June 2, 1999

Dear Star FM Racers:

The West Series and the Best Western Championship have completed only two races each but the season is definitely in full swing with Star Formula Mazdas racing all over the country in Pro events, Series races, SCCA Nationals and Regionals. We will try to provide timely information to all FM Racers regardless of the program they are running. There are now over 200 FM cars being campaigned in the USA and a few have now gone abroad.

There seems to be considerable interest in a Canadian Series, but so far no one has stepped forward to help organize it. If anyone knows a good potential FM dealer in Canada, let us know. In the U.S., we still are looking for someone in St. Louis, or maybe Kansas City for customers in that area.

The second West Series race (at Phoenix) was hot. It started Saturday with ambient temps around 104 and the track surfaces at 145 . By race day, Memorial Day Monday, the ambient was forecast to be "only" 94 , but we decided to race at 9:00 a.m. instead of the 1:00 p.m. scheduled time. No one complained and the race was still a scorcher, by virtue of the competition. One-half of a second covered the first eight qualifiers. Two seconds covered the top 21 cars. Jane Anderson’s race report is attached, as well as the results and points standings. Special thanks to Larry Pond and the race organizers at N.A.S.A. for making everyone feel so welcome to the one-mile oval and accommodating our schedule change. It was a lot of fun. Grant Ryley took pole and set fastest race lap at over 127 mph average.

We are also including the most up-to-date points information available for the Star FM Series all over the U.S.

We hope to see many of you at the next Best Western Championship race at Pikes Peak with the Indy Racing League. The schedule and entry forms are enclosed. NOTE: Since newspapers and some local TV channels want entry lists before the event, we are adding the incentive of a "late entry fee." We hope this will mean we get your entries in early enough to include the correct information to the media. Late entry fees, if any are collected, will be added to the year-end points fund.

After Pikes Peak, the West Series goes to Irwindale’s new, half-mile oval. Testing is available through the track at (626) 358-1100. We will run practice, qualifying, two 25-lap heat races, and a 75-lap main event, all on one day and night, Saturday, July 17th. The Ultra Trucks will be our support race. This modern new facility has been packing in the spectators and getting rave reviews from the racers. Wait till you see it lit up at night, with the grandstands and luxury boxes jammed with race fans. The pavement is smooth and it is 75 feet wide from the apron to the top of the banking. Even the Silver Crown cars can race three abreast here. (See Autoweek, May 31 issue, pp. 56-57.)

Spec tires will be: for Pikes Peak 800 compound on the right, 620s on the left. For Irwindale, we will run 620s on the right and 430s on the left. Remember, you need competition and crew licenses from Professional Sports Car for both Pikes Peak and Irwindale. The same applies for Sears Point, Portland, Topeka, Atlanta, and San Diego. Do not procrastinate. Handle the "red tape" now. If you need help, or forms, contact our office.

For your advance planning, the following test dates have been confirmed for all Star Formula Mazda racers at the locations listed:




Willow Springs

10, 11 June


Pikes Peak

24 June


Sears Point

22 July



29 July



12, 13 Aug



26 Aug



16 Sep


Of course, other than one week prior to the Series race, you may test anywhere on your own. You may not participate in a test on the Series track one week prior to the Series race, unless the test has been publicized, and is open to all Series participants.

espn2 changed the broadcast time from 6:30 EDT to 6:00 EDT for the Sebring race. We were advised only a couple of hours before the broadcast and many of you missed it. If you cannot find anyone with a tape of the program, let us try to help. We did get the word out in time for some to catch the show. So much for "check your local listings." espn2 blamed NHL playoffs for the change, but it still messed up a lot of people’s VCR programming. "RPM 2 Nite" ran in our original time slot.

The Atlanta show will run (per the latest schedule) 6:30 p.m. EDT on Friday, June 18th. By then, hockey and basketball will have concluded.

One last technical note: Daryl Drummond says that many of the motors sent to him to check for power are not actually down on output. However, the majority of the few that were down showed evidence of being run at full throttle before warming to operating temp. Do not run your Formula Mazda Motor at full throttle until you reach 180 water temp. Otherwise, you can shorten the life of the seals.

Keep an eye on those critical rod ends. See you at the races.


Gary E. Rodrigues