May 10, 2004
To All Star FM Racers:
Rounds 6 and 7 of the Star Mazda Series Red Line Oil Championship took place in very nice 90 degree-ish weather at Buttonwillow on May 1st and 2nd. Brian McAtee scored his first series win. Jim Hall II returned from a long absence and ran well, but did not score as he is not entered in the series. Gabriele DiCarlo scored her first podium with a 3rd place on Sunday. Kyle Kelley suffered from assorted mechanical difficulties both days and, although Brian Thienes got into a multi car triangle caused by a DSR on Saturday while Thienes was leading, he did win on Sunday and closed in on Kelly’s points leading position. As is the tradition in FM, several positions, including the championship will be determined in the final series races. Portland and Seattle are always fun places to visit. We will pass out the year end trophies and checks at Seattle.
One of the hottest Star Mazda Series going is the Southwest where fields with more than 20 FMs are running regularly. The point standings and Sandi Magrath’s story are enclosed.
The Club Racing Board (Formerly the Competition Board) met recently with two big FM issues on the agenda: The request to classify the Pro FM in FA, and the proposal to transition the standard FM cars to the 197HP, 4 port (lower output) Renesis 13B rotary. We believe the future of the FM class and the standard FM will hinge on the approval of some version of this motor. The transition period we have suggested, based on customers’ survey responses and expected shortages to come on the parts for the current motor, is from 2005 to 2007 seasons. We have asked for the new motors to be permitted starting January, 2005. During transition, the new motors would be “equalized” by restrIcting RPM to the same 6850 we now use. This means no issues regarding gear ratios. The improved torque and throttle response of the Renesis would be offset by allowing a 25 pound weight reduction on cars that have not yet converted to the new motor. Starting 2007, the weight would go back to 1350 for all FM’s and it could then be considered to raise the cars performance further if desired.
We have talked to some organizations that could possibly use the “take out” 13B motors as we think this would be a favorable influence on the conversion costs. We would like to get the update as close to the cost of a normal rebuild as possible. Time works against us on the exchange cost however, and the club racing board has tabled the request “pending more information”. If you like this idea, write SCCA and express your opinion. If you snooze, you loose. The board may take action if enough members make the request. There are always some who oppose everything. We need a significant number of FM owners/racers to write or e-mail their support. Elsewise, the board will possibly do nothing, the FM motor update conversion will languish, and eventually the class will go the way of FF. Protect your class and your investment. Write or e-mail the club racing board now.
We have recently completed two days of oval track testing on the pro car at Phoenix with Goodyear. The “oval kit” turns out to be fairly simple. All we needed to get a very nice oval racer was to alter the gear stack, the tire compounds, and the front swaybar. Basically the gear stack is the “B” or “Long” ratio set, moving 5th gear to the 6th position and substituting the 6th gear from the short stack in the 5th gear position. Tire compounds selected were 800 on the right, 620 on the left. Goodyear’s codes for these pro car oval tires are LF-2287, LR-2288, RF-2289, RR-2290. They should be available for those who may wish to test with them starting late in June. The front sway bar needed to be slightly stiffer for the oval , but since the new sway bar blades (see below) are going to be stiffer (stronger), only the new blade will be needed. This requires some explanation.
Some front swaybar blades broke at Sebring. These invariably occurred while the full soft setting was selected, the most vulnerable position. New thicker front swaybar blades are being made and will be exchanged free of charge, for all pro car owners. This leads to two options 1) soften the 20.5mm front sway bar by machining a flat surface on the back per the drawing attached, or 2) change to the equivalent 19.0mm front swaybar and save the 20.5 for ovals. See the latest edition of the supp regs for approved combinations.
The pro car exhaust is louder than SCCA permits at many tracks. We now have available a “club” tailpipe and secondary muffler P/N 050-549. This has been tested and should be well within limits at club events. Cost is $248.50.
MidOhio and Lime Rock schedules, entry forms, and catering order forms are attached. There will be a test day on Thursday at Mid Ohio. There will not be a Thursday test day at Lime Rock. There will be a Tuesday press/track day available to Pro FM’s, we will not run the chicane at Lime Rock. No catering will be available at Lime Rock on Tuesday.
For information of anyone planning to test at Portland, we will not be running the “Festival Chicane” for the 2004 Star Mazda Series North American Championship Presented by Goodyear.
Remember, to write to SCCA.
See you at the races!
Gary E. Rodrigues