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AMA PRO Racing Partners with SFI to Kick Off 2000 Season Safety Initiatives

5 January 2000

R00001    Contact: Bill Nordquist
January 5, 2000
Connie Fleming
For Immediate Release
Phone: (614) 856-1900
Fax: (614) 856-1924



     PICKERINGTON, Ohio --  American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) Pro

Racing has joined with SFI Foundation, Inc., to beging a comprehensive

third-party review of existing AMA Pro Racing safety procedures, and to

develop and strengthen safety standards in all race disciplines.

     SFI, Inc., brings nearly 40 years of motorsports safety expertise to

AMA Pro Racing. Created by the Specialty Equipment Manufacturers

Association (SEMA) in 1963, but operating as a separate entity for many

years, SFI includes a number of national and international motorsport

sanctioning bodies among its clientele, including: the Federation

Internationale De L'Automobile (FIA), the National Hot Rod Association

(NHRA), theSports Car Club of America (SCCA), the Indy Racing League (IRL)

and the United States Auto Club (USAC).

     NHRA Vice President Carl Olson's experience with SFI supports AMA Pro

Racing's expectations for safety enhancement in all race series.

     "Today, NHRA incorporates no less than 48 product-related SFI

specifications within its rules, as well as SFI Technical Inspector and

Emergency Response Worker Certification programs. Over the years, the SFI

Specification and Certification programs have significantly reduced

injuries resulting from racing-related accidents. They have helped to make

the racing environment much safer for our drivers, event workers and


     "This association with SFI is a big step in a continuing effort to

improve safety at AMA Pro Racing events," said AMA Pro Racing Director of

Competition Merrill Vanderslice. "Their experience, resources and access to

professionals already working in all aspects of motorsports safety will

allow us to move forward in a very short time. Our mutual goal is to bring

AMA Pro Racing to the same high standards that other SFI clients have


     SFI staff will begin with reviews of several existing AMA Pro Racing

programs, including the Track Review Advisory Committee (TRAC), the AMA Pro

Marshals program and AMA Pro Racing Tech Inspection.

     "This program is a first for professional motorcycle racing," said

Arnold Kuhns, President of SFI, Inc. "Some existing SFI programs from other

forms of racing will apply, but we'll develop new training programs and

standards for AMA Pro Racing. We'll also evaluate the procedures AMA

officials currently use, and recommend changes wherever we see a need. Our

immediate plans call for reviewing existing command and control operations,

incident response, tech inspection and current SFI standards and their

applications to motorcycles."

     SFI staff are already working on the AMA Pro Marshals program, which

was created in 1997 and has trained hundreds of cornerworkers in

motorcycle-specific flagging and response techniques. SFI is in the process

of developing advanced training and certification standards for

cornerworkers and incident response personnel working at AMA Pro Racing


     The AMA Pro Racing Track Review Advisory Committee (TRAC), which has

successfully guided motorcycle-specific changes at road-race facilities,

including significant modifications to Sears Point and New Hampshire

International Raceway, will also benefit from SFI cooperation and

experience. In addition, a subcommittee of the Progressive Insurance AMA

U.S. Flat Track Advisory Board will begin work in 2000 with regional

testing teams, to make recommendations to race facilities regarding track

surfaces and preparation, and this Board will have access to SFI expertise

as well.

     In a recent effort to address command and control issues, management

staff for the 2000 Chevy Trucks U.S. Superbike Championship are also

working to create a video network which will be used in conjunction with

traditional cornerworker radio communications.  Live video from cameras

positioned around the track will feed to a central bank of monitors,

providing real-time imagery of road-course circuits. The video network will

also enable race controllers to record and replay portions of events.

     For immediate post-race results, rider information, AMA Pro Racing

notes and news, check the Pro Racing pages of AMADirectlink, at