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May 22, 2001

Air Fence Fund Reaches $128,710

New donations brought the Roadracing World Air Fence Fund to $128,710 with new sections of Air Fence soon destined for use by RPM/WERA and CMRA/CCS in Texas and at F-USA Nationals.

The first Roadracing World Air Fence Fund disbursement was made to the AMA in the amount of $104,000. Money is now being collected to provide Air Fence for use by other race sanctioning organizations, because, let's face it, the vast majority of AMA riders race with--and all of them have to come from--other racing organizations.

When we see Lee Acree in the paddock for a Formula USA race, he looks the same to us as he does in the paddock for an AMA race. And his life and well-being is certainly as valuable to us and his loved ones during a Formula USA race as it is during an AMA race.

The 15 new sections of Alpina Air Fence/Air Module deployed at the AMA Road Atlanta National last weekend immediately made a big impression, working spectacularly in two separate crashes in fast turn 12, which saw Grant Lopez and Tony Lupo slide into Air Fence sections placed in front of a concrete wall outside the corner.

The fact that Lopez hit a section of Air Fence at over 100 mph and didn't get into the concrete wall behind it inspired his sister to donate $100, and now their mother, Jane Phillips, has matched that donation with another $100.

Other new donations came from Aramel Racing in the amount of $250, while WMRRA sent $250, TFS Racing contributed $100, John Scherer sent $30, John Jancoski contributed $25 and John C. Pfeiffer sent $25.

Another 20 new sections of Air Fence will be deployed at Road America June 7-10.

Prior to the Roadracing World Air Fence Fund being established, there was no funding in place to provide Air Fence for racers in AMA events, nor in events sanctioned by other organizations. Roadracing World researched and initiated the process that led to the deployment of the new Air Fence sections at Road Atlanta, and then turned the arrangement details--including air freight flight information and shipping and arrival dates--over to the AMA, which, according to it own press releases, previously believed that it took four months to obtain Air Fence in quantity. The time between the establishment of the Roadracing World Air Fence Fund and delivery and deployment of 15 new sections of Air Fence at Road Atlanta was four weeks, not four months.

Meanwhile, Aramel Racing's Bob Laszko wrote, "I wanted to say thanks for your obviously heart-felt 'Time to Take Back the AMA' column in the June issue of Roadracing World. It, and your call to action to provide 30 sections of Air Fence for AMA events, were especially meaningful to me. I read the column on the one-year 'anniversary' of my brother Steve's crash at the Sears Point AMA National, which has left him paralyzed from the neck down.

"Air Fence along the outside wall leading into turn seven at Sears would not have made a difference in Steve's crash. Providing adequate run-off room would have, as he was squeezed into the wall by a slowing rider and had nowhere to go but into the back of the rider's bike, locking-up his front wheel and somersaulting into the wall. A freak accident? Maybe, but providing an 'escape route' by moving the concrete K-rail barriers a few feet back from the edge of the track would have made all the difference in the world. I also believe that the sections of Air Fence on the outside of turn 10 probably saved Aaron Yates' life as he slid head-first into them during this year's event at Sears Point. This was the first time I've seen Air Fence on that turn.

"Progress? Yes. Enough? Not even close. If we, as racers and team owners, don't take a stand on the issue of track safety, there will continue to be unnecessary injuries and deaths in our sport. That the AMA does not hold safety as their #1 priority baffles and angers me. Every road racer understands the inherent risks of our sport, but those risks must be minimized by providing us with well-designed tracks-–tracks without Armco, without hard and immovable objects to 'cushion' our crashed riders, with adequate run-off room and with someone with common sense in charge of course control.

"I hope that your call to action wakes up my fellow racers and team owners, gets them off their asses and that they begin to no longer accept the AMA's standard or its vision of safe tracks and practices. I believe that a committee of racers and team owners should be assembled to look closely at each and every track that we compete on. Its findings and suggestions to improve safety should not only be provided to the AMA, but also published for everyone to read. I, for one, am ready, willing and able to give my time and efforts as a member of such a committee. Obviously, the AMA must be receptive not only to the idea of a safety committee, but to also take their recommendation to heart and act on them. That, historically, has not been the AMA way. As you have demonstrated, though, enough arm-twisting and publicity has forced the AMA to make changes, even if they don't give credit where credit is due. Keep twisting arms, John, twist until they shout uncle and take us seriously. If you need some added muscle, just holler.

"I'll close this letter with the following story. A few years ago, Toby Jorgensen and I attended the new racer school at Willow Springs. It was a joy to share the track with someone so young and so full of promise and excitement for the future. Toby and I talked for a few minutes during one of the breaks, and as we were heading back to class I asked him if he had dreams of being the next Kenny Roberts or Wayne Rainey. He stopped, looked up at me and said 'No, I'm going to be the next Toby Jorgensen'. Toby never got that chance. He died a horrible death as the result of hitting an unprotected hurricane fence surrounding a flat-track in Texas.

