Hot Rod formulas

Whistlin' Jack Smith >> Formulas

Hot Rods have developed over 40 years, the sport has many different variations of formulas to suit the drivers needs. They vary from the expensive fully race tuned National Hot Rod that race across the country to standard cars aimed to get to people in the sport. They are also many that fill the gap between them. Whatever the budget, location and style of car perferred there is a class for everyone. Some formula's share the same name yet race to a different specification, all the differences are explained in the following guide.

1600 Hot Rods
2L Hot Rods (RTS)
2L Hot Rods (Spedeworth)
2L Hot Rods (Swaffham)
2L Rods (Grimley)
Barford Hot Rods
Classic Hot Rods
Euro Rods
Formula Ford
Group 2 Lightning Rods
GT Hot Rods
Hot 1600 Rods
Hot Fords
Hot Rods (Buxton)
Hot Rods (GMP)
Hot Rods (Grimley)
Hot Rods (Mendips)
Hot Rods (Ringwood)
Hot Saloons
Junior Rods
Junior Productions
Lightning Rods (ORCi)
Lightning Rods (Swaffham)
MD Hot Rods
Mini Rods
Mondeo Rods
National Hot Rods
Pick Ups
RDC Super Rods
Rookie Rods
Saloon Rods
Slick Cars
Special Rods
Stock Rods (ORCi)
Stock Rods
Super Stock Rods
Thunder Rods (Ringwood)
Thunder Rods (RTS)
V6 Super Rods
Waterford Hot Rods

1600 Hot Rods

Unique to
Tipperary and a great training ground for future National drivers. Resembling externally National Hot Rod with a steel/semi-space frame body, power comes from a control 1600 8V GM/Opel engine with one control camshaft for all. Racing suspension is allowed, as are National specification wheels & tyres. Exciting racing for up-and-coming drivers.

2 Litre Hot Rods (Rolling Thunder Show)

2 litre pinto powered, with a single carb, fully-space framed cars, using a controlled tyre; these are the same specifications as the cars that are raced at Spedeworth and Nutts Corner in Ireland. Although
Arena Essex is ORCi, RTS is not so any ORCi licensed driver racing at RTS will be banned. Previously known as Thunder Cars, that class allowed any hot rod up 3.5 litre with 2 valves per cylinders.

2 Litre Hot Rods (Swaffham)

Swaffham 2 Litre Hot Rods were started in 2011. A non contact budget formula running up to 8" wide slicks, using any small hatchback or saloon car with a total length limited of 160". Non/semi and full spaceframe cars using modified 8v or standard 16v engines upto 2000cc. All steel or fibreglass panelled cars, front or rear wheel drive, with a large range of build specs, from a basic build to a near outlaw spec and everything in between. All specs are limited on the type of carbs allowed to keep the formula fairer. There will be FWD/RWD/8V/16V on track with Single, Twin and Motorbike carbs along with Non, Semi and Full Spaceframe cars. Making this a popular budget class of Hot Rod racing. Full Rules

2 Litre Rods

Originally the
Lightning Rod class (at Grimley), but now open to any original rear wheel drive saloon fitted with the Ford 2 Litre Pinto engine and gearbox. Suspension and engine modifications can be made. Full Rules

Barford Hot Rods

Any Saloon or hatch back type car of steel monologue construction, of which the overall length and width of the unmodified car does not exceed 13ft 7in by 5ft 6in.Cars may be front or rear engine and front or rear wheel drive and may be converted between front wheel drive and rear wheel drive. Four wheel drive is NOT permitted. Any production engine which in standard form does not exceed 2000cc may be used in any eligible body shell. Suspension is restricted and must remain fitted to the original car mounting. Wheel camber is limited, all four wheels on the car must be perpendicular (vertical). Racing slicks are allowed with a maximum with of ten inches, standard roads tyres may be used. Bodies must retain the basic vehicle silhouette. Aero foils and spoilers are permitted.

