June 8, 2004
To All Star FM Racers:
Congratulations to Kyle Kelley on winning the Red Line Oil Championship. Kyle won 7 poles and 5 of the 10 races in the series and, beside the $4100 cash prize, custom Sparco driving suit, and trophy, and was also awarded a nomination to test an FM pro car in the Red Line Oil shootout. Each Star Mazda Championship Series may select one driver from the top five drivers in that series to represent them at the shootout. The shootout winner then gets a sponsored pro car race in 2005.
All drivers in the series eventually won a free set of Goodyear tires, with Gabrielle Di Carlo actually winning two sets by the end of the series. Brian Thienes (2nd place), and Bob Negron (3rd place and Master’s Champion), each also were awarded custom Sparco driving suits. Cash prizes broke down as follows:
1st - Kelley - $4,100 6th – Anderson - $1,780
2nd - Thienes - $3,980 7th – Hatle - $1,590
3rd – Negron - $3,570 8th – Kibbe - $1,160
4th – McAtee - $3,290 9th – Emanuel - $900
5th - Di Carlo - $3,090 10th – Smith - $810
The total value of cash, Red Line Oil products, driving suits, Bosch spark plugs, plus other prizes, returned over $40,000 total for the drivers in the 2004 championship. Points and the season stats are attached.
The North American Championship supp regs were updated on the 2 June and are enclosed. The main items that were revised were a) minimum weight is now 1320 pounds, b) the tire rule is now more like previous years, c) oval specs are outlined, and d) new front sway bar blade combinations are detailed. Ceramic apex seals are still on hold (not authorized). Development continues, but we will not release them for competition until they are past the experimental phase.
More than 60 Pro FMs will be in customers hands in time for the second race in the North American Championship at Mid-Ohio. Some new teams will join the action then. As many as fifteen pro cars have been reported to show up at one place for testing on the same day. Goodyear has been keeping busy making tires to meet our needs, including standard car tires as well as pro car oval tires for testing.
Simon Wagner of Motec will be conducting a seminar at Mid Ohio on Thursday after testing is concluded. We urge all teams to attend. He will be explaining the diagnosis of the electrical systems on the pro cars, with emphasis on the ECU, including some new features to make trouble shooting the systems quicker and easier. The meeting will take place at the series hospitality enclosure.
Mazda has requested a revision in the placement of the Mazda Logo on each side of the car. The new required location will be on the motor cover instead of the side pod. We apologize for any inconvenience this may create in rearranging the stickers on your car, but it is in the interest of making sure the primary sponsor for the series is pleased with the graphics, and that is important to us all. Photos showing the proper new placement are posted on the web site. Your cooperation is sincerely appreciated.
There have been reports of high (220+) water temps from some teams testing in 100°F ambient weather. We are considering various strategies to help lower water temps, but for the immediate future we are going to permit trimming some fiberglass away from the right side upper half of the side pod. Do not remove any material from the top surface of the pod or from the vertical face on the side pod shoulder. If you wish to remove any material, cut below the shoulder in the area of negative wind pressure. Helping the air out the back of the side pod, around the muffler, can reduce operating water temps on track by as much as 15° F. We recommend you check a couple of items first, before you cut any glass. Make certain there are no air leaks in the side pod that permit intake air to go through without passing through the radiator. Always be certain the coolant is topped off and use distilled water with an additive like Red Line “Water Wetter”. There is a trade-off at work here. A cooler motor makes more power. More air flow though the side pod makes more aero drag.
There have been a number of race team members take advantage of the S Plan that Mazda has permitted us to access. The reaction has been very favorable. This plan lets us buy new Mazdas through local dealers at the employee discounted price, anyone needing more information about this program should contact our office.
See you at the races!
Gary E. Rodrigues