AMA Pro Racing Parks Safety Car

Henny Ray Abrams | July 14, 2009

AMA Pro Racing has temporarily parked the safety vehicle car after yet another disastrous episode in a marquee event.

The first episode happened during the closing stages of the first ever under the lights season-opening Daytona 200, when the safety car effectively ruined the race. The safety car was deployed when lighting in the chicane failed. But Yamaha’s Tommy Aquino was speared while following the safety car through the chicane, which brought out the red flag. The most recent episode came in the American Superbike race at the end of the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix weekend at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. The safety car pulled onto the track surface between turns one and two just as the pack was approaching at high speed.

Tempers flared on the pit lane, with riders and non-riders venting their feelings at AMA race officials. The AMA’s Colin Fraser later spent about 15 minutes discussing the botched operation.

According to an AMA Pro Racing news release, AMA Pro Racing will park the safety vehicle until the Buell safety and pace bike makes its debut at Heartland Park in Topeka, Kansas, July 31 – August 2. The purpose of the suspension is so that AMA Pro Racing can work with riders on procedures.

The safety vehicle will be used at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course this weekend, but only in practice sessions, initial race starts and race restarts for Daytona SportBike and SunTrust Moto-GT.

In the event of a red-flag-race stoppage, all competitors will be instructed to return immediately – without overtaking – to the pit lane for at least five minutes. Tire warmers can be fitted, but no refueling or other work is allowed to the motorcycles. No data downloading can take place.

The re-start will be single file, if three or more laps have been completed by the leader, in the running order on the lap preceding the red flag.



Henny Ray Abrams | Contributing Editor

Abrams is the longest-serving contributor at Cycle News. Over the course of his 35-some years of writing and shooting photos, he’s covered events from MotoGP to the Motocross World Championship - and everything in between.