Euro Rods

Ringwood: Any standard manufactured car 8 valve only front or rear wheel drive only. All cars to remain their original silhouette, arches and skirt kits may be added.
Full Rules

Rolling Thunder: Cheap entry level into motorsport. Cars are upto 1400cc, standard engine and suspension, on road legal tyres, with a 4 post roll-cage.

Group 2 Lightning Rods

Entry-level formula racing at
Ballymena. Cars are virtually standard to keep preparation costs at a minimum, safety regulations such as roll cages, etc are compulsory. Maximum engine capacity of 1600cc.

GT Hot Rods

A non-contact formula at
Skegness using lightly modified Saloon or Hatchback front wheel drive cars, up to 1400cc limit in standard trim with arched and skirted body panels. Mainly Astra's, Nova's and Corsa's. Full Rules

Hot 1600 Rods

Originally the Hot Rod formula (at
Grimley), open to any front wheel drive saloon or hatchback up to 1600cc under 1300kg gross weight. Full Rules

Hot Fords

Buxton: One step up from
RookiRods is the Hot Fords, these are front wheel drive Fords. Racing at Buxton for driver that have some race experience. Full Rules.

Incarace: A budget style formula using only Ford's. The formula is designed primarily for those drivers who wish to compete in Oval Racing without the substantial financial investment or high level of commitment of other formulas.

Any front wheel drive FORD Fiesta, Escort or Orion. The only engines allowed are up to 1600cc OHV or CVH in any of these three vehicles. In addition you may use the Ford Ka, however, you must use the standard type manufacturers engine to that model. Estate cars and vans are not allowed, nor are turbo's or superchargers. All panels must remain as standard Ford. Any standard Ford spring (or non-competition after-market eg Monroe) from Fiesta, Escort or Orion, they may be cut or heated to lower. Nearly all the car should remain standard, to keep costs down and make the class competitive. Incarace may reject a prospective driver if they are too experienced. Full Rules

Hot Rods

The name 'hot rod' has developed so much since the 1960's. No matter the difference in specification from one promotion to another any non-contact short oval racing that took place was known as hot rod racing. The premier class became National Hot Rods and other classes were named mainly because of their engine size. However a few promoters still call their class 'hot rods'.

At Buxton, Cowdenbeath (GMP), Grimley, Ringwood, Mendip Hills they call their class 'hot rods' these all run
Outlaw style meetings (any car up to National Hot Rod specification). Full Rules Buxton, However Ringwood is not an ORCi track so a ORCi-licensed driver racing there will be banned!

Hot Saloons

Low budget
Crimond based formula. Any front engineed, front/rear wheel drive, 4/5 seat car with an steel production shell and a model introduced for sale in the UK 6 years prior to current race. Front wheel drive may be converted to rear wheel drive. Full Rules


Incarace based formula, a budget style formula using non-Ford cars up to 1600cc maximum engine size with 2 valves per cylinder, no competition type cars allowed like Mini Cooper. Engine type must remain standard to the car, no transplants. No Toyota Starlets in any format allowed.
Full Rules

(Junior) Mini Rods

Grimley: Any steel bodied two wheel drive up to and including 1000cc mini saloon in standard form as listed in classes guide may be used and must be complete with all doors, wings, boot, and bonnet. A non contact formula with modified suspension. Additional ironwork must be added to the car to give the appearance of a Ministock. 12-16 year olds.
Full Rules

Mendips: From the age of 10 years old, youngsters can experience the thrill of racing in a MiniRod car at Mendip Hills. The cars are standard 1000cc Mini saloons, stripped out but mechanically standard in all respects. A rollcage is fitted, along with a good safe racing seat and full safety harness to ensure that the young drivers come to no harm. Drivers have to retuire at their sixteenth birthday and transfer to adult formulae.

