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Oct 15, 2001

Angered By AMA Move, Huth Plans $250,000-purse Unlimited Race At Willow Springs

Copyright 2001, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc.<BR><BR>Angered by AMA Pro Racing's refusal to sell him a sanction for an AMA Superbike race in 2002, Willow Springs owner Bill Huth is planning to hold an Unlimited Grand Prix race with a $250,000 purse at his Rosamond, California racetrack. The race will likely be held in late October or early November, 2002, after the end of the AMA racing season, and will be open to any type of road racing motorcycle with no displacement, weight or horsepower restrictions.<BR><BR>If all goes according to preliminary, tentative planning, the feature race will pay $100,000 to win with $50,000 for second place and $25,000 for third place, and will pay to 28th position. Every qualifier will receive $1000 for making the grid.<BR><BR>Huth's track has the resources available to put the race together without relying on any event sponsorship.<BR><BR>The track bailed out the 2000 AMA Superbike National when the original promoter cancelled the race, and put on the event with its own money. The track signed up to hold the race again on September 13-16 of this year, but that event was postponed following the terrorist attacks on September 11 and was ultimately cancelled when AMA and track officials could not agree on rescheduling.<BR><BR>AMA officials raised the event sanction fee from $105,000 to $175,000 for 2002 but ultimately declined to sell the track a sanction at any price, instead moving the race to California Speedway in Fontana, California.<BR><BR>If the September 13-16, 2001 race had been held at Willow Springs, the total event purse would have been $70,000 split between five class, with $41,000 allocated for Superbike and the Superbike winner earning $5000. The 250cc Grand Prix race would have carried a $10,000 purse with $2000 to the winner; the Pro Thunder race would have had a $7000 purse with $1700 to the winner; the Formula Xtreme race would have had an $8000 purse with $1800 paid to the winner; and the 600cc Supersport race would have had a $4000 purse for non-factory riders, with $850 paid to the winner.<BR><BR>The AMA Chevy Trucks Superbike Championship Bonus, split among top series finishers, totals $100,000 for the 2001 season. Top finishers in Pro Honda Oils 600cc Supersport split $15,000; MBNA 250cc Grand Prix top finishers split $10,000; Genuine Suzuki Accessories 750cc Supersport top finishers split $35,000; Buell Pro Thunder top finishers split $10,000; and Lockhart Phillips USA Formula Xtreme top finishers split $10,000.