The He Said, She Said, But No One is Really Saying Anything about the Virginia International Raceway Snafu

07/13/2011 @ 2:46 pm, by Jensen Beeler6 COMMENTS

The He Said, She Said, But No One is Really Saying Anything about the Virginia International Raceway Snafu Virginia International Raceway 635x407

AMA Pro Racing and the Virginia International Raceway have been having a war of the press releases the past few days, as it was announced that AMA road racing will not be taking place at the fabled mid-Atlantic track later next month. With AMA Pro Racing first announcing on Monday that the event scheduled for August 12th-14th was cancelled, the sentence immediately following that statement must have struck a nerve with VIR, as it read: “Despite AMA Pro Racing’s efforts to preserve the originally scheduled August 12-14 event, VIR staff notified AMA Pro Racing late Monday, July 11, of its final decision not to host or promote the race weekend.”

VIR followed up on Tuesday with a statement of it’s own, lambasting AMA Pro Racing for putting the blame on the Virginia track, and shifted the accusations onto AMA Pro Racing, who according to VIR was tardy in getting the raceway a contract in time to properly promote the event. With each side seemingly telling only part of the story, speculation has been rife as to what really went down between America’s premier road racing series, and one of our most prestigious venues.

Though we have no inside-knowledge of what transpired between the two parties, friction between tracks and promoters typically comes down to pie slices, and who gets the bigger piece. With VIR’s 10-year contract to host AMA Pro Racing in expiration, the renegotiation of the contract apparently fell apart. Reading between the lines on the press releases, it would seem to us that while negotiations have been ongoing, AMA Pro Racing gave VIR its final offer, which the track did not accept. While it is impossible to say who is right or wrong in this blow-out, it’s pretty easy to tell who the big losers are: the fans. Press releases after the jump.


AMA Pro Racing’s Press Release:
DAYTONA BEACH, FL (July 11, 2011) – It is with deep regret that AMA Pro Racing is forced to announce VIR’s cancellation of the Suzuki White Lightening Nationals, Round 8 on the AMA Pro Road Racing season calendar. Despite AMA Pro Racing’s efforts to preserve the originally scheduled August 12-14 event, VIR staff notified AMA Pro Racing late Monday, July 11, of its final decision not to host or promote the race weekend.

“AMA Pro Racing has made VIR a part of its season calendar for the past decade,” said AMA Pro Racing COO and Managing Member David Atlas, “and I am gravely disappointed by the impact this will have on our paddock, fans, and other series participants. I assure all of those involved parties that a significant effort was made to negotiate an arrangement that would have preserved the event.”

AMA Pro Racing will refund all event-specific fees paid to AMA Pro Racing by series participants.

The AMA Pro Road Racing Championship was in action this past weekend at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course — its 29th appearance at the historic Ohio facility — where track officials welcomed a banner crowd that witnessed fiercely competitive action in all four classes. AMA Pro Racing looks forward to bringing its talent-packed paddock to fans at upcoming 2011 events, the schedule for which can be viewed at amaproracing.com.

The AMA Pro Road Racing series next heads to Monterey, California’s Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca for Round 7 on the calendar. The July 22-24 event will run as part of the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix MotoGP World Championship weekend.

Virginia International Raceway’s Repsonse:
“VIR has received a number of inquiries and expressions of disappointment regarding the lack of a 2011 AMA Pro Racing event at VIR. As with any disagreement, there are two sides to every story. We want to make it clear that the decision was not one-sided, as David Atlas’ remarks have implied, and that VIR made numerous proposals to AMA Pro Racing to keep this event on schedule. Due to our 10 year history with this premiere event, we are as disappointed by this outcome as most of those we have heard from.

VIR has worked hard to bring the event to fruition for months. Despite requests by VIR beginning in December 2010, AMA Pro Racing did not deliver its proposed contract for the 2011 event to VIR until early June 2011. Resulting discussions made it apparent that insufficient time remained to negotiate the new terms in the proposed contract and, if agreement were reached, to plan, promote and conduct the event in a professional manner.

In an effort to preserve the date, VIR went to extraordinary lengths to reach an alternative agreement with AMA Pro Racing, which AMA Pro Racing chose to reject. Given these circumstances, we had no choice but to take the date off the calendar and notify the public promptly.”

Source: AMA Pro Racing & Virginia International Raceway

Comment:

  1. Earl Shives says:

    I think you meant “lambasting,” rather than “land-blasting.” Cheers…

  2. I’d rate VIR one of the better “rider’s tracks” that I’ve raced at over the years. But Danville VA is nowheresville, man. Not really a suitable place to hold a National. I bet that if the AMA and VIR were really confident the race would have drawn a good crowd, they’d’ve found grounds for an agreement and signed contracts. As it is, I doubt that any team principals are losing sleep over the cancellation of the VIR round.

  3. Tom says:

    People criticize tracks for being in the middle of nowhere (Autopolis is the most famous one here in Japan), but costs for land and the development and local ordinances force great tracks out in the country. In Nashville right now, there is a movement to shut down the racetrack at the fairgrounds due to noise and traffic. Tennessee is not alone in this.

  4. joe says:

    Nowheresville is sometimes closer than Daytona. I’d say this is another reason to go watch a CCS or WERA race.

  5. buellracerx says:

    I’d have the say the crowd was pretty good the past few years there, though it did seem to dwindle slightly last year. I can definitely say that, as crew, it was my least favorite track on the schedule. High temps + humidity, plenty of bugs, outhouse-style showers (seriously VIR? seriously?), not to mention the track gets plenty slick in this high heat (more so than others) making setup a chore and crashes abundant. Oh yea, & don’t even get me started on how badly that red dirt stains…

    that being said, I’d love to do a trackday there, looks like a really fun track to ride

  6. Faster1 says:

    Please!,, this has nothing to do with VIR,, It’s just another bone head eff up by the AMA/DMG rejects,, Right there with holding a Daytona race on a Thursday so maybe 1,000 people could watch,, and letting a 1100 compete against 600,s. and rolling starts,, and “pace bikes” and Ambulances competing for podiums and invisible flag workers, and tracks is shit shape like Miller with the slick mud run-offs.

    The entire series needs to fold so a real one can form the ashes. I was a devout AMA fan for many years right up until Honda was driven out. I’m not a Honda head but it was just a microcosm of mistakes that made the series so uncompetitive. We eventually called it the Yosh Races. It’s a shame that so much talent has to go to waste in that series