January 31, 2000
Dear FM Racers:
Please take a moment to consider the enclosed set of proposed Star Mazda Series standing supplemental regulations for Year 2000. We want your comments before we issue the final set in the next few weeks. Most of what is included are suggestions from FM racers like yourself.
Th VP fuel is a slightly new reformulation, to be sure no one running Series spec fuel will have a problem at any SCCA Regional or National with the new SCCA fuel tests. The Mark V ratios are essentially the same as the current gears. Mark V gears are more durable. The rest is mostly to clean up and clear up the variations in a few cars, to make them all more equal spec than ever.
You should also note that SCCA, in Februarys Fastrack, has proposed even more restrictive rules on carb jets. Better let the Board know if you object, or be prepared to live with the consequences. We do not support the proposal to allow exhausts coatings or header wraps. This raises costs unnecessarily and can cause accelerated header failure. We suggest that, when you write SCCA, you also copy our office.
We are pleased to announce Bosch Spark Plugs will be a new Series sponsor this year, providing spark plugs and other prizes to Series racers throughout the year. We plan to explain all the awards and prizes when we publish the Series entry forms and rules, etc. The tentative schedules for the eight races with the American Le Mans Series are enclosed. Please remember these get "fine tuned" as the season progresses.
For those preparing to test on the ovals (Phoenix, Irwindale, Mesa Marin): The Goodyear tires we used last year will be spec, i.e., 430s on the left, 620s on the right, 8" x 20" front, 10" x 22" rear.
If you need application forms for Professional Sports Car credentials, you may request them from our office (818) 909-5355, from Sports Car (813) 877-4672, or download them from www.profesionalsportscar.com. We suggest you do it now, since Sports Cars staff will be leaving for Sebring soon.
Test days - there should be open testing generally available, the day before each ALMS race schedule starts. The ovals are all set up as two-day events only. All others will usually have testing available, through the tracks, for Thursday and Friday of race weekends. You are reminded private testing is prohibited at Series tracks, one week before each race.
IMPORTANT SAFETY NOTE: Some of you are sitting too high in the cockpit. Even though you may be "legal" per the GCR, you are safer the farther back and down, inside the protected area, you are located. We are currently working with aerospace engineers to further develop the safety of FMs and hope to have some improvements available soon. Meanwhile, take a look at pictures of yourself, in the car, on track, and see where you are relative to the roll bars. If your helmet is higher than the engine cover fiberglass, or its sideways movement is not limited by the diagonal braces, you are increasing your chances of injury. You might even want to consider using the H.A.N.S. device. Geoff Shepard thinks it probably saved his life. He had no head or neck injuries in the most devastating accident we have ever seen. You cannot be too safety conscious.
We have spent the last few days, making some long airline flights, working out details of the "special bonus race." Things are coming along nicely. We hope to be able to publish the whole package soon.
We hope you are getting organized for a fabulous racing season. We will keep you posted.
Gary E. Rodrigues