April 14, 2003

To All Star Formula Mazda Racers:

It has been a while since the last bulletin. We were hoping to be able to announce the replacement race for Mexico City right after Sebring, but it takes some doing to negotiate a TV date after everyone considers their season schedules are set. Many options were pursued and a great deal of input was considered. The result is our next Star Mazda Series North American Championship race will be at Nazareth, Pennsylvania, on the weekend of 16-18 May, with the Busch Grand National and Featherlite Modified Series. The entry form is attached.

We are pleased to be able to schedule a quality venue, suitable for television, under the circumstances. We know changes like losing Mexico and racing on a different date, at a different place, create challenges for all involved. We are satisfied that we have made the best possible choice for the majority of our North American Championship racers. We apologize for any inconvenience, but please remember that we had no say in the cancellation of the original event and are committed to meeting our obligations to competitors, sponsors, and other marketing partners. We sincerely appreciate the continual support the Series has received from so many of you.

Sebring was another excellent event. Results and points standings are enclosed here. By the time you receive this, you may have seen the race on Speed Channel, Saturday, 12 April 11 p.m. EDT. If you missed it, it will play again Friday, 18 April, 8:30 p.m. and 1:30 a.m., EDT (5:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m., Pacific). The entire TV schedule is being reworked for the new race dates and we will forward it to you all, once it is reset. You can also check starmazda.com or the Speed Channel website.  On a related matter, the British TV network “Skysports” has expressed interest in broadcasting the Star Mazda Series races in the U.K. It looks likely to happen this year. A few British drivers have inquired about running for the North American Championship starting with the 2004 season.

Testing for the new Pro car has been proceeding nicely. We have now completed over 700 miles with the prototype. Development of the basic car set-ups and options is advancing by leaps and bounds, and the new systems, like shift without lift and traction control, are coming along. The prototype is currently lapping about 4 seconds under the standard car’s times and we still have a lot to do. The aero package is almost done and should be final before the end of April. Some of you saw the wider side pods at Sebring or on the website. The final drive ratio has been decided. Motor and gearbox production are scheduled. Elan Motorsports Technologies, our project partner in engineering and production, has decided to produce the carbon fiber portions of the car at its G-Force facility in Georgia. We plan to also make commitments on wheels, shocks, and brakes by month end. Prototype #2 is being built as a “pre-production” version and should be done in May.

Those of you who watch the Series website already know about the “Shootout” award being posted by Star Race Cars and the Star Mazda Series for FM racers all around the Star Mazda Community. The objective is to use the more localized Star Mazda Series to identify talent and give those selected a chance to move up the ladder. The series eligible to participate are West, Northwest, Rocky Mountain, Southwest, Central, East, and Southeast.

Each series participating will have a selection panel to nominate a driver, from the top five points earners in their series, to represent them in the Shootout. Each nominee will then get a test day in November, 2003, with the Star Race Cars team at Buttonwillow Raceway, in the new Pro car. One of those drivers will be awarded a free Pro race in the 2004 Star Mazda Series North American Championship. We think everyone who gets a test will enjoy and learn from the experience. If all goes well, it is possible some FM drivers will be able to advance their driving careers. Good luck!

See you at the races.

Gary E. Rodrigues