Formule De Race & Series Rules

Formule De Race & Series Rules

By Tim Trant, with ideas from Carl Schnurr, Brian Bankler, and The General Staff game club.

October 6, 1995

Series Length

The championships will be determined after a season of a mutually-agreeable number of races, each on a different track. The duty of Track Marshall (the race umpire) will rotate among all the players in turn. The Marshall's team will not run in the race, so each team will miss a proportion of the races. Conflicts over desired races to marshall (i.e. circuits to sit out) will be resolved by die roll.

Car Construction

Each team must decide on the distribution of its Construction Points (Construction Points) before the first race of the series. For three lap races, each team has 24 points to allocate between the eight car categories and its drivers; for two lap races, each team has 20 points. A mix of two and three lap races may be run by requiring each car to expend four Construction Points, with not more than one being removed from a single car category (Driver, Qualifying, and Pit Crew may not be adjusted), before a two lap race. The second car in a two-car team is simply a duplicate of its first design, although the two drivers may have different numbers of Driver Points. Allocations cannot be changed once the series is underway; a team must race the same car on each of the different tracks in the series.

Race Duration

A standard race will be over two or three laps of the circuit, as detemined when the series was set up. Starting grid position may be determined by die roll, via a qualifying session, or by rotation among the participaing cars, as decided at the start of the series.


The weather for a race is determined first, before the cars are set up and starting positions are determined. A d20 is rolled and the result is compared to the weather ratings for the track. If this initial weather roll is within the range for either dry or rain, the entire race is run under that condition.

If the initial weather result is "variable", the race begins under dry conditions and an additional weather roll is made three times per lap when the leading car enters particular track sections (which will be set by the Marshall before the race begins, at approximate one-third lap points, with the last check being just before the pit entrance). These checks continue until two consecutive die rolls fall into the same weather range (either dry or rain), after which the weather stays in that state until the end of the race. Until that second-in-a-row roll, the weather switches (if necessary) to match the latest roll, or stays the same if the latest result falls in the "variable" range (although this also zeros the count for two-in-a-row).

Race Preparation

Players will collect chips or modify a car status sheet to indicate the proper number of Points each of their cars has at the start of the race. Car construction points may not be adjusted after the start of the series, unless a two lap race is being run with a three lap car, in which case 4 Construction Points from 4 different car categories (i.e. NOT Driver Points, Pit Crew, or Qualifying) must be removed before the start of the race. After the initial weather conditions for the race and the starting grid positions have been determined, tire types (see below) are chosen.

At the same time as its initial tire type is chosen, a team may choose to run its car(s) with a high downforce wing setting. This is not adjustable after the race has started, and has the following effects:


1) Normal method
Each player makes a d20 roll for each of his cars, and the cars are placed in order of increasing die score (lowest first). Ties are broken with an additional roll(s). Pit assignments are then chosen in REVERSE order of qualifying position (the car at the back of the grid chooses first, etc.). Two d20 rolls are made for a car which has a Qualifying Point, and the player may chose freely between the two numbers.

2) Full qualifying session
Each player runs a single lap of the circuit, with no other cars interfering with his movement. The total number of game turns and the total time required for the run are recorded. Starting grid position is then in order of increasing number of game turns required (lowest first), with ties decided in order of increasing total time (lowest first). Cars have the same number of Points available as for a two lap race, but every two points expended increases the count of the number of game turns by one. Qualifying is always done in Dry weather, and cars may choose Soft or Hard Tires. A qualifying car may begin in any gear and in any space behind the start/finish line. The total time measurement starts and stops when the car actually crosses the line, and the count of the number of turns required begins and ends with (and includes) the rolls which move the car across the line. A car with a Qualifying Point wins any total time comparisons with a car without a Qualifying Point. Pit assignments are chosen in order of qualifying position (pole car chooses first, etc.).

3) Rotating Grid method
To eliminate the luck factor without going through full qualifying sessions, the starting positions in a series of races may be rotated between the different teams. The rotation used should be dependent on the number of teams and the total number of races. For example, with five teams of two cars starting, the total of the grid position numbers for each team might add up to 11 (first and tenth, second and ninth, etc.). In a series of twelve races contested by six teams, each team would use each pair of grid positions twice.

