Jennifer Tumminelli Set for Sebring

Tumminelli set for Sebring MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA., (March 9, 1999) -- A new season, a new team, a new series sanction and renewed sponsors, Jennifer Tumminelli looks forward to the 1999 Star Formula Mazda Pro Series and...

Tumminelli set for Sebring

MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA., (March 9, 1999) -- A new season, a new team, a new series sanction and renewed sponsors, Jennifer Tumminelli looks forward to the 1999 Star Formula Mazda Pro Series and it's first race on March 19th, at Sebring.

"The Star Formula Mazda Series and its competitors has become even stronger and more competitive over the last two seasons. I needed to raise the stakes as a competitor. I needed to be with a top team that produces winning results." Tumminelli said.

Tumminelli has joined the Star Cars Factory Team.

"I am fortunate to have been selected to drive for the team. It's not about how much money you have but rather how fast you are and do you come as a complete racer's package. This series is extremely competitive. There are not enough team openings for all the drivers they have in this pro series. Many of these drivers you are competing against for an open slot on a top team are top notch, professional and are surely the next rising star for the Toyota Atlantic and Indy lights series" Tumminelli observed.

The Star Formula Mazda Series has provided its far share of rising stars to the Toyota Atlantic, Indy lights, FF2000 and American LeMans Series.

The Star Cars Factory Team has been involved in the Star Formula Mazda Series for nearly 10 years. Successfully run by Team Manager, Mark Rodriguez, an Atlantic and Indy lights driver, the teams numerous wins and championships recently include the 1997 championship and Team Kool Green Academy driver pick.

Tumminelli made a stake in the Star Series in her very first Formula Mazda race by taking the "Hard Charger Award" moving up 15 positions, more than any of her 41 competitors earning her a recognition spot on ESPN2. A former Porsche race winner, her racing background also includes Panoz GT-RA, Neon's and being a selected member on the PPG Pace Car Team. On the business side, Tumminelli is a former marketer for Richie Hearn of Della Penna Motorsports and Public Relations Manager for Chuck West of World Speed Motorsports in the Toyota Atlantic Series.

The Star Formula Mazda Pro Series is the fastest growing and largest series of it's kind. With average fields of 38, the series has competitive fields giving their TV audience and large number of race spectators exciting, action packed racing.

In 1999, the American LeMans Series picked up the Star Formula Mazda TV Championship and Sports Car will sanction the series.

Tumminelli has been involved in the Star Formula Mazda Series for over 5 years starting out as a crew person before working her way up to a mechanic for her brother-in-law Rich Stephens, the 1996 Star Formula Mazda Champion before becoming a driver herself. Her foray into the series with the Star Formula Mazda Series represents the largest number of pro women racers in an open wheel pro series.

Tumminelli maintains a sly view of her gender in a predominately male series.

"I am not treated any differently as a driver or judged any differently from my competitors or my sponsors. I work hard both on the track and off, as much, if not more than my competitors. I have earned my respect. When I'm in my race car with my helmet nobody knows any different until I take my helmet off." Tumminelli observed.

Star Cars Factory Team Manager, Mark Rodriguez feels everyone on the team will feed off of Jennifer's high energy and determination.

In addition to Tumminelli Star Formula Mazda participation she will represent the first effort made by a women driver to compete in two pro series during a single race weekend on a full-time basis. Tumminelli will also participate in the inaugural season of the Women's Global GT. Nearly 80 women from around the world will have tried out for the 16 driver series by the end of March. Tumminelli made the cut in January. The Women's Global GT will run six events, all in support of the American LeMans Series, beginning at Road Atlanta on April 18. The world's most talented women racer drivers will compete in 16 identically prepared Panoz GT cars.

Look for Tumminelli's #44 (Metallic Blue) Star Formula Mazda sponsored by Silicon Graphics, Vantive, Intelic Software, Olson Bros Body & PPG Paint, Wheel Techniques and BBS Wheels, AVS Graphics, Telx Sports and Wine Country Motorsports at Sebring from March 15-21st.

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Series Pro Mazda
Drivers Richie Hearn