AMA Pro Flat Track held their Championship Awards Banquet Sunday night following the Ramspur Winery Santa Rosa Mile. After all of the champions were crowned and the checks, rings, and swag were handed out, the focus turned to the future. Flat Track racing is moving into a new era and a lot of changes were announced for 2017 and beyond. AMA Pro Flat Track will have a complete rebrand and now be American Flat Track…from there it just gets more exciting.
Take a look at the official Press Release courtesy AMERICAN Flat Track…
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Sept. 25, 2016) – AMA Pro Racing has proudly announced the official rebranding of the all-new American Flat Track (AFT) series – formerly known as AMA Pro Flat Track. The rebranding of the series coincides with the dawn of a new era for America’s favorite motorcycle sport, which includes a restructured class system as well as a re-envisioning of the event format. While holding true to the legacy of a sport rich in history, the modifications are designed to provide a more understandable and exciting format for the modern fans and make the series more accessible to new fans.
“We are extremely excited about the rebranding of the series,” said Michael Lock, CEO of AMA Pro Racing. “The rejuvenation of the sport will bring a new level of excitement to racers and fans. Everyone will be able to easily understand what’s happening on the track and will be able to enjoy all of the action from the moment they arrive to when they head home. It’s a very exciting time for the sport of professional Flat Track racing.”
The restructured class system consists of the AFT Twins class, the premier class where the best Flat Track riders in the world battle for top honors on fire-breathing Twins, and the AFT Singles class, which will host dirt track racing’s stars of tomorrow.
The reclassification of the new series is categorized in an easily comprehensible format:
- The AFT Twins class will consist of twin-cylinder motorcycles (650 – 999cc), which contain the latest in motorsport technology and will be piloted by the fastest athletes on the dirt.
- In the AFT Singles class, the up-and-coming riders will command the tracks on 450cc single-cylinder motorcycles as they compete for their chance to make it to the prestigious AFT Twins ranks.
There are also changes to event format which promise an action-packed program of racing. The traditional format will move to a tournament style format, where the fastest 48 riders from timed qualifying advance to the heats. From there, the race program will consist of four six-lap Heats with nine of the 12 riders transferring to one of the two Semis. What was traditionally a last chance effort to make the Main, the new Semi format is a knockout round where 18 riders duke it out for the nine spots that transfer them to the 18-rider Main. The Main events themselves see little changes, with the premiere AFT Twins class keeping its traditional 25-lap Main and the support AFT Singles class sees a slight increase from 12 to 15 laps.
Adding to the excitement in 2017, the American Flat Track series will also be the battleground for one of the oldest rivalries in motorcycle racing – Harley-Davidson and Indian Motorcycle. The American Flat Track series in its entirety will continue its growth by introducing new global manufacturers to the sport and will see elevated support from current and new partners.
In keeping with the goals to streamline and modernize the series, AMA Pro Racing has worked diligently with the Advisory Group to rewrite and enhance the rulebook for the 2017 season. The driving force behind the updated rulebook is to focus on the safety and performance of the overall racing experience. The list of partners and the 2017 rulebook will be available at later dates.
Earlier in the 2016 season, AMA Pro Racing announced the formation of subsidiary company AFT Events and the brand-new apparel line American Flat Tracker. These companies have served as a springboard for the launch of the American Flat Track series and will continue to innovate in new ways to elevate the level of the entire event experience for fans, teams and the overall sport of professional Flat Track.
For more information about American Flat Track and to keep up-to-date with the latest news in professional Flat Track racing, please visit http://www.amaproracing.com/flat-track.
In addition to the new look, new class structures, and new racing format, the 2017 schedule was also teased. The official release will come later this week. What we do know is that the season will kick off at Daytona once again, but no longer on the short track. The Daytona TT will launch the season in 2017 with a TT track designed by Chris Carr being built on the infield of Daytona International Speedway. The event will run in between the Daytona Supercross and the Daytona 200 and will place American Flat Track right in the epicenter of American motorsports.
We will see American Flat Track back in Oklahoma for the OKC Mile at Remington Park, and other big schedule news includes a new TT event at the Buffalo Chip in Sturgis in addition to a half-mile event in another Sturgis, all coinciding with the annual Sturgis Rally.
A new television package was also announced for American Flat Track, as fans will once again be able to watch every race live streaming on FansChoice.TV but new viewers will be introduced to Flat Track racing as it makes it’s debut on NBC Sports Network (NBCSN). Post-produced one-hour shows airing in prime time will highlight each event.
A lot of excitement came out of the American Flat Track announcement on Sunday. This doesn’t even cover some of the team news that was also announced. 2017 is shaping up to be one of the most exciting years in many years in American Flat Track racing.