This coming weekend MotoAmerica will race in front of fans at Road America, becoming one of the first major sporting events in the world to host spectators since the outbreak of COVID-19.
But how different will the experience be for fans who are used to coming to “America’s National Park of Speed?” According to Road America Communications Director John Ewert, not much different, thankfully.
“Show up expecting to have a good time, bring a mask just in case, and you’re good to go,” Ewert told Roadracingworld.com. “For our situation, it’s really very, very simple. Essentially, we’re encouraging everyone to follow safe practices, and that includes social distancing, staying six feet away from others, and frequent hand washing or sanitizing.
“We have many hand sanitizing stations throughout the facility. They are static, meaning they are at high-traffic areas like the Paddock Shop, Registration, and also at all of our restrooms and portable toilet stations. Cloth face coverings are recommended in areas where social distancing is tough to maintain. And that’s it.
“Your average golf course is about 100 acres. Road America is 640 acres. We have enough space that we could have our largest MotoAmerica event ever and host 50-60,000 people and we would still not be at 50% of our allowable capacity.”
Fans will be allowed in the grandstands, in the paddock, and at the podium ceremonies. Camping is open as always, and the track’s legendary concession stands will be in full operation on Saturday and Sunday.
The only difference fans may notice is that fencing will be erected around the race teams’ working areas to create a socially distant buffer zone between fans and team personnel, but autographs and posters will still be available.
In addition, the event will include the first round of the MotoAmerica Mini Cup by Motul, the MotoAmerica Historic Cup exhibition, and the Vintage Motofest, which includes a ride-in motorcycle show, beer tasting, live music, vendors, and more.
And rides on the Dunlop M4 Suzuki two-seat Superbike with Chris Ulrich will also be available to riders who can provide their own helmet and purchase a special ticket package through MotoAmerica or make a donation to the Roadracing World Action Fund.
That’s all fine, but will fans come to the event?
“It’s been very, very strong,” said Ewert, referring to ticket sales for the event. “It’s been very, very strong because people are encouraged that this is the safest place to watch a race. We’re getting tremendous feedback from fans and new fans who are just looking for something to do. Regular fans are bringing new fans, and new fans are bringing even more new fans. They’re like, ‘This is going on this weekend. It’s going to be outdoors. The weather’s going to be great. It’s live sports, and we’re going to have a lot of fun.’
“MotoAmerica did a great job with lining up the  schedule. They’ve done a great job with their television viewership efforts with the first [Road America] event, and that has encouraged a lot of people who probably never have seen motorcycle racing in general to come out and check it out firsthand this weekend.”
Ewert said that anyone wanting more information on the health and safety protocols and measures being used at Road America should go to www.roadamerica.com/safety