STAR MAZDA’S 20TH SEASON ‘OPENS ON BROADWAY’ WITH BACK-TO-BACK HIGH­ PROFILE RACES AT 12 HOURS OF SEBRING AND STREETS OF ST. PETE

The 2010 Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear features hot new drivers, strong new teams, two major driver development programs and TV sponsorship from VISIT FLORIDA

Fast Facts – Rounds One and Two of the 13-race 2010 Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear at the 58th Annual 12 Hours of Sebring and Grand Prix of St. Petersburg

The Star Mazda Championship is one of the premier open-wheel driver development series in North America. Series graduates have gone on to race in F1, Indy Cars, NASCAR, American Le Mans and Grand-Am.

A 25-car field of top drivers from around the world is expected on the starting grid for the back­to-back, high-profile events that open the Series’ 20th anniversary season in 2010; the 12 hours of Sebring on March 19 and St. Petersburg Grand Prix (March 26).

Among the drivers are three champions from other open-wheel series, nine drivers returning for a second year of the kind of high-speed education only Star Mazda can offer and a new crop of the hottest young open-wheel racers from around the world. Countries represented include the U.S., Canada, France, Norway, Brazil, Venezuela, Argentina and Columbia.

The 2010 Star Mazda Championship is where two of the most important driver development programs in open-wheel racing are available to help young drivers on the way up the ladder; the MAZDASPEED Motorsports Driver Development Ladder and the Indy Racing League’s ‘Road to Indy’ program

The 2010 Star Mazda Championship schedule consists of 13 races held on 11 weekends; the majority of the races will be held on major ALMS weekends (Sebring, Mazda Raceway, Road America, Mosport and Road Atlanta); two of the races, the St. Petersburg Grand Prix and Iowa Speedway, will be held in conjunction with Indy Racing League events; one, the ‘Night before the 500′ will be with USA and two, New Jersey and Autobahn, will feature Star Mazda as the headline series and will be broadcast live on HDnet. Tracks include road courses, street circuits and both long and short ovals.

Drivers are racing for prizes valued in excess of $1.5 million, including a Mazda-backed drive in the next step up the ladder in 2011. Drivers are also competing for the VISIT FLORIDA Cup, an award provided by the state’s official tourism development corporation.

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The 20th anniversary of the Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear, one of the top open-wheel driver development series in North America, kicks off the 2010 season with back-to-back, high-profile races, a trio of champions from other open-wheel series and hot young rookies from eight countries – all battling to advance their careers and win one of the most coveted prizes in auto racing.

It all begins with Star Mazda’s traditional season-opener at the legendary 12 Hours of Sebring on March 19, followed by the Series’ first appearance at an IZOD IndyCar race, the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. Fans can expect edge-of-your-seat racing as more than twenty-five Star Mazda racers, male and female, ranging in age from 16 to 58 battle wheel-to-wheel at speeds up to 150 mph.

The Series

The Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear is the college varsity of auto racing –a high-speed training ground for future stars of the sport. Drivers in the series are mostly young racers moving up from karting, Skip Barber, USF2000 and European series like F3, Formula Renault and Palmer-Audi. Some are also more mature racers in whom the competitive fire still burns brightly; they compete in the Expert Series (driver 30 to 44 years old) and Master Series (drivers 45 and older). Countries represented on the grid this weekend include the U.S., Canada, Chile, Brazil, Venezuela, Argentina, England and Norway. For 2010, the Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear will feature an 11-weekend, 13-race schedule, most on major race weekends with American Le Mans and the Indy Racing League.

The Cars

The Star Mazda Championship race cars look like ¾-scale IndyCars, but don’t be fooled into thinking they’re not ‘real’ race cars. The machines you’ll be seeing on track at Sebring and St. Pete are high-tech, high-speed race cars race cars featuring sophisticated aerodynamics and suspension as well as a legendary Mazda ‘Renesis’ rotary engine that produces 250 horsepower. With a race weight of 1,335 pounds, including fuel and driver, a Star Mazda race car has a top speed of 160 mph and accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in just 2.8 seconds. All the cars feature a carbon fiber chassis, fully-adjustable ‘pushrod’ suspension, sequential 6-speed gearbox and Goodyear radial racing tires. While designed to be strong, safe, reliable and relatively inexpensive to operate, the cars of the Star Mazda Championship are wickedly fast, high-tech training tools for the

nca

next generation of racing stars.

The Driver Development Programs

Drivers in the Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear are in the unique position of participating in two separate but complementary programs designed to advance their motorsports careers.

The MAZDASPEED Motorsports Driver Development Ladder is the only long-term motorsports scholarship backed by a global automaker. Champions at each level from karting to the top ranks of auto racing are provided with a Mazda-backed ride in the next step up the ladder. The progression goes from karting to the BFGoodrich Skip Barber National Presented by Mazda, and from there to the Cooper Tires Presents USF2000 National Championship Powered by Mazda. The USF200 champion then moves up to compete in the Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear and the Star Mazda champion receives Mazda backing to compete in the next step up the ladder. 2009 Star Mazda champion Adam Christodoulou will co-drive with 2008 series champion John Edwards in a Mazda­backed RX-8 competing in the 2010 Grand-Am GT series.

