Saturday, 1 October 2016

Santa Rosa Deaths: Update from AMA Pro Racing

This email was sent from AMA Pro Racing, which I thought was now American Flat Track. Maybe that new name is being saved for next season, or perhaps they're using the old name, and header on the email, to keep the tragic accidents linked to that organisation's name. It was an AMA Pro Racing event, so I suppose it keeps it in the same house.

The stand out for me is that Santa Rosa has be dropped, only one week after it was confirmed on the 18-race 2017 schedule.

Here is the communication in full...

It is with great sadness that I find myself writing to you for a second time this month.

This week we have lost two of our athletes, Kyle McGrane and Charlotte Kainz, in accidents at the Santa Rosa Mile. Our hearts go out to their families and friends and they will be sorely missed in our paddock community. Both riders were popular figures at our events and many of you have special memories of them. In the coming days we will be working with the families to determine how AMA Pro Racing can best assist them in their time of need and honor their lost loved ones.
My staff and I are currently collecting all information and data from the weekend, speaking with staff and supporting Dirt Trackers who were hosting the event. During a time like this, everyone is eager for immediate answers and we live in an immediate and 24 hours a day news cycle. Staying in front of unfolding events is a sizeable challenge. Many of you have reached out to me and my team and I want to thank you for your feedback, observations and support.

While it is tempting to draw immediate conclusions, I feel that it is important to come together as a professional family. As the sanctioning body for the sport we have a duty to care for our competitors and this will be central to our thinking. I will report further to you once we have concluded. However, at this early point I can confirm that both races were red flagged immediately and motorized EMT's were at both scenes within a very short time. Our series chaplain and family liaison, Raymond Rizzo traveled to the hospital and remained onsite throughout the afternoon, only leaving to attend the AMA Pro Flat Track banquet and communicate an update to the audience on Sunday evening.

As we look forward, my team and I will be reviewing a number of areas touched on by this tragedy. You may well be aware that it had already been planned that from 2017 onwards the junior class of AMA Pro Flat Track racing, the GNC2, is going to be based exclusively on racing 450cc engined motorcycles. In addition to this measure we are considering further steps and, to assist in this process, I have asked some of our experienced members of the 2016 Advisory Group, including our new GNC1 champion Bryan Smith, Mike Hacker and Dick Weirbach to participate in the discussion and forming of conclusions.

After deep discussions with our partner and promoter, Steve Delorenzi, we concur with his decision to remove the Santa Rosa Mile from the 2017 race calendar.

The goals of our team here at AMA Pro Racing are to capture the opportunities presented to our sport, deliver value to all of our partners and work closely with our paddock community and Advisory Group to continue to deliver a safe and fair environment for all. Absolute safety is never assured within racing disciplines but maximum priority must always be given to delivering the safest possible racing. We remain acutely conscious of that and will be steadfast in our efforts to deliver that environment to our community.

Yours faithfully

Michael Lock
CEO. American Pro Racing

Photo: Brian J Nelson/ AMA Pro Racing

1 comment:

Frank said...

Interesting observation about the name use, Gary. They couldn't wait to break it out the day after Santa Rosa, even before they made any announcements about the accidents, and I'm just cynical enough about how those jokers operate to think you're right. Of course when the moment is right, they'll co-opt whatever parts of AMA Pro's past that will suit their purposes, whether they deserve to use it or not.

Here's hoping real progress in safety and respect for the riders comes from this dreadful period; that would be a fitting tribute to Charlotte and Kyle.