"In memory of Toby, in remembrance of my brother Steve, and in the hope that our actions can bring about a change in the safety of our sport to eliminate future Tobys and Steves, I have sent a donation to your Air Fence fund."

And CCS racer Steve Hopkins of Milwaukee, Wisconsin wrote, "As one of the early contributors and as someone who recently had a great time riding Road America, I just want to thank you for your initiative. The kink is an area that will be a lot safer with the inclusion of Air Fence protection. Too many of my friends have wadded there and gotten injured. I applaud you for your program to make road racing safer for all of us. Too bad the AMA couldn't get it together until you stuck it in their face."

The contributor list now reads:
Erik Buell/Buell Motorcycle Company $5800
Trent Thompson/Paramount Racing $5000
Anonymous $4725
Dynojet Research $3200
Steve Brubaker/Race Tire Service $3000
Willow Springs Int'l Raceway $3000
John Ulrich/Roadracing World $2900
Aprilia USA $2900
American Suzuki Motor Corp. $2900
Ducati North America $2900
Jonathan Glaefke $2900
Susie and Bruce Meyers/BCM Racing Ducati $2900
Wegman Benefit Fund/Gordon Lunde Sr. $2900
Performance Machine $2900
Dunlop Motorcycle Tire Co. $2900
Max McAllister/Traxxion Dynamics $2900
Tom Chauncey/Team Wreckless $2900
Wendell Phillips/Lockhart Phillips $2500
Advanced Motor Sports/In Memory of Dirk Piz $2000
L.A. Bikers/ $1810
Dennis Smith/Sport Tire Services $1500
Marc Salvisberg/Factory Pro Tuning $1450
Bob Dragich/Roadracing World $1450
Fred Renz/Yoyodyne $1450
WERA Motorcycle Roadracing $1450
Lucky Deleoni $1300
Bob Blandford/N.E. Sportbike Assn. $1100
Chuck Warren/Arclight Suzuki $1000
Jim Rashid/4&6 Cycle $1000
Scott Willock/In Memory of Larry Schwarzbach $1000
Don Emde/In Memory of Cal Rayborn $1000
Jason Pridmore's Star Motorcycle School $1000
Mark E. Dobeck/Techlusion Performance Group $1000
G.M.D. Computrack Network $1000
California Superbike School $1000
Tachyon Racing/Tachyon Sports Injury Research Foundation $1000
Team Pro-Motion Sportbike Club $1000
Anthony and Aaron Gobert $1000
Linda, John & Susanne Hopkins/In Memory of Roy Hopkins $895
Intrepid Café Racers $775
Yoshimura Racing $750
Team Daemon Racing $600
CMRRA $537
Don Lemelin/Scuderia West $500
Kevin Erion/Erion Racing $500
Pinky's Pizza of Walnut Creek $500
Doug Gonda $500
Jerry Wood/Penguin School $500
Mike Canfield/Chandelle Motorsports $500
Jim Davis/J6 Racing/In Memory of Dirk Piz $500
Brooks Gremmels/Shogun Motorsports $500
Jim Di Salvo/Alien Racing $500
Dale Kieffer/Racers Edge Performance $500
The Plummer Menapace Group $500
Reg Kitrelle $500
Specialty Sports Ltd/Teknic $500
Ronnie Lunsford/Northwest Honda $500
Bob Holcomb $500
Aaron Yates $500
James D. Randolph $500
OMRRA $500
Terry Knott $500
Shawn Higbee/Team KWS/Millenium Technologies $500
Harley Davidson of Reno $500
Walt Schaefer $500
Gary Christopher/American Honda $500
Full Spectrum Design $500
Bill St. John/Project Monza $400
Jerry Jirkovsky $330
Richard Hood/Reptillian Racing $300
Edward S. Siccardi, Jr. $300
Dan Fischer/ $300
David Finniff $300
Marietta Motorsports $300
Brendan Guy $300
Dean Scarpa $300
Anonymous $300
Kurtis Roberts $300
James Siddall/World Sports/Corbin Grand Prix $300
"Old Slo Gene Templet"/CMRA $300
Eric Kelcher/Blockworks $300
Zachry Lee $300
Scott Fisher/Fisher Technical Services $250
Chris Pyles & Beth Walters $250
Peter Hively $250
Brian Mitchell $250
Al Ludington $250
Tim Simpson $250
