Star Mazda Racecars Continue Burning Rubber...Goodyear Rubber

- Tire Manufacturer Expands Role in Open-Wheel Star Mazda Series -

MONTEREY, Calif., Sept. 6 - The Star Mazda Series North American Championship today announced plans to expand its long relationship with the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company.  A major Star Mazda Series sponsor for nearly a decade, Goodyear's new, increased commitment will make the tire manufacturer the presenting sponsor to the open-wheel racing series.  The agreement will take effect at the beginning of 2004, with the series becoming officially known as the Star Mazda Series North American Championship Presented by Goodyear.

"We are extremely fortunate to be building on the solid foundation that already exists between Goodyear and the Star Mazda Series," said Star Mazda Series President Gary Rodrigues.  "With Goodyear's new commitment, along with those in place from other sponsors like Mazda, the Star Mazda Series is proud to be able to guarantee the $500,000 cash prize fund each year through the 2008 season."

Goodyear's new role with the Star Mazda Series includes the development of a new, computer-modeled, purpose-built racing tire, specifically designed for the new rotary-powered Formula Mazda racecar.  The new, lightweight and relatively low-cost biased-ply tire will be available as a slick or a rain tire.

Also included in the new agreement is a television advertising component, highlighting Goodyear's position as the Star Mazda Series presenting sponsor during television broadcasts of series races.

Last year, Mazda North American Operations (MNAO) announced the extension of its relationship with the Star Mazda Series through the 2008 season, with the series continuing to be a primary support event to the prestigious American Le Mans Series.  Also last year, Star Racecars unveiled a new chassis featuring a more powerful, next-generation Mazda rotary engine.  Called Renesis, the new twin-rotor, side port powerplant currently is offered on the all-new production model 2004 Mazda RX-8.  The new Star Formula Mazda has spent the majority of the 2003 season testing on tracks around the country, and the racecar will begin racing in 2004 at Sebring.

The Star Mazda Series is one of the most successful racing series in the U.S. with an average of more than 30 cars starting each of the Star Mazda Series events in 2003.  All series races are broadcast on Speed Channel.

Star Race Cars first started the Star Mazda North American Championship in 1991.  The goal of the Star Mazda Series is to develop driving talent by acting as a feeder for many of the professional racing series in the U.S., including American Le Mans, CART and the Indy Racing League by showcasing talented young drivers at important professional racing events.

Formula Mazda develops new racecar driving careers by providing an opportunity for drivers to compete on the same racetracks that are used for major league events.  Today, more than 300 Formula Mazda racecars compete in a combination of club and professional races.

Mazda North American Operations is responsible for the sales and marketing, customer parts and services support of Mazda vehicles in the United States.  Headquartered in Irvine, Calif., MNAO has more than 700 dealerships nationwide.

For more information about Mazda and the series, including digital images, please visit and