Star Mazda Championship and Racing For Kids to partner again in 2006

April 24, 2006. Pacoima, California. Star Mazda Series President Gary Rodrigues and Racing For Kids Executive Director J. Patrick Wright announced today that the Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear will continue their relationship with Racing For Kids with the 2006 Racing For Kids Driver Performance Award Program, starting with the upcoming Houston Grand Prix weekend on May 13-14.

“We are extremely pleased to be working again this season with the Racing For Kids organization after a three race partnership in 2005,” Rodrigues said. “Drivers that participated in the hospital visits last season expressed that they got a lot out of the program and it was their enthusiasm that led us to expand to five events this season.”

Racing For Kids® is a national charity designed to use the popularity of motorsports to bring attention and funding to the health care needs of children. The hospital visits form the heart of the program. Each RFK driver visits children in children’s hospitals where they race. They spend time with each sick youngster answering questions about their sport, handing out the distinctive Racing For Kids hats and signing autographs.

Founded in 1989 in Detroit, MI, it has captured the imagination of the racing community, the rapt attention of racing fans and the participation of prominent drivers. In that time, Racing For Kids drivers have visited with more than 15,000 sick youngsters in over 340 hospitals in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Japan and Australia.

In addition to the Houston race weekend the program will also include Mid-Ohio on May 20-21, Salt Lake City on July 15-16, Road Atlanta on September 29-30, and the season finale at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca on October 21-22. Racing For Kids will award the highest finishing participating racer at each race $500 with a matching $500 grant going to the local children’s hospital in his/her name. At season's end, the highest ranked Racing For Kids driver will receive a $1000 cash award. In addition, a $1000 Racing For Kids check in their name will be presented to the children's hospital of their choice.

Texas Children’s Hospital, in Houston, Texas, will host the first event of the season at 2:00 PM on May 10 th, when Star Mazda Championship competitors Ryan Justice, Daniel Herrington, Russell Walker and Brad Jaeger visit to tour the facilities, sign autographs and give the children Racing For Kids baseball caps and pens.

About the Star Mazda Series

The Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear has become the most competitive open-wheel development series in North America. Featuring the Pro Formula Mazda, which features a carbon-fiber chassis, six-speed sequential gearbox, and a 240-horsepower Mazda rotary powerplant, the series has helped propel the careers of drivers such as 2004 Champion Michael McDowell, now driving in ChampCar and a race-winner in the GrandAm Series; 2002 Champion Guy Cosmo, who along with fellow Star Mazda graduate Jamie Bach was named 2005 Rookie-of-the-Year in the American LeMans Series, and 2002 race winner Scott Speed, who will line up on the Formula One grid this season.