July 30, 2003

To All Star FM Racers:

         

Infineon Raceway (aka Sears Point) seemed better than ever this year. Maybe it was the incredible make over the facilities have undergone, courtesy of Bruton Smith and Infineonís millions. Or maybe it was the predictable improvement in the weather with the July date. It certainly did not hurt to have 36 well-prepped and well-driven FMs on hand for the competition. One second covered the first 15 cars after qualifying and the race did not disappoint. With no full course yellows, the front running cars still were close enough to capitalize on the smallest error by another driver.

The Pro car made another public appearance at Infineon, sporting new, longer side pods, with smaller intake openings and experimental vents in various locations to try. The much larger radiator and oil cooler have, at last, resolved the previous cooling issues and the new proportions got a favorable reaction. The bad news was the car shut down twice, falling victim to too many wiring experiments and splices. Easy to rectify, but aggravating. Pro car sales stand at 57 sold of the 60 on order.

As this is being written, SCCA has issued the Pro car a homologation certificate for the Regional FS class. The Competition Board is considering the car for National FA classification, but the configuration that might be approved is the usual political tangle. Innovations like the air shifter, shift-without-lift, and traction control are upsetting to the status quo, not to mention the potential of the Renesis motor. We can make no firm predictions, other than the Pro Toyota-based FAs will somehow be protected from lower priced, safe, and reliable rotary-powered competition. And of course, the rules are not applied to us in the same fashion as SCCA Enterprises. We will keep you posted. Individual letters to SCCA do seem to help.

The few MSRs in customer hands are starting to draw more attention and favorable comments. The Racerís Edge prepared MSR, with the street port motor, has now won three SCCA Nationals in the Eastern U.S. The reliability and easy parts availability (95% are the same as a standard FM) seem to be the major advantages. Besides, the car just looks cool.

The top three FM finishers from the June Sprints will get free Goodyear tires for the Runoffs again this year. All FM Runoffs racers will get free Bosch spark plugs. The FM racer gaining the most positions during the race will get a free set of BBS wheels, as in the past, and the cash awards break down as follows:

 

1st

-

$ 4,000

 

6th

-

$ 900

2nd

-

3,000

 

7th

-

800

3rd

-

2,000

 

8th

-

700

4th

-

1,500

 

9th

-

600

5th

-

1,000

 

10th

-

500

 

Good luck to those who qualify and make the trip to Mid Ohio! Pro One Motorsports will work to coordinate the FM teams wishing to park in the (paved) Mazda portion of the Runoffs paddock. You can reach them at (630) 258-2291.

The September 5-7 event at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca will be the final round for the Star Mazda Series Red Line Oil Championship. We plan to do a catered party in the paddock, immediately following the ALMS main event on Sunday. All FM drivers and crews are invited, even if you are not racing that particular Series. The food and drinks will be plentiful and the bench racing is always fun. We hope to see you there.

The year-end party for the North American Championship will be at the Pine Isle Resort again this year. This time the schedule will permit a Friday night banquet. We have a courtesy room block set up for those who wish to stay right at Pine Isle. Just call (770) 945-8921 and identify yourself as a Star Mazda Series participant. The special group rate is $134/night. It is a beautiful place on Lake Lanier, and only 30 minutes from the track.

See you at the races!

Sincerely,
Gary E. Rodrigues