February 23, 1999

To All FM Racers:

The Sebring practice schedules for Monday and Tuesday have changed a couple of times. We think this one is finally it. Contact Elinor at Sebring (941-655-1442) to reserve your spot. The charge is $500 per car or $900 if you commit for two days. Hotel rooms are available but it will take some work to find space. Do not delay. Return entry forms to our offices in Van Nuys ASAP, so we can get the entry list published and send out the necessary Series and sponsor patches and stickers to participants.

We have done our first test at Irwindale, near Los Angeles. The spec third gear will be 22/29, one tooth faster than our normal 3rd. Tire compounds will be 620 on the right, 430 on the left. This is the same combination as Phoenix oval. The facilities are absolutely first class, the racing surface is smooth, has good grip, and is 75 feet wide from the apron to the wall. The banking rolls up as you drive higher on the track, so the groove is like the IRP oval, but much wider. It is going to be a fun race under the lights.

Irwindale will have open practices March 12, 13, 19 and 20. Fridays will be 3-11 p.m., Saturdays 11 a.m. - 11 p.m. (Yep, night practice.) March 13 will be press day. Cost is only $20 per car. You can get to the track by going south on the 605 Freeway from the 210. Take the Live Oak or Arrow Highway exit. You can see the 7,000 seat, California Speedway-style grandstand from the off ramp. The competitors’ entrance is on the right side of the stands, as the spectators view the track. We suggest you call the speedway before you go, since schedules have been known to change (626-358-1100).

If you are testing at Buttonwillow, the configuration for the April race will be #26, counter-clockwise, using the Star Mazda hairpin directly to Talladega, then the dip into the infield before Mole Hill. Buttonwillow will be available for Formula Mazda testing Thursday of race week, plus Friday will be open to all classes.

We have had some questions about "joining" the TV Series. If you are entered in a Star Mazda Series anywhere (West, Central, Southeast, Southwest, or Northeast) you will be scored in the TV Series whenever you run a TV Series race. There is no separate entry required, but you must be in one of the Star Mazda Series.

Regarding licenses, you need Professional Sports Car credentials for all Pro-sanctioned races and SCCA National for the rest. Two licenses only. You will not need SCCA Pro Racing credentials for 1999. Get those forms in right away, so we do not have problems at the track. If you have questions, call or email us at starmazda@aol.com. We will be happy to help.

See you at the races!

Gary E. Rodrigues