February 5, 2002



To All Star FM Racers:


I am leaving tomorrow for the SCCA convention in Denver in hope of improving communications and reversing the recently announced “decisions.” There are obviously influential forces at work in the Club management, driven by business considerations for SCCA Enterprises more than membership interests. Let your Director and the Competition Board know how you feel before this situation deteriorates further. The effect on the value of your investment in racing is real.


The next two West Coast events will be run on 8” front and 10” rear tires. Willow Springs spec will be 620 compound on the left and 430 compound on the right. The Phoenix oval race:  same tires, opposite sides.


The results and point standings for the West Series’ opening two races are enclosed. The free tires (one set each) were won by Larry Couture and Moses Smith. Even though we had 18 FMs at Phoenix, only seven drivers joined the Series. That means everyone will win  prize money, since the Series pays the top 15 drivers. Depending on how many more join during the season, everyone will probably also win free tires. Congratulations to Ed Zybinski who left Phoenix with the points lead.


The schedule for the Sebring Star Mazda Series North American Championship event is enclosed. Note:  There will be testing available for Star Mazda cars scheduled only on Tuesday. Monday testing will not be permitted in an attempt to shorten the week. This year, the race will be on Friday so, effectively, the trip is two days shorter. 2002 will be the 50th anniversary of the 12-hour race, with many added festivities. Last year Sebring was the largest event on our schedule in terms of attendance (150,000).


The North American Championship will have all nine races broadcast on the new Speed channel (formerly Speedvision). The prize money will be the same as 2001, with the champion again also winning a new Miata.


Eric McCombs will be our new publicity chief, assuming the duties long performed by Jane Anderson. Jane’s husband, Steve, has a very ambitious program planned for this year in NASCAR and she asked to be excused to spend full time with him. We will miss her upbeat combination of optimism and sarcasm, and Suzi will surely miss her partner in late-night gossip.


Eric brings his own set of skills and experience to the position, having worked in and around the Series for several years, most recently for our 2001 Series Champion Scott Bradley and also as the webmaster for www.starmazda.com. We know you will find him both hard working and resourceful.


Club racers note:  Unless you write SCCA and get the decision changed, the rule requiring FMs to start races on the same four tires as used for qualifying goes away at the end of 2002! This does not reflect what you told us in the December 2001 surveys.


See you at the races!



Gary E. Rodrigues