April 30, 2003

To All Star Formula Mazda Racers:

The West Series ran two races at Buttonwillow April 26 and 27th. The field of 19 cars was blessed with nearly ideal weather, only occasional clouds and breezes, but mostly calm and bright blue at mid-60s temps. Mike Anderson collected maximum points, but two relatively new drivers signaled their potential by finishing impressively. Congratulations to John Green and Kyle Kelly for their very strong showings, and their new “Red Line Oil” Sparco driving suits.

The head-on schedule conflict between Portland and Nazareth was discussed, and the decision was reached to run Portland as originally scheduled. This permits West Series’ racers to do Portland and Seattle (three races total) on two consecutive weekends. Those doing both North American and West Series will have to use one of the two “drops” permitted in the West.

Regarding Nazareth: Star Mazda rigs will be admitted to the paddock starting noon Thursday, until 10:00 p.m. The paddock will reopen at 7:00 a.m. Friday. Friday will be intense as FMs will have the track all day. Three groups of FMs are scheduled for five X 20-minute sessions, then single car qualifying. Tires will be 8” wide fronts, 10” wide rears, 620 compound on the right, 430 compound on the left. Saturday morning’s race will be televised (tape delay) on Speed Channel. Anyone interested in an onboard camera, contact me ASAP. Those who may be wishing to leave early Saturday (for Seattle?) should be able to cross out of the infield at the “lunch” break.

After Portland/Nazareth/Seattle comes CART weekend at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. That entry form is attached. Monterey is always a fun trip. Make sure you have “hero cards” or something else to autograph.

We are about to deliver our first customer MSRs. SCCA Pro Racing has announced they will be eligible to run the new “North American Championship.” What a great name! Specs are not clear, but we hear they will class the MSRs with sealed FM motors in with the S2000s and SCCA Enterprises’ sports cars; and possibly, the MSRs with street port 13Bs in with the Super Sports 2000 cars. If true, the MSRs should show very well.

Testing with the new Pro car is progressing nicely. High-speed runs at the Mojave Airport showed nearly 175 mph, but that was with no wings and a tailwind, and on the rev limiter. Star Race Cars’ Mike Williams was at the wheel and gave the great technical feedback, “That was fun.”

We are enclosing a Road and Track supplement featuring the new Mazda RX-8 and including an article (p. 48) on the new Pro car. NOTE: Paddle shift and no-lift shifting are planned to be standard on the new car. The weight comparison with FA may not be accurate. Some of the cost comparisons are estimated and (we think) are representative. There is still a lot of testing and discussion to be done before the final details are known. We are very pleased with the car’s progress so far. We think you will be too.

See you at the races!

Gary E. Rodrigues