Updated: Mar 15, 2021
Eight cars lined up at the grid for a first run through of an interesting race game from Ultra PRO.
Championship Formula Racing starts with players choosing the characteristics of their car: its top speed, its acceleration, its deceleration etc. Each player has the same set of options and a limited number of points to spend, so they will probably have to choose some negative attributes in order to have more to spend on the positives.
The game comes with a choice of several tracks to race on. We did not initially realise it on this first play, but it seemed obvious once the race was underway that the choice of track should influence the choices a player makes in 'designing' their car. It seems that it isn't just the proverbial horses for courses... The track we are racing in this Board's Eye View photo has almost immediately adjacent bends with widely different maximum speeds, so you probably need to ensure your car has good deceleration...
Players who exceed the speed marked on bends must either pay in wear tokens (which are limited) or roll and risk damage or elimination from the race. Players can try to overtake but they have to roll dice to succeed. They can choose in advance to spend their limited skill tokens to modify their dice roll.
Each turn, players reveal a speed card to choose the speed (distance) their car moves. They can choose any speed they like provided it is within the parameters they set for their car design (ie: no more than top speed, and within their acceleration or deceleration range of the speed they went on the previous turn).
That pretty much sums up the rules. What caused more confusion in the game was counting the spaces on the track and reading the speed numbers on them. In this, it didn't help that the cars are actually slightly larger than the spaces, so we were frequently having to lift cars up to read the speed of a bend.
We all enjoyed the race, and I think we all worked out how to do better next time. We all now realise the key value of wear tokens and how in future to avoid wasteful choices in the design of our cars next time we rev our engines...