Each year we send surveys to all of you. Many thoughts and suggestions come back which helps us formulate objectives, do's, and don'ts for Star Mazda in the future. Responding to your input, plans for 1999 are now substantially complete, with only a few loose ends to be tied down. We tried very hard to get the 1999 schedules for Pro races, TV, and the West Series out before the end of 1998, but it was just not to be. we think you will agree, however, that the 1999 Pro schedule that follows was worth the wait!
First, these are the 1999 dates the Star Mazda Series will run on Professional Sports Car Sanctions:
|March 19||Sebring||with American LeMans Series||Televised on ESPN2|
|April 17||Road Atlanta||with American LeMans Series||Televised on ESPN2|
|June 26||Pikes Peak||with Indy Racing League||Televised on ESPN2|
|July 17||Irwindale Speedway||Star Mazda Feature Event|
|July 24||Sears Point Raceway||with American LeMans Series||Televised on ESPN2|
|July 31||Portland||with American LeMans Series||Televised on ESPN2|
|August 28||Heartland Park||with NASCAR Truck Series|
|September 18||Road Atlanta||with American LeMans Series|
|October||To be announced||To be announced|
|November 6||San Diego||with American LeMans Series||Televised on ESPN2|
Obviously, we have scheduled a lot of excellent dates with the American LeMans Series, which is in its Inaugural year in 1999. This new series, featuring some of the most sophisticated race cars in the world, is the brain child of Dr. Don Panoz. It is his intent to bring the best European sports car racing to America, and he has enlisted some of the best people in the business to ensure its success. The Star Mazda Series is honored to be part of these events.
Since Professional Sports Car was instrumental in helping us organize so many details to secure a place for the Star Mazda Series as part of the American LeMans Series weekends, and since Professional Sports Car will sanction all of the other support races, as well as ALM, it made sense to have the Star Mazda Series Pro Races also sanctioned by them. Jack Brabban, Todd Cook, Suzi Shinji, Tony Rodrigues, Jane Anderson, and I will still be performing all of our normal duties. The only differences you may see will be a result of the additional support our events receive from the American LeMans and Professional Sports Car organizations.
We will continue to schedule a large number of SCCA club racing weekends as part of the overall, multifaceted Star Mazda Series structure. It is not our intent to depart from the club where Formula Mazda was born and is still growing. Fundamentally, we are, and intend to remain, an SCCA club racing-based program. The list of races above is not a single new series. Our traditional five series structure will remain. These are the races which will be run on Pro Sanctions. Now the rest of the schedules can be built around them.
Our primary mission is career development for American drivers by providing them the opportunity to build and showcase their skills. We think we have made another very important forum available starting now. We know you and your sponsors will be pleased and impressed with the events.
The first race in the West Series will be the April 24 and 25 Buttonwillow Nationals. This should give everyone time to be ready. It will also allow those who wish, to compete for a new championship and additional prizes. Points earned in the six races televised on espn2, starting with Sebring, will be tallied to determine who will win a "TV Championship," which will post separate, additional prizes beyond the points fund and contingencies already in place. Anyone needing help arranging transportation to Sebring, or any other details, should call our offices.
The first step is to enter the Series and obtain your Professional Sports Car license and crew credentials. Those who may not intend to run more than one "Sports Car" sanctioned race may obtain a single race license or single race crew credential at reduced prices. As always, Star Mazda Series races are open to any qualified driver with a proper spec Formula Mazda, whether entered in the Series or not. Of course, if you are not entered in the Series, you do not accumulate points or win prizes, but you are welcome to race for fun and glory.
More bulletins with forms and more information will be in your mail shortly. Be on the look out. Please note that January and February Fastracks have several items regarding Formula Mazda. Make sure you are up to date.
See you at the races!