When M1 PowerSports and AMA Pro Road Racing head back to Braselton, Ga.’s Road Atlanta for the return of the Big Kahuna Atlanta, scheduled for April 20 – 22, 2012, the action-packed event featuring the stars of American motorcycle road racing will be bolstered by classic race motorcycles and former road racing champions through the addition of the Historic Moto Grand Prix to the weekend’s schedule.
“The original Big Kahuna at Road Atlanta is where it all started for me,” said Cameron Gray, CEO of M1 PowerSports. “With the Historic Moto Grand Prix on board for this year’s Big Kahuna Atlanta, we’ll be able to connect the past with the present with all of these great champions and bikes heading back to the track. I can’t wait to see what they’ve got in store.”
All weekend long, Road Atlanta’s main paddock will host a large Historic Moto Grand Prix display area showcasing some of history’s most iconic vintage race motorcycles. Fans are invited to get up close and personal with the bikes, which will include classics like Jamie James’ famed Yamaha YZF750/1000 “Yamamonster,” Jimmy Filice’s factory Yamaha FZR, a replica of Eddie Lawson’s Daytona-winning Yamaha FZ750 and many, many more.
“Fans not only have the chance to see an amazing collection of motorcycles, but also the former champions of the sport that made their careers racing on or against them,” said Bill Brown, former AMA Pro racer and founder of the Historic Moto Grand Prix. “With close to a dozen Yamahas and pushing upwards of 30 people interested in participating, this is sure to be one of the best opportunities we’ve had to share our love of motorcycle history with the fans.”
During the lunch hour each day, some of the biggest names in the history of the sport will be reunited with the vintage machines for a series of on-track demo laps. The guest list reads like a who’s who of American champion riders, including Jamie James, 1989 AMA Pro SuperBike, 1989 AMA Superstock, 1994 AMA Pro SuperSport and 1990 Battle of the Twins Grand Prix Champion; Scott Russell, 1992 AMA Pro SuperBike and three-time AMA Superstock Champion (1990-1992); David Sadowski, 1990 AMA Pro SuperSport Champion; Eric Bostrom, 2001 AMA Pro SuperSport, 1998 AMA Formula Xtreme and 1997 AMA Supertwins Champion; Jason Pridmore, 2002 AMA Formula Xtreme and 1997 AMA Superstock Champion; Rich Oliver, five-time AMA 250 GP Champion (1994 – 1997 and 2003); Jimmy Filice, 1991 and 2001 AMA 250 GP Champion; Tom Kipp, 1992 AMA Pro SuperSport and three-time AMA Superstock Champion (1994, 1995 and 1999); and Thomas Stevens, 1991 AMA Pro SuperBike Champion. Other notables in attendance will include Michael Barnes; John Long; Richard Chambers; Henry Degouw; technicians Knobby Clark; Steve Johnson and Jim Leonard.
“I can’t wait to get back to Road Atlanta, it’s always been one of my favorite racetracks because you can air it out there a little bit; it’s a fun place to ride,” said Jamie James. “I’m really looking forward to being around all my old racing friends. None of us have competed in a long time and all of that is pretty well behind us, so we can just get out there on the track and enjoy each other’s company and have a little fun. It’s going to be kind of different to be around that same group of guys and not have to be all serious; it’ll make for a real fun day. Most of them are characters anyway; you have to be a little bit crazy to race these things for a living.”
“It’s been quite a few years since I’ve been on track at Road Atlanta,” said Rich Oliver, who plans to ride the two-stroke twin-cylinder Yamaha TZ350 during the event. “I am absolutely looking forward to taking a few more laps on a vintage TZ Yamaha. It’s going to be a really neat experience for me to get out there on one of my favorite tracks and wave to the fans.”
“It’s hard to believe that the bike that I qualified on for Daytona is considered vintage, man do I feel old,” said David Sadowski. “It’s going to be nice for all of us old cronies to get to spend 30 to 45 minutes during the lunch hour to speed these bikes onto the race track.”
Tickets for the Big Kahuna Atlanta are available now and start at just $20. Every ticket includes free parking and paddock access. For more information, visit www.m1powersports.com/big-kahuna-atlanta/.