A group of folks used to regularly play "Advanced" Speed Circuit in the Detroit, Michigan area in the 1980s into the 1990s. Recently, some of the same folks (and some new folks) have started a new series of auto racing board games using the Championship Formula Racing game.
When we played in the 1980s, we quickly discovered that using a small board-game size track didn't work too well when you had a dozen or more drivers trying to race. So, we expanded the tracks to fit on sheets, and we modified 1:64 scale Hot Wheels cars to use on the tracks. Our intention for the new campaign is to use the large tracks and 1:64 scale cars. We used to regularly draw an average of between 12 and 13 drivers per race, and racing board games are lots more fun with more players. In other words, auto racing board games are not so good with only a couple of players, and that's why we're trying to attract as many drivers as possible. After seven official races for points in our new series, we have averaged 9.9 drivers per race.
In the campaigns of the 1980s, we raced a series of races (usually 16 races per year), awarding points to the top finishers as did the real Formula One. At the end of the year, the driver with the most points was the "Speed Circuit Champion" and was awarded a small engraved trophy. We also awarded a team championship, as well as elected a driver as the recipient of the "Tom Kane Memorial Award" to the most sportsmanlike driver of the year.
For the new series of races, we will have official races only once per month, with eight races in the series leading to the championship. The regular game night is the 2nd Friday evening of each month. The official races will be held during the months of September through April.
Want to check out the CFR rules before coming to a race? Download the CFR rules from the designer's website. If you ever played our old Advanced Speed Circuit rules, you will find the CFR rules very similar. If you have never played either racing game, the basic idea is that you plot how fast you want your car to go on each turn. For each multiple of 20 mph, your car moves one space on the track. So, if you plotted a speed of 120 mph, your car would move 6 spaces on the track. You of course want to go as fast as possible on the straight parts of the track, but your car is constrained by its acceleration and top speed ratings. There are also speed limits in the corners, so you must either slow down (also constrained by your car's deceleration rating) to the speed limit, or else use "wear points" (which simulate using up your brakes and tires) and/or roll dice to take a chance of possibly spinning or else crashing out of the race. The basic system is very easy to learn, although you will need to learn the nuances of the game to get really good at it.
Place Driver Car Points 1 Gary Sturgeon John Player Lotus 41* 2 Mike Cook Camel Lotus 31 3 Richard White Brabham 28 4 Garry Kaluzny McLaren 27 5 Jack Beckman Ferrari 25 6 Gary Kempen Ferrari 8 7T Jim Landis Benetton 6 7T Greg Lim Motorola 6 9 Brian Robinson Walker Racing 4 10 Jim Robinson Williams 3 11 Mike Manderachia Ligier 2 12T Russ Herschler Minardi 0 12T Chad Marlett Red Bull 0 12T Tim Gould McLaren 0 12T Mike St. Peter Mercedes 0
* Gary Sturgeon has clinched at least a tie for the Championship.
Everyone is welcome to join us to play CFR. There is no fee to play most races, as we plan on rotating races amongst local game stores. We will probably also run CFR at local game cons (especially of the Metro Detroit Gamers), but as there is a fee to play at game cons, the CFR races at cons will be demos, and will not count towards the points championship. If you are thinking about joining our campaign, come and race at one of the demo races to learn the rules! Or just show up at a points race!
Pictures of the Championship Formula Racing game.
Championship Formula Racing was designed by Douglas Schulz, and published by Ultra PRO Entertainment/Jolly Roger Games. Copyright by Ultra PRO Entertainment.
Speed Circuit was a product of the old Avalon Hill game company, which is now owned by Wizards of the Coast / Hasbro. Sadly, Speed Circuit was discontinued when Hasbro bought Avalon Hill in the late 1990s.
Latest update: March 12, 2018