June 18, 1999
To All FM Racers:
Willow Springs, Round 3 of the West, was an excellent day, clear, hot, and little wind; and an excellent race. There were 27 entries for the event, which also counted as a Southern Pacific Division National.
Pikes Peak oval is next, which counts for both the Best Western (TV) Championship and the West Series. We found the late fee worked well with only one of the pre-entries missing the deadline. Any late fees collected go into the year-end prize fund. The target schedule for Thursday at Pikes Peak is enclosed.
Do not forget the optional third gear for Irwindale, 22:29. Order it now if you do not already have it. You can use the normal spec 22:30 if you wish, but in pre-season testing the 22:29 was preferred. Taylor Fletcher has advised us discounted hotel rooms are available at the Radisson Hotel near the track. Contact Marilyn Dear at (626) 962-6000 and the $125.00 room rates drops to $55 per night. They even run a shuttle to the track.
Many of you are aware we have been working with Goodyear on an updated tire for Formula Mazda. We may be able to introduce the new tire as early as Sears Point, if sufficient quantities are available. We will keep you posted, but whenever the new tires are released, you may expect lap records to fall. We have planned to keep the present construction through this years oval track dates, since oval tracks tend to be the most critical for tires. The new construction tires will be used on ovals next year, after we have had time to collect more data from ovals on the different compounds that will be available. Drivers and data acquisition indicate on road courses that the new tires are better in the braking zone, more responsive to driver input mid-corner, and show higher ultimate speeds on the straights. The set of four also reduces the vehicle weight about six pounds. Thanks to all at Goodyear for their efforts in behalf of Star Formula Mazda.
Pro Sports Car has advised us that new licenses will no longer be issued within two weeks prior to a Pro Sports Car-sanctioned event. Please do not put yourself in a position to be disappointed. Irwindale, Sears, Portland, Atlanta, and San Diego will all require Pro Sports Car driver and crew licenses.
San Diego hotels are filling up for the Grand Prix weekend. Make your reservations now if you plan to stay where our banquet will be: The Hanalei, (800) 882-0858. Tell them you are with the Star Mazda Series.
See you at the races.
Gary E. Rodrigues