Spectrum Motorsports/VJB Racing $250
David Roy, Ducati N. America $250
Debbie Roy/Frenotec $250
Joshua Hayes $250
Gina Nadeau $250
Jeannne Pyles $250
John Ross/Ross Racing $250
Brian Cincera $250
C. Renard Fiscus $250
Bruce & Edith Lind $250
Andre Espaillat $250
Aramel Racing $250
WMRRA $250
Papa Thiam/WERA BBS $200
Bill Capshaw/ICE Motorsports $200
Scott Decker $200
Terry Embury $200
Jim "Dutch" MacKenzie/WERA BBS $200
Scott Jenkins/Desmoto-sport $200
Cliff Nobles $200
Jodie York/RPM Cycles Ventura/WSMC #11 $200 Fillmore $200
Jeff Bowis $200
Rich & Lynda Alexander/In Memory of Dirk Piz $200
Nils Menten $200
Melissa Tomlinson/G-Man Racing $200
DP Enterprises $200
Jeffrey S. Stathes $200
RPM $200
MZ Scorpion Cup Racers $175
Chris Kelley/California Cycleworks $150
Robb Mc Elroy $150
Tim Chin/Team Bandit $150
Ed & Catherine Sorbo $150
Damon Buckmaster $150
Chris Hamilton/Grand Prix Direct $150
Marc Palazzo/Synergy Racing Honda $150
Texas Sport Bike Association $150
Stuart Stratton/Stratton Racing $150
Jim Williams/ $125
David Boosales/WERA BBS $125
Mike Brown/Team 222 $125
Pete Martins $125
Road Atlanta Crash Truck Crews $111
Chris Normand/Firestorm Racing $101
Pat Stricker $100
Gary Rand/In Memory of Rusty Bradley $100
Michael Roberson/WERA BBS $100
Sean Jordan/WERA BBS $100
Army of Darkness $100
Stuart Gregg $100
Pinky's Pizza/Lippman Racing $100
Bob Szoke $100
TyrSox $100
Ron West/Omzig Productions $100
Joe Facer $100
Preston Rash $100
Geoff Maloney/GP Tech $100
Melissa Berkoff/Neighbor Of The Beast $100
Caesar Gonzales/WERA BBS $100
Dorina Groves $100
Dorina Groves/In Memory of Jamie Bowman $100
Philip Rusin/ $100
Allen "Spence" Spencer $100
Matt Wadsworth $100
Dean N. De St. Croix $100
Tony Tugwell/ $100
Bart Fuqua/Team LGC $100
Brian Stokes/Marietta Motorsports $100
Chris "Opie" Caylor/Marietta Motorsports $100
David McElvain/NEDoD $100
Ned "Peanut" Brown/NESBA/TPM $100
Vance Hacecky $100
Patrick Mee $100
Dave and Jason Parker $100
Paul Kingsburgh/ $100
Tom Drumm $100
David Brown $100
Steve Moonitz/Team Squid Pro Quo $100
Jake Swan $100
Chris Story $100
Chris Eklund $100
Randy Ball/WERA BBS $100
Mark Hellvig $100
Gary Schilling/On Time Racing/WERA BBS $100
Steve Sumner $100
Laura Granato/WERA BBS $100
Norm Viano/Lawdog Sports Mgmt $100
Kevin Jordan/Jordan Motorsports $100
Val Gregory/In Memory of Dirk Piz $100
Dave Gess $100
Rob Berlind $100
Paul Black $100
Steve Hewitt $100
Mike Ciccotto $100
Tripp Nobles $100
Scott Rehl $100
Steve & Lorraine Aledort $100
Jeff Rozycki/ Racing $100
Chris Ulrich/In Memory of Russ Paulk And Toby Jorgensen $100
Giorgio Milesi/Galfer Brakes USA $100
Al Lyons/CMRRA $100
Linda Hopkins $100
John Hopkins/In Memory of Jamie Bowman and Toby Jorgensen $100
Vicky&Michael Menard $100
Silvia Salenius/ Online $100
HG Racing/AMA Pro Thunder $100
Red Fox Racing $100
Greg Ruffin $100
John Donald/PTC Racing $100
Larry Pegram $100
Pamela Skaff/WERA BBS $100
J.D. Hord/Meccanica Corse Racing $100
Mark Sutton $100
Steve Scott/LRRS#47 $100
Eric Putter $100
Jim Doerfler $100
Ira Englebardt $100
Joe & Nancy Fenech $100
Earl Hayden $100
Chuck Sorensen $100
D&D Thrush Farms $100
Jeff Wilson/American Suzuki $100
Adam Vella/Webcrush Racing $100
Chuck Gault/Motobama $100
Gary Longren $100
Stephan Hottenrott $100
David Kunzelman $100
C.R. "Critter" Gittere/WERA BBS $100
John Light/Lightsmith Racing $100
Ken & Arlene Block (Ed Sorbo's Mom) $100
Chris Link/CMRA/In Memory of Jamie Bowman $100
Josh Steinberg $100
Broad Squad/CCS NE $100
Logan Young $100
