July 1, 1999

To All FM Racers:

Pikes Peak was a very smooth weekend and a terrific race. The weather generally was cooperative with Thursday, Friday, and Saturday staying dry when the Mazdas were on track, only raining at night and after our race concluded. This one will make an exciting TV show (August 20th, espn2). Jane Anderson’s race report is enclosed.

Speaking of TV shows, we got a lot of calls from people who tuned in espn2 for our Atlanta race, only to have it preempted by the live broadcast of the College World Series, which went one-hour overtime with extra innings. The "second" showing of Atlanta played as scheduled and the make-up date for the "original" showing is Friday, July 9, at 6:30 p.m. EDT.

After three years of development work, the reduced dB exhaust system is almost ready for release. The final confirming tests are taking place now, and we hope to be ready to ship the new parts before mid-August. After working extensively with around 50 configurations, we think we have at last met all of our design criteria for sound, durability, horsepower, packaging, and price. We had hoped to make everything available long ago, but we think everyone will be pleased with the final results. You can order the new parts now, if you wish, but as usual, we will ship the initial systems to all those who have orders in, simultaneously. No significant retuning will be necessary.

The part numbers for the quieter exhaust system are:
050 – 133 header
050 – 134 muffler
050 – 169 clamp
050 – 170 bracket

The standard supertrap plates are still used (12), so the rules are unchanged as to measurements. The latest plates do not stack as high as the originals but supertrap says they flow the same. We have not measured any drop in performance with the later style plates. They still must be run snug to be legal.

We have heard a few reports of concerns regarding the alloy brake calipers. We have tested them extensively, and are using them exclusively on the cars we prep, with no problems. We have not been able to create any problems on track or on the test bench. We have, however, found some evidence of low (or no) maintenance on some customers’ braking systems where problems with calipers were suspected. The alloy calipers are built a bit more precisely than the old iron ones, so they may be a little less tolerant of irregularities in other brake parts. A copy of a trouble-shooting guide, published by Wilwood, is attached. It may be useful if any of the listed symptoms crop up. We have not found the maintenance schedule to be nearly as frequent in Formula Mazdas as Wilwood indicates, but remember they build systems used on 4000+ pound short track racers. We pass the information on to you for possible future reference.

Some brake pad suppliers have told us that certain pad materials will transfer and build up on rotors. We are told this process seems to happen faster with aggressive left foot braking, most often with drivers having extensive backgrounds in kart racing. The solution is simply to polish the built-up pad material off of the rotors.

In the last bulletin, we neglected to mention the Heartland Park, Topeka race in August will also require Pro Sports Car licenses for drivers and crews. We hope no one was confused. In 1999, all Star Mazda Series races require either SCCA National licenses for Club races, or Pro Sports Car licenses for Pro events. Call our offices if you are not sure you have what you need. Remember: Pro Sports Car will not issue drivers’ licenses when the application is received within two weeks prior to an event.

The Hanalei in San Diego is advising us they have only six rooms left for the time frame of the San Diego Gran Prix. Get ‘em while they last, if you do not already have rooms.

We plan on doing some promotional work with Mazda and Irwindale for the "Mazda Summer Showdown" ("shootout" was dropped as not P.C.) at least one L.A. area Mazda dealer and also Mazda Motor of America headquarters will be helping hype the event, with support from Irwindale Speedway and the Star Mazda Series. Newspaper and radio spots, giveaways, discount tickets, race car and driver appearances, are all planned and should add a lot to what we hope will be an annual event for us in Los Angeles. Do not forget your entry must be on time to avoid the late entry fee. Formula Mazdas are always exciting to watch race "under the lights."

See you at the races!

Gary E. Rodrigues