February 5, 1999
Dear Formula Mazda Competitor:
Listed below you will find the details of the 1999 Star Formula Mazda Championship Series. As the Series begins its ninth year, we have decided to continue the format that has worked so well. Star Race Cars will again contribute to the points fund. Series sponsorships have been renewed with Mazda Motor of America, BBS Wheels, and NGK Spark Plugs. Goodyear has again won selection as the spec tire for 1999 and will be a major contributor to the largest year-end points fund yet.
In 1998, the top fifteen drivers in the West Series shared $111,725 at year end. In 1999, the top twenty drivers will divide the year-end points fund. Points will be awarded to the top 35 finishers of each race. The 1999 schedule has been refined to include better dates and more track time, and to include major spectator events with the opportunity to be on TV. As in 1998, all qualifying sessions and race groups will be for Formula Mazda cars only. In most cases, 1999 races will be 40 minutes long. Last year, the total value of cash, spark plugs, tires, and wheels came to over $180,000 returned to Star Series West drivers. We expect 1999 to be even better!
Formula Mazda cars are being sold all over the U.S. now, since the class has achieved stand alone National status. You can now race at SCCA Nationals in the FM class. FM fields for 1998 Star Series West dates averaged around 38 cars. "Split sanction" races, such as with American LeMans, IRL, or NASCAR, will be run with Professional Sports Car sanctions. Pro licenses will be needed for these races. Our office has forms; if you need them, just call. This year, National licenses will be required for all non-Pro races. Do not get taken by surprise!
An outline of the 1999 Star Mazda Series West rules follows:
A. The top twenty drivers will divide the year-end prize fund based on the points scored throughout the Series. The best eleven results for each driver in the twelve scheduled races will be counted.
B. The schedule attached will constitute the 12 races qualifying for Series points. If any listed races are canceled for any reason, substitute dates will be established whenever possible, to the best of our ability. Year-end awards will be presented at the conclusion of the last event, no matter how many races are run.
C. To qualify for championship points and year-end prizes, drivers must register with the Star Mazda Series and have paid up accounts with Star Race Cars. Cars will be prepared in accordance with SCCA published rules and Star Mazda Series bulletins. Cars must start the race on the same tires used for qualifying, although Goodyear rain tires may be substituted at any time at the driver's discretion. To qualify for points and awards, cars must display the decals required by the Series, in addition to the decals required for SCCA Club and Professional Sport Car racing. Required decals must be in colors contrasting with the paint scheme on the car and be easily visible. The 1999 spec tires will be Goodyear (430 compound for most courses, 620 and 800 compounds for special situations such as on oval tracks). Unless competitors are notified by Series officials to the contrary, sizes shall be 8.0 x 20.0 x 13 - front, 10.0 x 22.0 x 13 - rear. The Star Mazda Series may add, clarify or change the rules as needed at any time as they apply to technical matters within the Series.
D. Points will be awarded for the Series based on finishing order in each race, counting only Series competitors starting each event. The top 35 drivers shall be credited in order as follows: 1st - 44, 2nd - 40, 3rd - 37, 4th - 34, 5th - 32, 6th - 30, 7th - 29, 8th - 28, 9th - 27, 10th - 26, 11th - 25, 12th - 24, 13th - 23, 14th - 22, 15th - 21, 16th - 20, 17th - 19, 18th - 18, 19th - 17, 20th - 16, 21st - 15, 22nd - 14, 23rd - 13, 24th - 12, 25th - 11, 26th - 10, 27th - 9, 28th - 8, 29th - 7, 30th - 6, 31st - 5, 32nd - 4, 33rd - 3, 34th - 2, 35th - 1. A bonus point will be awarded for the fastest qualifying driver at each race. There will be a one-time registration fee of $750. These fees will be credited entirely to the year-end points fund. Only Star Mazda cars will be eligible for scoring. Competitors must provide photos of the front and side views of their cars for registration records. Competitors must be properly entered in each championship race and obtain the credentials or licenses required by the sanctioning organization for that race. A Professional Sports Car license will be required for some races, an SCCA National license for all others.