Junior Productions

The Junior Productions are the breeding ground at Nutts Corner for the hot rod stars of the future, with the racing restricted to those drivers aged 11-16 years old. Since 2006 the racing has been strictly non-contact, although the cars are still armoured with protective steel to prevent the young pilots from coming to any harm. Any further 1300cc production car is permitted.

The experience gained in this class stands the youngsters in good stead for their future racing careers, with former Junior Production Irish Champions Glenn Bell and Shane Murray running in the star grade of senior formulae soon after graduating - Glenn indeed tasting World Championship glory in the Stock Rods on three occasions before moving on to the elite National Hot Rods. Irish Champion in 2005 William Buller has graduated through Stock Rods and 2.0 Hot Rods and is now involved in British F3 on the big circuits.
Full rules

Junior Rods

Ballymena: A class for young drivers aged 10 to 16 year old. The cars are virtually standard machines up to 1000cc capacity. The most popular model is the Nissan Micra, although the Ford Fiesta and Vauxhall Nova models are also widely used.

Grimley: Second junior class at Grimley for 12-16 year olds. Only models that can be used are: Peugeot 106, Vauxhall Nova, Citroen AX, Citroen Saxo, Nissan Micra and Fiat Cinquecento; engines range from 1000 - 1100cc. Side skirts and arches must be fitted.
Full Rules.

Ringwood: This formula is for 10-16 year old children, the cars are relatively compact, running up to 1300cc standard engines, fully caged, and run as non-contact, with only slight camber adjustment allowed. Full Rules

Rolling Thunder: Non-contact racing for children aged 10-16 yrs, providing the opportunity for parents with limited knowledge of mechanics to go racing with their children. Up to 1000cc engines, using road legal tyres (No Yokohamas).

Skegness: Kids between 11yrs & 16yrs take part using standard 1000cc Novas and Corsas in non-contact racing. Full Rules

Spedeworth: Once Spedeworth took over at Fleet, Aldershot the only formula to be kept on was the Junior Rods, the class is still mainly run there. A non-contact formula for children aged 11 up until their 16th birthday. Cars are upto 1000cc in standard form. Tyres must be road legal (No Yokohamas are permitted). A Full roll-cage is required. Full rules

Lightning Rods

Swaffham Lightning Rods are very close in specification to ORCi run
Lightning Rods, running on Kingpin and Pacer tyres. When Shawn Mason took over the running of Swaffham this class was originally called Thunder Rods. Full Rules.

Swaffham is not an ORCi track so a ORCi-licensed driver racing their Lightning Rod will be banned!

MD Hot Rods

New to
Skegness for 2010 as the name suggests a class using only Mondeo’s in a non contact formula. A budget formula using readily available cars, An affordable way to get started on the race track. 1992 to 1998 models only, engines allowed are 1.6/ 1.8/ 2.0 silver top setec in standard form with injection system and wiring removed. All tyres are Kingpin remoulds. Full Rules

Mondeo Rods

New formula for 2008 that runs at the Shawn Mason promoted Swaffham circuit. 1.6/ 1.8/ 2.0 silver top engines only in standard form and no competition parts allowed. All cars are front wheel drive Mondeo's that allow negative camber as an allowable modification.
Full Rules

Pick Ups

Converted Ford Sierra estate based formula, racing solely at RTS, 2.0lt pinto powered on Yokohama tyres. Saloons can be converted also.


Smaller brother to the
Lightning Rods, similar rules, engine capacity controls ensure this class is populated by Fiat 127s, Unos, VW Polos and the like. Race only at Tipperary.

RDC Super Rods

Only race at
Dover with cars up to 2 litre rear wheel drive. The most popular cars are the Mk1 and Mk2 Ford Escort and Ford Sierras. Cars are faster and the racing very close and exciting. All drivers in the formula must have previous racing experience before being granted a license.