The Start

A d20 is rolled for each car at the start of the race, before movement (in 1st gear). On a roll of "1", the car has stalled; it does not move, and must stay in 1st gear for the next game turn. A stalled car does not risk stalling again on the second turn.


Cars move in order of position, leading car first. The following points are considered when deciding whether one car is "ahead" of another: The owner of the car rolls either 1d20 or 2d10 and cross-indexes the roll with the car's current gear to find the base number of movement points which the car will have to expend that turn. This number may be adjusted by a number of optional effects (e.g. expending an Engine Point, taking the benefit of Soft Tires and/or a High Wing), thus determining the car's "voluntary" movement. All "penalty" movement (due to Rain, Suspension and/or Bodywork Damage, etc.) is assessed at one time based on the car's position when it has completed all of its "voluntary" movement. For instance, a car in the rain with zero Bodywork Points which ended its move in the last space of a corner would gain four more movement points (and have to pay for a four-point corner overshoot) even though the Bodywork penalty alone would be enough to move the car into the following straight. Generally, the effects of one penalty cannot be used to gain a benefit or reduce the effect of a different penalty.

Ordinarily, one movement point will move a car one space. Some tracks may have "doubled straights", i.e. track sections where each space costs two instead of the normal one movement point. Movement in a corner always costs one point per space.

Lane changes within a corner are allowed as long as they follow the arrows which are printed within each corner space. A car moving within a straight must move each game turn in the most direct manner possible from its starting space to its end-of-turn space; this will generally restrict a car to at most two lane changes per move on a straight, unless some lanes are obstructed by other cars cars. Debris does NOT block a lane. Zig-zag lane changes may not be used in order to move a car fewer spaces than it would otherwise be able to travel.


In order to pass through a corner without penalty, a car must end its turn within the boundaries of the corner the number of times specified within the (yellow) flag. A car may reduce the required number of turns by one, in which case it pays a penalty in Tire Points determined by the number of movement points it expended that turn beyond the corner boundary; a car loses one Tire Point per point of overshoot, and a car with Soft Tires loses one additional Tire Point if it overshoots at all. A car which fails to spend even the reduced number of turns in a corner, or which enters a second corner without stopping in the previous one, crashes and is out of the race.

A car spins out if a cornering penalty requires it to expend one more Tire Point than it has remaining. The car loses any Tire Points which it did have, and is faced backwards in its final movement space. Next turn it is faced forwards again and moves away in 1st gear.

A car crashes and is out of the race if it is required to expend two or more Tire Points more than it has remaining. The crashed car does not leave any debris behind on the track.


A car may expend Brake Points in order to reduce its number of movement points, at a rate of one Brake Point per movement point.

Gear Changes

Cars must start moving (at the start of the race or after a spin) in 1st gear. For following game turns the gear marker may be freely shifted up or down by one. Gears are set at the beginning of each game turn, before any cars have moved. Greater upshifts are not possible, but a car may downshift by a greater amount if it has Transmission Points (and possibly Brake and Engine Points too) available. Skipping one gear (i.e. shifting down by two) costs one Transmission Point; skipping two gears costs one Transmission Point and one Brake Point; and skipping three gears costs one Transmission, one Brake, and one Engine Point. It is not possible to skip more than three gears.


A car which has its path completely blocked by other cars must "swerve"; it may optionally make an additional downshift at a cost of one Transmission Point per gear immediately before making its movement roll, and then must expend Brake and/or Tire Points to use up any remaining unusable movement. If the car has Brake Points remaining, three of them (or all remaining) must be used first to cancel unusable movement, one Brake Point per movement point. Additional movement points, up to a total of six, may be cancelled by expending one Tire or Brake Point for each. If there is still unused movement remaining, the car crashes and is eliminated, leaving debris in its final space, while the blocking car ahead loses one Bodywork Point.


