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May 2, 2001

Parking Nightmare Has 30 Trucks Still Waiting After Five Hours At Sears Point Gate

A reduction in available room and a lack of parking procedures and planning has left a total of 30 non-factory AMA race team transporters waiting at the Sears Point gate for the last five hours.<BR><BR>While factory and support team semi-trucks were escorted in and parked after mid-day and throughout the afternoon, non-factory teams and private riders have been left waiting at the Sears Point gate and, as this is posted, are still waiting at 5:00 p.m. PDT.<BR><BR>Prior to arrival at Sears Point, some teams who called the racetrack were told that parking for this weekend's AMA National would start at noon, and many hurried to arrive in time to make that deadline.<BR><BR>According to AMA Superbike Operations Manager Ron Barrick, who arrived at the track about 2:30 PDT this afternoon and was reached on his cell phone just before 5:00 p.m. PDT, the hold-up has been caused by students taking a CLASS school at Sears Point spreading out all across the available paddock, blocking orderly parking of non-semi-truck transporters.<BR><BR>Barrick said that track officials did not think to contain the CLASS students in one area of the paddock to expedite parking of AMA teams.<BR><BR>Sears Point officials are now saying that no more vehicles will be allowed through the gates until 6:00 p.m..<BR><BR>Similar parking foul-ups have plagued AMA teams going back years at various tracks, and it is common for promised parking times to be missed, despite the fact that some teams and riders drive long distances day and night to make announced parking deadlines.<BR><BR>A similar delay was encountered by teams at Road America last June, for example.