E. Star Race Cars will support competitors at each championship event with spare parts and information as in the past. Competitors may be required to use paddock spaces designated for the series by agreement with race organizers.
F. Converted, non shear plate, Russell frames will not be permitted to compete in the Star Mazda Series. Each competitor should have the 1999 SCCA General Competition Rules and Formula Car Specifications. Be sure you are familiar with current rules, including tech bulletins published in Fastrack and also those issued by the Series from time to time. Questions or problems should be raised with the Series staff at the earliest possible time, so that fairness can be maintained and championship positions can be earned by driving prowess on the track and not be subject to unnecessary legal/technical entanglements. NOTE: Private testing at a Star Series track one week prior to a championship event on that track is prohibited. Test days open to all Series competitors are permitted.
G. The Series will award at least one set of Goodyear tires, free of charge, to a driver or drivers determined by random drawing at each race. To be eligible to win the tires, the driver must be properly registered in the Star Mazda Series, entered in the championship for the race, and not have previously won a free set of tires in this year's program. One and one-half sets of tires will be awarded at races with 30 or more entries and two sets will be drawn for if the event is a televised race. If more than one set of tires is to be awarded, the first valid winner will get one set, the balance will go to the second valid name drawn.
H. NGK will provide one set of free spark plugs to each registered Series competitor, which should be sufficient to take care of most competitors' needs. Additional NGK spark plugs will be available for purchase from Star Race Cars, should you need more.
I. BBS will again award a free set of FM wheels to the Series "Rookie of the Year." Any driver who has not started three Series races prior to the '99 Series will be considered a "rookie" for the purpose of this award.
J. Drivers over 45 years of age before the first race of the year may enter the "Masters Class." This class will be scored separately in addition to the normal series scoring. Standings will be published from race to race and a year-end award will go to the "Masters Champion." Masters points are awarded: 1st - 20, 2nd - 16, 3rd - 14, 4th - 12, 5th - 11, 6th - 10, 7th - 9, 8th - 8, 9th - 7, 10th - 6, 11th - 5, 12th - 4, 13th - 3, 14th - 2, 15th - 1.
K. You are reminded that you must enter the listed races and have the appropriate credentials from the sanctioning body. This can be coordinated fairly easily through our office. We will try to help; if you are unsure, call us. Jack Brabban will return as Series Chief Steward. Suzanne Shinji and Jane Anderson will also be working with us again this year. We are very pleased to have their help coordinating all the at-the-track details. Todd Cook will continue the duties of Competition Director. We are confident you will enjoy working with Todd. Tony Rodrigues will do timing and scoring. Our phone numbers are:
|Gary Rodrigues||(818) 909-5319|
|Tony Rodrigues||(818) 909-5310|
|Star Race Cars||(818) 909-5355|
|Star Mazda Series Fax||(818) 909-5309|
|Jack Brabban||(619) 560-1325|
|Suzanne Shinji (beeper)||(714) 217-2820|
|Todd Cook||(602) 967-7901|
|Jane Anderson||(702) 399-3031|
L. The series awards permanent car numbers 1 through 10 to the previous year's top ten drivers. Only top ten drivers from last year may use car numbers 1 through 10. Contact Tony Rodrigues to coordinate your car number for 1999.
M. There will be a spec fuel required at all West Series and ALM races. Advise the Star Mazda Series office 10 days in advance what your fuel needs will be.
Any comments, suggestions, or preferences on any other subject are welcome. Your survey responses were very helpful in shaping the 1999 program. Please feel free to give us the benefit of your input at any time.
Folders, videos, and marketing information are available to FM owners/drivers for sponsor presentations or press kits. Call Star Race Cars for prices and to order items for your use.
Anything we can do to be more user friendly or valuable as an ally in your racing efforts, please let us know. We look forward to an ever improving 1999 season of racing. The 1999 schedule is enclosed. Please fill out the Series Registration and return it ASAP.
There will also be a new "TV Series," made up of the six races on espn 2. These six races will be scored together for additional "bonus" prizes. TV Series rules, points, and prizes are published separately. Contact the Star Mazda Series office for details.
See you at the races!
Valley Motor Center Racing, Inc.
dba Star Mazda Series