flags.
Black cross on a White board You have committed an infringement and may be penalised in the results.
Below are links to the Rookie Rod rules and specifications. You can also download and print your licence application form.
To view these you will need Adobe Reader which can be found here
Note: This is just a rough guide on how easy it is to put together a Rookie Rod. As this is just a rough guide please make sure you refer to the Rule book to check what you can and can't do. This is not an in-depth, full on guide and should not be taken to seriously.
If your sure doing Rookie Rods is something you would like to do then now might be the time to get your licence from Spedeworth. These cost £40 for a year and secure your chosen race number. Obviously you'll need a car and somewhere to store it so you need to decide which car you would like and where you'll be keeping it. The most used car is the Vauxhall Nova but it's really personal preference with some people not liking a Corsa as it's taller than a Nova. You will need to strip out the car completely removing all interior. You will also need to remove the windows but make sure you leave the fuel tank in if you intend to drive the car onto your transporter in order to go get your cage.
Next you need to think about how much you want to spend on a cage for your car. You should take this opportunity to get out your copy of the rules which you will have been sent with your licence or you can find them on the Spedeworth site on one of the links below. There are many cage builders out there and they all have there own prices so it might be best to ask around. I used AR Welding who charged £250 for a full spec Spedeworth Rookie Rod roll cage and are based down in Newhaven down in the South East. Hopefully your cage builder will have you come and get a seat fitting and get the steering wheel to the exact height that you want it.
Now you've got your car back from having its cage fitted you've not got much left to do really. You might want to paint the cage and the inside of your car to a colour of your choice. Next we should finish the inside of the car before making a start on the engine. The car should be stripped and have a nice cage in it now. You need to get yourself a nice starter switch setup and mounted to the cage near the driver close enough for you to reach when your harness is on and restricting you! You'll need to install your battery tray and fuel tank along with your seat and harness. You'll need to run a fuel line from the fuel tank through the firewall to the fuel pump and this must be done on the inside of the car. Now might be a good time to remove the fuel tank.
You'll also need to remove the battery from under the bonnet and run the starter lead to the inside of the car and to the battery tray where your battery now lives. You'll also need a battery isolator switch in the rear passenger side of the car which connect up to the battery. You should have a rough idea of where the seat is going to go from when you had the cage fitted. Now you'll need to fit your harness which you might need an extra pair of hands for. The driver should sit in the car with the extra hands helping mark the exact position of where the harness should be bolted in. You should use a 5 point harness.
I think that we've finished inside the car. Before painting and decorating the outside of the car now you should get rid of any parts that aren't needed under the bonnet such as the wiper motor, heater fan, water bottle, bonnet catch and hinges and maybe a few others that I can't think of right now. It's worth mentioning that the engine has to remain pretty much as standard
Now we can make the car pretty and paint it however you want! Remember to read the rules though as your race numbers need to be a certain height and that you need to attach your fin plate or plates if you're using a rack. You should remember to bolt or weld the boot closed and the passenger door. You are allowed to use the drivers door to get in and out but you will need to fit a window net to stop body parts escaping from the car.
Why not send us a picture of your finished car for us to include in our Photo section? firstname.lastname@example.org
click to enlarge
If you've got a suggestion for this section of the site email and tell us all about it here.