The second program is the newly-announced Indy Racing League “Road to Indy” developmental system that includes drivers in the Cooper tires Presents USF2000 National Championship Powered by Mazda, the Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear and the Firestone Indy Lights series. In 2010, all three series will join the IZOD IndyCar Series at the Streets of St. Petersburg and Iowa Speedway. In addition, the drivers and teams will participate in various Indy Racing League programs such as a Road to Indy online advertising program, series and team news featured on the IndyCar.com web site, business-to-business opportunities and a special Road to Indy Summit at the Indy Motor Speedway.

The Television

Races in the 2010 Star Mazda Championship will be broadcast both live and tape-delay in the U.S., South America and Europe. A major sponsor of the Star Mazda TV package is VISIT FLORIDA (www.visitflorida.com), the state’s official tourism marketing corporation. Two of the race weekends, New Jersey Motorsports Park (June 26 – 27) and Autobahn Country Club (July 31 – August 1) will be shown live on HDnet. Other races, including Sebring, Mosport and Road Atlanta, will be syndicated to a variety of outlets reaching more than 55 million households in the U.S. Races will also be shown in 40 countries in South America on SPEED Latin America. For further information about when and where Star Mazda Championship races will be on TV, please visit www.mazdaracing.tv.

In addition, races from previous seasons of Star Mazda Championship competition will be available via streaming video at www.GoRacingTV.com.

The Prizes

Drivers in the Star Mazda Championship are racing for one of the richest prize packages, valued at more than $1.5 million, in any open-wheel development series. Prize money is paid down to 15th place in the championship, with the Series champion receiving $100,000 in cash and a Mazda-backed full-season drive in the next Mazda-powered series up the Ladder. The Champion also gets to test in

an Indy Lights car courtesy of Performance Friction Company, Andersen Racing and the Road to Indy program.

Drivers will also be competing for the VISIT FLORIDA Cup, a 7-race championship-within-a­championship. The grand prize for the top-finishing driver in those events is a custom-designed dream vacation in Florida courtesy of VISIT FLORIDA, the state’s official tourism marketing corporation and sponsor of the 2010 Star Mazda Championship television package.

The Graduates

In the case of a ‘driver development’ series like the Star Mazda Championship, there are two kinds of graduates; drivers graduating out of the series and up the ladder, and young new drivers graduating into the series.

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English racer Adam Christodoulou, the 2009 Star Mazda

champion, will use his MAZDASPEED Motorsports

Driver Development Ladder scholarship to graduate to

the next step up the Mazda-powered ladder for the

2010 season, co-driving the #64 Newman Wachs Racing

/ Entergy / Nuclear Energy Industry Mazda RX-8 in the Grand-Am GT series with 2008 Star Mazda champion John Edwards. At the other end of the graduate story is Connor De Phillippi, the 2009 Skip Barber Pro Series champion. He has tested with the championship-winning JDC Motorsports team and will compete in the 2010 Star Mazda Championship with backing from the MAZDASPEED Ladder.

The Star Mazda Championship is also a gateway to many forms of motorsports and after a young driver graduates his or her careers can take a variety of directions. 2008 Champion John Edwards moved up and won the 2009 Atlantic Championship. Other Star Mazda alumni such as Marco Andretti, Graham Rahal and Raphael Matos (the 2005 Star Mazda champion) have continued up to compete in IndyCar. 2007 champion Dane Cameron has graduated to Grand-Am Daytona Prototypes and in NASCAR, the Daytona 500 starting field featured two Star Mazda graduates, Michael McDowell (the 2004 champion) and Scott Speed. Nor is this progression restricted to young drivers; 51 year-old Mike Guasch, the 2009 Star Mazda Master Series champion, will race in the European FIA GT series in 2010, while Expert Series (drivers 30 to 44) champion Chris Cumming will compete in the Patron GT3 series.

The 2010 Drivers

JDC Motorsports won the Star Mazda Championship in 2007 with Dane Cameron and again in 2009 with Adam Christodoulou. Their roster for 2010 includes Skip Barber Pro Series champion Connor De Phillippi (right) moving up via the MAZDASPEED Ladder, as well as fast young Brazilian Caio Lara, returning for his third season at the wheel of the #19 MLD/ ATW / Red Line Oil Mazda. Joining him is Chris Miller, who won the 2009 F2000 championship with JDC and moves up to Star Mazda in the #85 Miller Milling / Red Line Oil Mazda. Master Series racer Gerry Kraut is also a co-owner of the JDC team and races the #55 Dougherty & Co. / Dougherty Funding LLC

dane

Mazda.

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Scandinavian racer Anders ‘The Viking’ Krohn, who won the 2008 F2000 championship with Andersen Racing, returns to the team for the 2010 Star Mazda Championship driving the #47 NCA/Trallfa/Colosseum/Andersen Racing Mazda. Krohn won in the Milwaukee oval in 2009, finished 6th in the championship and is a prime contender for top honors in 2010. Also on the Andersen Racing squad will be 17 year-old Quebec driver Mikhael Grenier, who ran six Star Mazda races in 2009 to prepare for his 2010 season and finished on the podium in two of them. He will race the #17 NAPA Auto Parts / CAA Québec / HS Télécome / Desharnais Pneus & Mécanique /66graphx

Mazda.

