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Sep 9, 2002

With RPM Out, AMA Pro Racing Makes Deals With Road Atlanta And Barber Motorsports Park

Copyright 2002, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc.<BR><BR>AMA Pro Racing has made direct deals with Road Atlanta and with Barber Motorsports Park to hold AMA Nationals in 2003 and beyond, eliminating Race Promotions Management (RPM), the company responsible for promoting the Road Atlanta event for the last five years.<BR><BR>That's the story from RPM's Dan Murphy.<BR><BR>RPM originated the Superbike double-header program now used at most AMA Nationals.<BR><BR>Murphy said Monday that his company will not promote AMA road races in the future, other than the AMA National that runs combined with the World Superbike race at Laguna Seca.<BR><BR>"If we're gonna build up races only to have them taken away and given to the track, there's no incentive for outside promoters...to build an event up to have it go somewhere else," Murphy said.<BR><BR>Murphy said that he had proposed holding an AMA National at the Barber track and in the course of negotiations revealed confidential financial information related to the event at Road Atlanta; track officials subsequently made a deal directly with AMA Pro Racing officials, who agreed to give the Barber track the May date that was supposed to go to the Road Atlanta race--to avoid a conflict with a football game in the Birmingham area.<BR><BR>AMA Pro Racing officials then contacted Murphy, told him he had lost his May date, and added that the sanction fee for the Road Atlanta race would go up 78% for 2003. Murphy said the new sanction fee wouldn't work financially, and AMA Pro Racing subsequently decided to do a deal directly with Road Atlanta. <BR><BR>Earlier this year, Murphy had proposed an AMA Safety Commission to work on ways to improve track safety, including AMA homologation of tracks, and had committed to paying to make changes in the turn three-four area at Road Atlanta where Anthony Gobert got hurt, i.e., moving the wall back 40-50 feet.