An historic agreement reached by the AMA and Racer Productions ends a two-year-old feud between the parties that at one point came to the threat of legal action being taken. This also renews the AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country Series presented by Maxxis as an AMA National Championship Series.
Key provisions in the agreement include innovative rider licensing terms that give riders “new to the sport” an opportunity to race without requiring them to buy the full $49 AMA membership. Riders can now compete with the one-event pass option sold trackside. For $20, a non-member can participate in a single event. According to the AMA, if a rider continues to race in the series those fees already paid will apply to a full AMA membership, if the rider upgrades within 60 days.
This is thought to be the first time in memory that the AMA has offered a one-day competition license.
"American off-road motorcycle competition is stronger when the AMA and the GNCCs work as one, and we're pleased to partner with Racer Productions to recognize GNCCs as an AMA National Championship Series in 2014," said AMA Vice President of Operations Jeff Massey in a news release issued today by the AMA. "Without question, in terms of rider participation and media exposure, the GNCC series is the premier off-road racing series in America. We are proud to see them return as an AMA-sanctioned series, and we look forward to supporting Racer Productions and honoring GNCC class champions with AMA national No. 1 plates in 2014."
Rita Coombs, who founded the GNCC series with her husband, AMA Motorcycle Hall of Famer Dave Coombs Sr., in 1975, said that she is eager to work with the AMA going forward.
"Our family and the AMA go back to 1972, working together on countless events in both off-road and road, including the Blackwater 100, the Grand National Cross Country Series, the AMA National Dual Sports Series, the AMA Amateur National Motocross Championships and many more great races," said Coombs, President of Racer Productions and an AMA Life Member. "Now is the time for the AMA and the GNCC Series to renew our mutual commitment to promoting the sport of motorcycle racing, while showcasing the most prestigious off-road championship in the country. We look forward to many more years of hosting AMA-sanctioned races for our athletes and race teams, and of course all of the fans who follow the AMSOIL Grand National Cross Country Series."
Riders in the GNCC series will receive access to the online AMA Race Center and all benefits of AMA membership, including American Motorcyclist magazine, which is available in two versions. One version focuses on street and recreational riding, while the other covers off-road riding and AMA-sanctioned competition events. In addition, full AMA members who elect to auto-renew their AMA memberships receive AMA Roadside Assistance for no additional charge. They also are eligible to purchase rider accident medical insurance through the AMA.
"We believe that GNCC racers will appreciate the improvements that the AMA has made since the series was last sanctioned in 2011," Massey said. "We have worked hard to improve not only the racer experience, but promoter support. We are looking forward to a successful 2014 season, but most importantly, we are excited to recognize GNCC class champions at the 2014 AMA Championship Banquet on Jan. 17, 2015, in Columbus, Ohio, with their AMA national No. 1 plates."
As AMA-sanctioned events, GNCCs have access to the AMA Competition Rulebook, which dates to 1924 and is updated annually by AMA Congress, the elected rulemaking body that represents riders, clubs and promoters from across America. In addition, the AMA provides a rider appeal process, risk management guidelines and facilitates event insurance. Each GNCC also will be supported by an AMA referee, as well as AMA staff, to ensure that AMA memberships are processed smoothly.
"Another key benefit of AMA membership is government relations," Massey said. "The AMA exists first and foremost to protect your freedom to ride and race motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles. The threats to our sport are very real, whether those involve land access or ridiculous laws like the lead law that temporarily banned the sale of youth dirt bikes and ATVs a couple years ago. Those who choose to be AMA members -- and those series that choose to be AMA sanctioned -- are the power behind our voice. The more of us who stand together, the more effective we can be as we fight for the future of our sport."
There are several options for joining the AMA to be eligible to compete in an AMA-sanctioned event. Racers can join with a $49 AMA Competition membership, as part of a $98 family membership that covers up to five immediate family members living in the same household, or with a $29 youth membership if they are 11 years old or younger. For membership details, see www.americanmotorcyclist.com.
Those new to the sport can also compete with the one-event pass option sold trackside. For $20, a non-member can participate in a single event. The $20 fee can be applied to full membership dues if the rider upgrades within 60 days.
Full AMA memberships can be purchased through the AMA membership links at www.gnccracing.com. Family and youth memberships are available by phone by calling the AMA at (800) 262-5646. In addition, youth memberships also can be purchased at the track.