Rookie Rods

Buxton RookiRods: Budget hot rods using any car carburettered car up to 1600cc. Entry level formula, top drivers move into
Hot Fords class. Full Rules

Spedeworth: Low budget formula consisting of only Vauxhall Nova's and Ford Fiesta's. Introduced to bring new drivers onto the track racing cheaper cars than Stock Rods and Lightning Rods which had become increasingly expensive over the past few years. The first Spedeworth Rookie Rod was a banger class and renamed Rookie Bangers, the current class was introduced in 2000 at Great Yarmouth only that year. Gradually it spread to all the Spedeworth tracks, and merged with the Ringwood style Hodge/ Ford Rods in 2006. Full Rules

Saloon Rods

Standlake: Front wheel drive, no cc limit. Fuel Injection allowed.
Full Rules

Worthing: Two classes for either front or rear wheel drive.


The South East Grass Track Organisation used to have many tracks to race at, Angmering left SEGTO and racing has ceased at Layhams Farm (Croydon).

Juniors: Racing for the juniors aged 10 to 16. Cars limited to 1000cc limit.
Full Rules
Production A: Up to 1000cc FWD and 1100 RWD, OHC and OHV. Full Rules
Production B: Up to 1300cc FWD or RWD, single OHC and OHV. Minimum modifications
Modified Saloons: Up to 1600cc FWD or RWD, single OHC and OHV. Some modifications
1450 Hot Rods: Front engine FWD, Rear Engine RWD, modified saloon/pick up. Multi valve, multi point injection permitted. Full Rules
Super Saloons: Any modified saloon of any drive configuration up to 3528cc. Up to 1700cc Turbo. Fuel injection is permitted

All these classes run at Horndean and Tongham. Standlake do not run Production B or Modified Saloons but do also race Saloon Rods.

Slick Cars

Although not an actual class the Slick Car events are for hot rods, any car is allowed with a slick tyre. This type of racing spawned the current
Outlaw racing and most of the entries are from that class. V6 Super Rods also race in these meeting scoring points within their own class, typical to the way RAC long tracks morph various classes together. The Slick Car meetings have no championships or points series.

Aldershot held the first of this meetings in 2009 and the style appeared at Incarace tracks during the later part of the year. For 2010 Slick Cars events take place at the I-factor meetings promoted by Incarace. Ipswich hosts 2 Slick Car meetings in 2010.

Special Rods

Based on the humdrum Ford Sierra, these non contact racing cars are carefully put together examples of road cars stripped out for racing, and tuned for the best performance within a very strict set of preparation rules and regulations. The formula finds favour with those who cannot quite afford the Hot Rods, and yet wish to race a purist formula that is non contact and still close racing , without the bash and crash approach of the Bangers. It is a popular starter adult formula for young drivers when leaving the
Mini Rods.

Special Rods briefly returned to Ringwood when Trojan International took over running the track from Spedeworth, the cars race with the Hot Rod class but lack of numbers have caused the class to stop in 2010.

Stock Rods (Non-ORCi)

Stock Rods are run to the same specification as the ORCi rules at Swaffham and Rolling Thunder.

Super Stock Rods

1400cc front or rear wheel drive saloons. Similar spec to
Stock Rods. Only race at Grimley. Full Rules

Thunder Rods

Cars are 1600cc - 3000cc engine size (turbos are allowed), minimum build for car construction using the normal banger type H Frame and internal drivers door plate for driver protection. Any road legal tyre and wheel can be used provided they fit without modification. Only race at
Ringwood. Full Rules

Waterford Hot Rods

Class 1: Up to 1 litre 16 valve limited modifications
Class 2: Up to 1250cc 16 valve limited modifications
Class 3: Up to 1310cc 16 valve limited modifications
Class 4: Up to 1400cc multivalve limited modifications
Class 5: Up to 1650cc fully modified spaceframed (including turbo, supercharged)
Class 6: Up to 3500cc fully modified spaceframed (including turbo, supercharged) including nationals
All 6 classes race at all meeting at

Site built and maintained by Paul Ballard, Copyright 2004 - 2014. If you want to reproduce any part of this website please contact WJS
Total page views: