May 11, 2001
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The AMA has just issued a press release announcing its Air Fence Program, including cooperation with the Roadracing World Air Fence Fund. The first new units of Air Fence will be seen at Road Atlanta for the May 17-20 AMA Superbike National. The AMA press release reads as follows:<BR><BR><BR>"AMA PRO RACING ANNOUNCES INNOVATIVE AIR FENCE PROGRAM<BR><BR>"PICKERINGTON, Ohio -- CEO Scott Hollingsworth announced today that AMA Pro Racing is fully funded to purchase, transport, deploy and maintain a significant number of air barriers that will be used to enhance rider safety at AMA road-racing events. This addition, the latest in a series of ongoing actions taken to improve racetrack safety across the country, takes place during the most progressive period of safety enhancement in AMA history.<BR><BR>"The AMA Pro Racing Airfence Program represents a financial commitment of approximately $475,000 over a three-year span. Purchase of the Airfence will require $125,000, and the balance of the funds will cover transportation, maintenance, storage, management and deployment of the Airfence over three years. The AMA will purchase 35 modules of Airfence, each 28-feet long, for use at AMA championship road races. The use of new Airfence safety barriers begins with the Road Atlanta round, May 18-20, 2001.<BR><BR>"Financing for the program has been generated by AMA Pro Racing efforts, spearheaded by Ray Blank, Vice President Motorcycle Division, American Honda, who has been a Member of the AMA Board of Trustees for 12 years and is an active member of the Pro Racing Board of Directors. Also, Roadracingworld.com Editor John Ulrich headed a grass roots fund-raising effort that contributed more than $100,000 to the AMA Pro Racing Airfence program. This funding has enabled AMA Pro Racing to purchase additional modules and defray some operating costs that will be incurred by the program.<BR><BR>"AMA Pro Racing CEO Scott Hollingsworth said, 'We are very grateful for the support Honda, Harley-Davidson and Suzuki have given to this safety project, which will benefit our AMA racers. We also appreciate the grass roots support for this program, and we thank long-time AMA member John Ulrich for the role he played in raising these supplemental funds.<BR><BR>"'The support contributed toward this project by Honda, Harley-Davidson and Suzuki, along with donations from individual motorcycle racers, fans, enthusiasts and members of the motorcycle business community, is truly awesome. <BR><BR>"'We at AMA Pro Racing finalized plans for this Airfence program during the fall of 2000 and when we had identified all of the associated costs we began to pursue funding. The incredibly rapid response in financial support has enabled us to purchase and deploy the Airfence in a remarkably short amount of time.'<BR><BR>"The Airfence will be transported more than 40,000 miles during each season, a process that requires trained personnel as well as specialized maintenance and care. Placement of the safety barriers will be performed with the assistance of the Track Review Advisory Committee (TRAC), a group of riders and other team personnel that assists AMA Pro Racing in evaluating safety issues and is also a subcommittee drawn from the AMA Road Racing Advisory Committee.<BR><BR>"While the Airfence Program will be a most noticeable change, it is only one component of the most far-reaching and comprehensive rider safety program in the AMA's history. Other recent safety initiatives include an ongoing comprehensive course marshal training program. This program incorporates a variety of training procedures to better equip marshals to respond to real-world track-side situations.<BR><BR>"Another significant safety enhancement involves the routing of live, unedited television feed directly to the on-site AMA race control center. This real-time, first-hand view of the track improves the speed and accuracy of the decisions AMA Pro Racing officials make when incidents occur on the track.<BR><BR>"For more information about the AMA Pro Racing Airfence program, log on to , or contact Connie Fleming, AMA Pro Racing Public Relations Administrator, at firstname.lastname@example.org<BR><BR>"For immediate post-race results, rider information, AMA Pro Racing notes and news, log on to related posts on roadracingworld.com, dated April 17, 2001 and April 19, 2001.