A car which ends its move within a corner must check for a collision with each car in an adjacent space. Two adjacent cars each roll 1d20, and a result equal to or less than the corner number (the number in the (yellow) flag) indicates the loss of one Bodywork Point for that car. If a car has lost all its Bodywork Points its movement each turn is adjusted; if it has already completed the required number of stops within the current or most recent corner the final movement point is expended without producing any movement for the car, and otherwise (if it has NOT completed the required number of stops for the current corner) its move is increased by one movement point. (Generally this means that a car will lose a space of movement on a straight, but gain a space in a corner; however a car overshooting a corner will still have to take an extra space.) A car which is required to lose a Bodywork Point when it has none left leaves debris in its space and is eliminated from the race, and if none of the adjacent cars lost a Bodywork Point in the same check they must check again, with the lowest roll losing one Bodywork Point.

Optional Chain Reaction Rule: Regardless of the result(s) of the collision check(s) of the other involved car(s), whenever a car is eliminated due to loss of Bodywork all adjacent surviving cars make an additional roll, and the one rolling the lowest loses a Bodywork Point. The process is repeated (possibly multiple times) if that car also loses unavailable Bodywork Points and is eliminated.

A car may also receive Suspension damage due to moving into a space which contain debris. A debris marker is placed in a car's space whenever it loses a Bodywork Point, takes Engine Damage due to a failed Reliability check, or is eliminated due to Bodywork damage or Swerving. A following car which moves into that space must check with a 1d20 roll: a result of "1" - "4" ("1" - "5" during Rain) means that the car loses a Suspension Point. As with Bodywork Points, a car with no Suspension Points has its movement adjusted exactly as for the complete loss of Bodywork Points. If both Bodywork and Suspension Points have been reduced to zero, the car's movement is adjusted by two movement points instead of one. A car which is required to lose a Suspension Point when it has none left is eliminated from the race.

A car's move is not complete until after all collision checks caused by its move are complete. If its last point of Bodywork or Suspension is lost in the last space of a car's move, it must still immediately make the additional penalty move.

Engine Damage

If a car's movement die/dice roll is "16", that car loses one Engine Point due to lack of reliability. Only the actual die or dice result is considered, NOT a modified result (from a voluntary use of an Engine Point to increase the effective die roll). A debris marker is placed at the car's position on the track.

A player may voluntarily use up a car's Engine Points in order to increase a turn's effective movement die roll. One Engine Point may be expended (per turn) in order to increase a movement roll by five. Debris is NOT placed if an Engine Point is intentionally expended.


There are three different types of tires (soft, hard, and wet), and any one may be chosen for Qualifying, at the start of the race, and at a pit stop.

In dry weather, hard tires are "normal", and have no additional benefits or drawbacks. A car with soft tires (in dry weather) has the option of moving one additional movement point each turn, but also loses one additional Tire Point every time it receives overshooting cornering penalties from overshooting. This bonus is not available to a car which has zero Bodywork or Suspension Points. Soft tires also wear out after a single lap; if a car continues on soft tires for a second lap it loses the benefit of the optional point of movement and loses two additional Tire Points from overshooting any corner. On a third lap on the same set of soft tires there is a one movement point penalty on each move and three extra Tire Points are lost if the car overshoots a corner. If wet tires are used in dry weather, Tire Point losses from overshooting a corner and/or Swerving (when the car's path is blocked) are doubled.

In wet weather, soft tires have no advantage over hard tires, although soft tires still wear out (with penalties as above) after one lap. A car with either hard or soft tires moves an additional three movement points if it ends its move within a corner. A car with wet tires moves only one additional movement point if it ends its move within a corner. The chance of a collision in a corner and of hitting debris is increased by one in wet weather (e.g. debris causes Suspension damage on a 1d20 roll of "1" - 5" instead of "1" - "4").