Bob & Sherrie Young $100
Ann Sands $100
Troy Green/ $100
Colin Fowler $100
Asphalt & Gas $100
CelentoHenn Architecture + Design $100
Norm Mc Donald/CMRA $100
Andrew S. Mueller/WERA BBS $100
Mary Miskovic $100
Mark Van Hoff/The Plastic Doctor/WERA BBS $100
Robert Kennedy/AFM#995 $100
Mauro Cereda/In Memory of Jamie Bowman $100
James B. Norwood/Bad Iguana Racing $100
Bakersfield Yamaha $100
Matt Gerard/In Memory of Gordy Lunde Jr. $100
MMCZYK/Concerned Fan $100
Kendall Davis/WERA #326 $100
Jerry Daggett $100
Miller's Modern Garage $100
TFS Racing $100
Sabrina Phillips 100
Jane Phillips $100
Twin Cities Yamaha $100
Tyson Kamp $75
Vito Dionisio/WERA BBS $75
R.J. McLeod $60
Kelly Thornton $58
Erica B. Smith & John F.X. Walsh $55
Max Buxton/NEDoD $50
Nelo Hakola $50
Tyler Sandell $ 50
David J. Kopfinger $ 50
Aaron Loyd $50
Martin Voelker $50
Steve Hopkins $50
Louis DeBlois $50
Leigh Taunton/EMGO $50
Randy Sinisi $50
Danny Hull $50
Team Skidmark Racing $50
Ryan Meskimen/WERA BBS $50
Erik Astrup $50
Paul Zavada $50
James Greeson/WERA BBS $50
Victor Mokler $50
Steve Clark/J. Guthridge/Tight Squeeze Racing $50
Nate Olsen $50
Anthony Moey $50
Dustin Miller $50
Jim Frost/NEDoD $50
Steve Martinez $50
Jason Temme/Serpent Racing $50
Mike Hodgson/WERA BBS $50
Chris Borre/ $50
Richard Barker/AIM/In Memory of Dirk Piz $50
Mike Reish/Reish Dot Net $50
Kenyon Kluge/K2 Racing $50
Darin Nichols/Team Unit $50
Richard Davis $50
Allen Lyon/ Online $50
Eric H. Mathy $50
Steve Breckenridge $50
Jim Race/Speaksy Racing $50
James Aragon $50
James Hayton/Kochenbaulz Racing/WERA BBS $50
Anthony D'Augusta $50
Norm Brown $50
Isaac Ward $50
Jason K. Michelson $50
Qi Guo/WERA BBS $50
Schaefer Brothers Racing $50
Tommy Lancaster/Tommy Built Fireplaces $50
James Gaal $50
Rod Mahr/Follow the Helmet Racing $50
David Yesman $40
Don Moody $35
Brent Kilgore/Clark Kilgore/Kevin Bridges/Slow To Heal Racing $35
Lindsey Leard $30
Dave Deggendorf/WERA BBS $30
Steve Sturm/Squidvision Racing $30
George Gervasi/Projekt9 Racing $30
Bob Elam $30
The Heidepriems/WERA BBS $30
Kimberly Scheffel/rider/race fan/pit keeper $30
Bryan Norton $30
Scott D. Cortese $30
Stephen Warburton/Ducati Online $30
John Scherer $30
Greg Gabis $29
Ripley Howe $29
Mark Hatten/Meccanica Corse Racing $29
Ted Angle $25
Susanne Hopkins $25
Nolan Ballew $25
Josh Loberant $25
Charles Tomes $25
Jon DeMent $25
Timothy Wilson $25
Mark Novak $25
Rene Ferron $25
Sean Patrick Brisini $25
Richard Korol $25
Eric and Christine Loranger $25
Dee Moses $25
Kyle Kirschenmann/Bayou Riders of Louisiana $25
Marc Asmus $25
Mike Henry $25
Henry Hallmark $25
Ronnie Reyes/CMRA $25
Kathleen Mc Laughlin $25
John Jancoski $25
John C. Pfeiffer $25
S.C. Pittman $20
Jamieson D. Yonker $20
Garret Swearingen $20
Darrin Zumbaum $20
Andy Lenz/CMRRA $20
Irwin Arnstein/CMRA $10
Frank Shacklee/CMRA $10
Jan Steven/Carpet Dog $5
Erik Schmitt/CMRA $1

To pledge a contribution, call Roadracing World at (800) 464-8336 between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time, when operators will be standing by. Credit cards accepted. Pledges can also be made by e-mailing Make checks payable to Roadracing World, and mail to P.O. Box 1428, Lake Elsinore CA 92531. Money raised will be used for buying Air Module/Air Fence sections, as well as for deployment expenses and for shipping, tax and import duties.

A full accounting of all Air Fence Fund money will be posted on this website as it is disbursed, along with lists of any pledges still outstanding.