Rookie Rods are a low budget entry level form of non-contact short oval racing. Designed to get fans off the terraces and onto the race track to experience the thrills of stock car racing without huge financial investment. An ideal step-up formula as well for Ministox racers. Rookie rods race in a clockwise direction. Nearly all parts of the car must remain standard and modifications are extremely limited, all designed to keep costs to a minimum.
All drivers taking part in the Rookie Rod formula must use either of the following...
Vauxhall Nova 1200cc
Vauxhall Corsa (Models A,B and C)
Ford Fiesta Mk 1-3
Each race meeting consists of 3 races. These are made of 2 heats and a Final with each race lasting 20 laps. Rookie Rods will share each meeting with 2 or 3 other Spedeworth racing formulas on the night, allowing time for repairs and setup adjustments to be made in between races.
The cars race in a clockwise direction. All races begin with a clutch (standing) start. The grid order is normally decided by a grading system which puts the novices at the front of the grid and the more experienced drivers towards the back ensures all drivers have a fair chance to do well, and creates some very exciting races
Points are given to the top 8 finishers in each race with 8 points given for a heat win down to 1 point for 8th place. Double points are issued for the Final like so...
For special 'Championship' events however drivers will draw their grid position 'out of a hat' for heat 1. For heat 2 the grid positions from the first race will be reversed. For example.. a driver who starts 1st in heat 1 will start last in heat 2 and vice versa. After heat 2 the points that each driver has gained from both races will be added together. The drivers will then start the final 'Championship' race in points order with the winner of each race being crowned champion
Example of a race schedule handed out for each meeting
To decide grid positions for each race a grading system is used. This 'handicap' system is designed to give everyone a chance. Drivers are split equally into a series of grades. The rookies and drivers who have the least points according to the latest points chart will start at the front of the grid whilst the more experienced drivers who have the most points will start at the back, usually approximately half a lap down. Each driver is required to paint the roof of their car according to the colour their current grade
The grades are as follows...
Points charts are released at the end of every month where drivers can be promoted/demoted up or down the grades. Drivers are then required to change their roof colour too suit
The diagram below illustrates how the grades line up.