In a vaguely worded press release the AMA has announced a major change to its 2014 road racing schedule. According to the release an alternate two-day format will be used at certain venues in 2014 beginning with New Jersey Motorsports Park. The AMA claims the new format is a coordinated cost-saving maneuver agreed upon by the teams, manufacturers and promoters.
Historically, AMA road races have been three-day events beginning on Friday with practice and qualifying sessions. This new format announcement implies that Friday’s practice and qualifying sessions will take place on Saturday and in the process become fewer and shorter. The majority of racing action will presumably be taking place on Sunday.
“Although the weekend format will be condensed at certain events in 2014, fans can still expect the same great racing action and entertainment value from our valued promoter partners,” said Michael Gentry, Chief Operating Officer of AMA Pro Racing. “We’re thankful for the valuable input we have received from our major stakeholders as we have formulated this plan and look forward to debuting the new format to the fans next season.”
Is this more evidence of the continued decline of American road racing or a viable way of reducing costs and encouraging participation? The economy really can’t be blamed at this point. The biggest impact will be to the racers and teams getting less on-track time as well as sponsorship exposure.
The 2014 AMA Pro Road Racing season kicks off at Daytona International Speedway on March 13 – 15, 2014 and will have the three-day format of recent years. The 73rd running of the DAYTONA 200 will take place on Saturday afternoon. For tickets and information visit www.