Pit Stops

Pit lane may only be entered by a car which will make a pit stop. There is no restriction on the number of cars which may occupy a space in pit lane at one time; pit lane is considered to be infinitely wide. There is a 4th gear limit for a stopping car when it enters the pit space; a car ends its move and loses one Transmission and one Brake Point per gear if it reaches its pit while in a higher gear, and it must make up for any unused movement points by increasing its pit stop requirement (next game turn) by the same number of movement points. A car may only stop in its particular pit area, which it might possibly share with one other team (pit assignment having been done during qualifying); multiple cars may stop in the pit at the same time. A pit stop to change tires (i.e. to regain all lost Tire Points) requires a car to expend the number of movement points which corresponds to a die roll of "10" for the car's current gear (possibly over two or more turns). This movement point requirement may be reduced if Construction Points were spent on the "Pit Crew" category. No gear changes are allowed for a car which is stopped in a pit. A single point of Suspension OR Bodywork may be repaired during a pit stop at the same time as new Tires are installed at a total cost of one and a half times the usual Movement Point cost, and additional Points may be repaired at the cost of the expenditure of additional Movement Points equal to the normal cost for its current gear (i.e. if in fourth gear, another 10 Movement Points per Suspension or Bodywork repaired). The type of the new tires which will be installed, and whether Bodywork or Suspension repairs will be done, must be declared when the car enters the pit. A car does not have to leave the pit before making more repairs or changing tires again (to a different type), but all announced pit work must be completed before any more can begin.


At the end of the game turn in which the leader finishes the first lap, a number of "backmarker" cars equal to half the remaining field (rounded down) is placed on the track. These are placed by the car owners in reverse order of current standing in the race, and must start in the centre lane at least one track section (straight or corner) ahead of the leading car. Backmarkers always use 3rd gear, and always use a d20 for movement. Backmarkers drive in the middle lane if possible, but follow the movement arrows in corners and pass on the outside (of the next corner) in the straights if necessary to avoid other cars. A backmarker never ends its move in a space which completely blocks the track (in conjunction with other racing cars and/or backmarkers), but instead does not move the final space(s). Backmarkers can cause but not receive Bodywork damage, and do not leave debris. When first placed, backmarkers are considered to be the front cars, i.e. their movement rolls are made before the race leader moves. Backmarkers may be removed after they have been passed by all remaining player cars if it is obvious to all that they will have no further effect on the movement of any player's car. Backmarkers play no part in determining finishing positions, regardless of whether or not they are eventually passed by player cars (i.e. they are always considered to be many laps behind, even compared to crashed player cars).

Driver Injury

The condition of the driver must be checked whenever a car is eliminated from the race. One d20 is rolled (add 3 to the roll if the car was eliminated due to Engine Damage), and if the result is greater than or equal to the car's current gear number the driver is uninjured. Otherwise, a second d20 roll is made:

Driver Injury Result (d20):

If a driver is killed or injured during qualifying, that team cannot bring in a replacement driver (and car) until the next race. If a driver is severely injured (removed for the rest of the season) or killed during a race, the race is stopped when all cars have had their move for the current game turn. The race is over, and if at least one full lap had already been completed full points are awarded according to current position; otherwise the current positions are used to determine the starting grid for a restarted race of one less lap, with only the Tire Points of each car restored to the original values.

Expending Driver Points

A player may choose to re-roll a car's die or dice roll by expending one of that driver's Driver Points. Any roll made by that player and concerning that particular car or driver may be re-rolled. The second result must be accepted, even if it is worse than the initial roll, and cannot be re-rolled again.

Finishing Results

The first six cars to finish a race earn points towards the Drivers' and Constructors' Championships. 10, 6, 4, 3, 2, and 1 point are awarded respectively to the first through sixth- place finishers towards both Championships.

The first three finishers earn 1/2 of a Driver Point each, and in addition everyone who finishes the race also earns 1/2 of a Driver Point. Driver Points earned in this way are lost when expended but may be carried from race to race until they are expended (unlike those which are purchased before the series begins with Car Construction Points, which are available for each race but may NOT be accumulated).

The series Drivers' Champion is the one who has won the most Drivers' Championship points when all the races have been completed, and the Constructors' Championship is determined similarly. Ties are broken in favour of the driver or team which has the most first place finishes, or second place finishes if there is still a tie, etc.

Article by Tim Trant, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
October 6, 1995

The Game Cabinet - - Ken Tidwell