AIM Autosport, the Canadian team that won the 2008 Star

Mazda Championship with American driver John Edwards,

returns in 2010 with an all-Canadian lineup, including second-

year driver David Ostella who scored one podium and six top­

10 finishes last year and returns this year driving the #16 Global Precast Intercontinental / Alpinestars / RAW Integrated Ltd. Mazda. Joining him on the AIM team will be another second-year driver, and, at just 16, the youngest driver in the series, Michael Furfari. He scored eight top-10 finishes and wound up tied for 9th in the championship. He will race the #13 Furfari Paving Mazda. AIM will also field a car in the USF2000 National Championship for Furfari’s 15 year-old brother Anthony.

Juncos Racing, the Vero Beach, Florida-based newcomer to the series that won four races in 2009 with Peter ‘The Irish Steamroller’ Dempsey, returns in 2010 with 16 year-old international karting star Tatiana Calderon of Columbia. They also hope to field a car for returning standout Conor Daly, son of racing legend Derek Daly. He was the 2008 Skip Barber champion and raced Star Mazda in 2009 with sponsorship from the MAZDASPEED Ladder, winning one race from the pole and scoring five podium finishes to take third in the championship. He drove with the Juncos team in pre-season testing at Sebring and turned the fastest lap during the 3-day test.

Also returning to the Star Mazda Championship for a third season of education will be American Rusty Mitchell. With sponsorship from Motorola, the young American scored one podium, one pole and four top-10 finishes. Team GDT will field an effort for team owner and Expert series racer J.W. Roberts and Master Series competitor Carlos Conde. Teams still finalizing their plans for the 2010 season include Texas-based Mundill and Eliseo Salazar Racing owned by the famed F1/Indy Car/Rally veteran driver.

Experts and Masters

Expert and Master Series drivers race the same kind of car as all the other Star Mazda racers, and compete in the same events for the same championship points and prize money, but they also have a race-within-a-race that sees the Star Mazda Championship with five drivers on the podium at the end of the race; the top-3 as well as the top-finishing Expert and Master. Expert Series drivers are 30 to 44 years old, while Master Series racers are 45 and older.

The two drivers who won the 2009 Expert and Master Series championships are both graduating to other forms of racing for 2010; Chris Cumming of Vancouver, Canada, won back-to-back Expert championships in 2008 and 2009 and will compete in the American Le Mans Patron GT3 series driving a

Porsche in 2010. Mike Guasch, the 51 year-old California entrepreneur who won the 2009 Master Series will compete in the FIA GT series in Europe in 2010 racing an Audi R8.

Top drivers returning to Star Mazda for 2010 include Gerry Kraut (right), who scored three in-class victories in 2009 and finished second in the Master Series. Kraut, from North Oaks, Minnesota, is a co-owner of the championship-winning JDC Motorsports team and is the CEO of a private investment company. Joining Kraut in the Master Series will be Florida racer Walt Bowlin, entering his second season of Star Mazda competition and driving for the AIM Autosports team. Another Florida racer, Dom Bastien, joins Andersen Racing for the 2010 Master Series battle, along with Carlos Conde, who joins Team GDT for 2010; GDT will also field a car for team owner J.W. Roberts in the Expert Series, where he will get competition from Star Mazda veteran Patrick O’Neill, driving a car fielded by JDC Motorsports.

New Teams

Building on the momentum and increasing profile of the Star Mazda Championship, a number of new teams have announced their participation for 2010. Apex Racing was a top competitor in the Formula BMW Americas series but have switched to the Star Mazda Championship in 2010 with second-year driver Jorge Goncalvez from Los Teques Venezuela and Brazilian Joao Horto who drove with the Apex

dougherty

in 2009. Team sponsors include Wabash Capital Investments, Apex Performance x3 Cryogenics and the Indiana State University Motorsports Program.

The just-announced Linares Racing team (right) is the first-ever Venezuelan-owned team in the Star Mazda Championship and will field a car for Carlos Linares, the 2009 Venezuelan national FF1600 champion. He races with backing from IND, Venezuela’s National Institute of Sport. Also new and still finalizing their driver lineups for 2010 are Team AutoTechnica, another crossover from the now-defunct Formula BMW Americas series as well as a powerhouse new team from four-time Indy Lights champions Brian Stewart Racing.

The Last Word

“The Star Mazda Championship provides great racing for the fans and a great education for the drivers,” says Series President Gary Rodrigues. “2010 will be the twentieth season of the Star Mazda Championship and is shaping up to be the most exciting, important year in our history as well as the beginning of a new era of open-wheel racing in North America. The fans here at Sebring this weekend should remember these drivers; in a couple of years you’ll be rooting for them at Daytona and Indianapolis.”

For more information on the Star Mazda Championship and its drivers, as well as the Mazda Motorsports ladder system, please visit:

www.starmazda.com www.mazdausa.com


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