AMA Pro Racing announced late yesterday that the Circuit of the Americas facility, located in Austin, TX., will play host to a new points-paying race early next year that will run alongside the COTA MotoGP Weekend and the MotoAmerica Road Racing series that is scheduled over the April 8-10, 2016 weekend.
COTA established itself as a very worthy host for the AMA Pro Flat Track Grand National Championship during the 2015 season while playing host to the first-ever ESPN XGames competition featuring the stars of The Rolling Thunder Show in early June. Dan Johnsen, former AMA Pro Flat Track manager and his team did a wonderful job of prepping the facility with a limited time schedule after the area had been inundated with torrential rain storms just days before the event was set to roll off.
Less then one week before the event was held, the facility had been under over 6-8" of water yet DJ and his team were able to groom a track that, albeit extremely rough, was able to host the inaugural race in the ESPN Flat Track XGames. The race eventually was viewed by nearly 500K fans on live tv on ESPN in a special 3-hour hosting in prime time on the largest sports cable television network for it's initial airing.
In the shot above, riders roar off the line during heat race #2 at round 7 of the 2015 AMA Pro Flat Track Grand National Championship Harley-Davidson GNC1 presented by Vance & Hines series at the Indy Mile on July 11.
(L-R) Bryan Smith on the #42 Crosley Brands/Howerton Motorsports/Villa-Esparza Kawasaki -sponsored EX650, Steve Bonsey on the #80 Cliff Racing/Dodge Brothers/Classic Harley-Davidson-backed XR750, Shaun Baer on the #32 SBR/Straight Arrow Trucking/Baer Racing-sponsored KTM LC8 950, Sammy Halbert on the #7 Briggs Auto/Scott Powersports/Martin Trucking-backed Kawasaki 740, and Nichole Mees on the #15 Black Hill's Harley-Davidson/Jerry Kennedy/Mr. Sign Yonkers NY-sponsored XR750 make up the riders towards the front getting an advantage heading off the line.
Also seen in this shot are Mick Kirkness on the #87 Waters Autobody.KTM/GE Capital-sponsored KTM LC8 (partially hidden behind Baer #32), Chad Cose on the #49 Myers Motorsports/ERT/Rod Lake-backed Kawasaki 740 (partially hidden behind Halbert #7), Colt Chebultz on the #67 Estenson Logistics/H-D of Salina, KS/T&R Racing-sponsored XR750, Jake Mataya on the #29 McGrane Racing/Scott Powersports/GO-Moto-backed Kawasaki 740 (partially hidden behind Mees #15), and Duke Erickson on the #21 21st Street Body Shop/Fredericktown Yamaha/Black Hill's H-D-sponsored XR750.
Although the full 2016 schedule for the AMA Pro Flat Track Grand National Championship has yet to be released by the powers that be in Daytona Beach, the addition of this round in Austin, TX. will be a very welcome site to all of those involved, and that schedule should be forthcoming sometime in the next week or so. We do already know that Daytona will kick off the season next year in March, that both Springfields are set to return, as are Lima and Peoria, and Charlotte. We also know that Indy and DuQuoin are gone and it sounds like Hagerstown has been dropped as well. There has also been some buzz that there is another event awaiting finalization somewhere in central Indiana, but nothing solid has been confirmed as of yet as to where or when (and NO, it's not Terre Haute thankfully!)
The Austin/COTA round will also be promoted by Team SMI, the same group of great people behind the Sacto Mile, Charlotte Half-Mile and the season-ending Las Vegas Short Track and Superprestigio of the Americas, so you know it will be a first-class effort all around.
Check out the full press release below thanks to AMA Pro Racing and make your plans now to head to COTA in Austin, TX. over the April 8-10 weekend to see the greatest racing on two wheels in the world alongside the stars of MotoGP and MotoAmerica.
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Dec. 11, 2015) - AMA Pro Racing and Team SMI announced today that Circuit of the Americas will play host to AMA Pro Flat Track in 2016. The world's premier dirt track motorcycle racing series will make its inaugural visit to the purpose-built Grand Prix facility on April 9, 2016, running in conjunction with the Grand Prix of the Americas.
"I'm delighted that we are able to bring AMA Pro Flat Track racing to COTA, to complete the ultimate festive weekend of motorcycle sport," said Michael Lock, CEO of AMA Pro Racing. "Today's MotoGP stars are fascinated with our unique brand of racing and the growing Superprestigio events in Las Vegas and Barcelona are testament to the wide appeal and recent interest in Pro Flat Track racing."
Circuit of the Americas is no stranger to dirt track racing. The sport debuted at the Summer X Games in 2015, and many of AMA Pro Flat Track's top riders were there to put on a show for the ages. After a grueling battle, Kawasaki-mounted Bryan Smith took a dramatic victory.
"We're excited to be part of what will be the greatest ever two-wheel racing competition," said Bobby Epstein, Chairman of the Circuit of the Americas. "With MotoGP, MotoAmerica and AMA Pro Flat Track running on the same weekend - at the same venue - it will be unbeatable entertainment."
Additional details about the 2016 AMA Pro Flat Track round at Circuit of the Americas will be released by event promoter Team SMI in the coming months.
How to Watch
About AMA Pro Flat Track:
AMA Pro Flat Track is the world's premier dirt track motorcycle racing series and one of the longest-running championships in the history of motorsports. Sanctioned by AMA Pro Racing in Daytona Beach, Fla., the series is highly regarded as the most competitive form of dirt track motorcycle racing on the globe. For more information on AMA Pro Flat Track, please visit www.amaproracing.com/ft/, follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook or live stream the on-track action on FansChoice.tv.
About AMA Pro Racing:
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.
For additional information contact:
AMA Pro Racing Communications, (386) 492-1014, firstname.lastname@example.org