An unusual spin was announced earlier this week when the powers that be out of Daytona released a press release noting that the class names for the AMA Pro Flat Track Grand National Championship series will be renamed next season to GNC1 (previously known as the Expert class) and GNC2 (previously known as the Pro class since the Pro Singles division's inception at the beginning of the 2009 season.)
The announcement further states that the change was made to better capitalize on the 'sport's rich history' of what is the oldest form of high-speed two wheeled racing on the North American continent and in the world. It was also announced that the former Pro Singles class and the non-points paying Pro Twins class will be merged to better give the junior series riders more experience throughout the season to better prepare themselves for the move to what has previously been known as the Expert ranks.
In the shot above, teams go about getting ready for the first round of practice at the first Twins Series race of the season at the Springfield Mile I on May 25 in round 3 of the 2014 AMA Pro Flat Track Grand National Championship season.
Brandon Robinson can be seen talking in his #44 USC Kawasaki/Hot Shot Motorworks/Hart Racing-backed Kawasaki pit, while Jeff Gordon (sitting on ground, back to camera) and Dink Glidden can be seen working on the #42 Villa-Esparza/Crosley Radio/Howerton Products-backed Kawasakis of rider Bryan Smith. And defending AMA Grand National Champion Brad Baker talks with his team, along with rider/coach/suspension guru and former AMA Grand National competitor Mike Hacker in the #1 Harley-Davidson Motor Company/Screamin' Eagle Racing Parts/Dunlop Tire-sponsored factory XR750 pit area.
You can read the full release below thanks to AMA Pro Flat Track.
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Nov. 19, 2014) - AMA Pro Racing announced today a renaming of the classes for AMA Pro Flat Track with a nod to the rich history of the world's longest-running and most prestigious dirt track championship and its long list of Grand National Champions.
The previously named Expert division, which has been contested by some of the top motorcycle racing talent in the world since the inception of the Grand National Championship in 1954, will now be called GNC1, while the sport's up-and-comers will compete in a class titled GNC2.
"As we focus on the bright future of flat track racing, we felt a renaming of the classes was necessary in order to embrace the legendary history of the sport," said Michael Gentry, Chief Operating Officer of AMA Pro Racing. "We are excited about the future and feel these changes will make the format easier for fans to understand while honoring the Grand National Champions who built this great American sport."
The Grand National Champion's No. 1 plate, currently owned by Jared Mees, will be awarded to the top GNC1 rider at the end of the 2015 season. Just like in the Expert class in 2014, competition will include the thundering twins on Half-Mile and Mile circuits while the riders will compete on single-cylinder motorcycles for Short Track and TT (Tourist Trophy) events.
Jake Johnson #5, Bryan Smith #42, Kenny Coolbeth, Jr. #2, Brandon Robinson #44, Henry Wiles #17 and Jared Mees #9 battler during one of the Springfield Mile races at the Illinois State Fairgrounds during the 2014 AMA Pro Flat Track Grand National Championship season. AMA Pro Racing announced earlier this week that the class structures will be renamed starting with the upcoming 2015 season, to better help 'embrace the sport's rich history.' The new class names will be GNC1 and GNC2 instead of the Expert and Pro ranks as what they have been called since the Pro Singles division's inception at the beginning of the 2009 season. AMA Pro Flat Track photo by Larry Lawrence.
At the end of the season, the top rider in the GNC2 class will be crowned in a similar fashion and awarded a No. 1 plate for that division. The riders in GNC2 will mount single-cylinder machines at most stops, as was the standard during the Pro Singles era. In order to provide a stepping-stone platform for the stars of tomorrow, riders will compete and earn points for the GNC2 championship aboard twin-cylinder motorcycles tuned to a specific performance envelope at larger circuits, such as the Springfield Mile.
AMA Pro Flat Track will kick off the 2015 season on March 12 and 13 with a doubleheader at the DAYTONA Flat Track. For tickets and information, please visit http://www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com.
AMA Pro Racing is the premier professional motorcycle racing organization in North America, operating a full schedule of events and championships for a variety of motorcycle disciplines.
Learn more about AMA Pro Racing at www.amaproracing.com.