Digital Edition Subscribers: Read Roadracing World Magazine Now >
Roadracing - An Online Service of Roadracing World Magazine
Feb 15, 2001

Frustration Over Situation Led To Comments About AMA Pro Racing, Willow Springs Promoter Rethmeier Now Says

Following's posting of news that the 2001 AMA National at Willow Springs would be cancelled, complete with quotes from promoter Hansyllan Motorsports' Steve Rethmeier, we received additional e-mail comments from Rethmeier. While--based on conversations with track officials--Roadracing World does not believe that Willow Springs International Raceway will take over promotion or participate in promotion of an AMA National in 2001, we are posting Rethmeier's latest statement here anyway:

"A distinction should be made regarding the Willow Springs round of AMA Superbikes. It is technically not cancelled. At this point, we are awaiting final word from WSIR regarding our proposal that we co-promote the event. As I said, we have not discussed specific roles of WSIR or Hansyllan Motorsports, other than an offer for Hansyllan Motorsports to act as a project manager for WSIR in the event that they saw value in having the race at their location, but did not want complete responsibility for its promotion. Of course, Willow Springs could easily promote the race themselves, as they have done in the past. The deadline that Ron Barrick gave me for cancelling the event is February 16th. We expect to hear from WSIR today or tomorrow, although you may know more in this regard.

"On another matter, while I obviously have some frustration with AMA Pro Racing, canceling the event is first and foremost a financial issue. Admittedly, I love motorcycle road racing and want an AMA round in the Los Angeles area. Furthermore, as promoters new to the series, I wanted AMA Pro Racing to have more to offer us as we struggled with the decision to cancel the event, or continue operating it at a loss or maybe at breakeven. At the very least I wanted more support. At most, I wanted them to subsidize the event in exchange for other considerations. In the end, it did not work out the way I wanted, but it is unfair for me to characterize AMA Pro Racing as part of the problem. Really, they just weren't part of the solution that I preferred.

"If I set aside my current frustration, it is clear that AMA Pro Racing does not have the infrastructure to assist a money-losing venture. And if they did, why should they? Furthermore, in spite of my thumb-sucking rant over what they didn't do, my experience working with them in 2000 was largely positive.

"I also need to clarify that Coca-Cola did not back out as a sponsor. They simply defined a desired level of involvement that was not a title sponsor role. They are happy to be involved, but not to the degree that we want and need them to be involved.

"Nearly every aspect of promoting the final round of the AMA Superbike series at Willow Springs last September was incredible. We enjoyed everyone that we worked with, and really had the time of our lives. I hope we can do it again."

Top 5 This Week