IRVINE, CA, JULY 11 - AMA Pro Racing CEO and managing member David Atlas said he was taken by surprise when contacted by Virginia International Raceway on June 23 with the track operators telling him that they no longer planned on having their AMA Superbike event, August 12-14.
"I have been working with them on this event since February," Atlas said via a phone call this afternoon. "The event and the terms were agreed upon in December - otherwise it would have never been on the schedule. Suffice it to say, when I was contacted on Thursday, June 23, this came as a shock to me and every single day since I've been in touch with them, VIR, and informed them to conduct the event in accordance with the schedule as agreed upon in December."
So now what? When asked to comment on the rumor that a third race would be run on Labor Day at New Jersey Motorsports Park, making the event a tripleheader, Atlas said, "On account of this development, AMA Pro Racing is putting a lot of effort into evaluating the options which we have for completing the season and we do have several options. We're in the process of analyzing and we may seek more feedback from the paddock."
Although AMA Pro Racing has a contract with Speed TV that calls for 10 races, Atlas said that's not his primary concern as his relationship with his television partner is a strong one.
"Our arrangement with Speed is for 10 events, but my concerns remain with the athletes, their teams and their sponsors so that's my focus right now. The folks at Speed have been very decent with us in our relationship with them."
Atlas is hopeful of having a plan in place soon that will bring what is now an eight-race schedule back to at least nine rounds.