AMA Pro Racing was recently approached by representatives of two AMA Pro Flat Track teams inquiring about the performance of a tire used by another team. The tire in question was used during the Du Quoin round on July 4th.
After the GNC1 Main Event in Du Quoin was completed, it was noted by AMAP officials that the tire exhibited irregular wear. The issue was discussed between AMAP officials and a representative of Dunlop, the tire supplier. As Du Quoin was one of the first rounds in which Dunlop tires were used in the series, both the sanctioning body and tire supplier were interested in the performance and safety characteristics of the new tire compound. The tire was visually inspected by both parties but not retained at that time as there was no suspicion at that point during the event, due to the nature of the tire in its first use in the series, that any wrongdoing had occurred.
A week later, at the Indianapolis round of the AMA Pro Flat Track series, AMAP officials asked the team in question to surrender the tire for analysis. The team complied and the tire was tested by Dunlop. Dunlop’s testing confirmed that the tire was within their normal parameters for construction and material content. Their testing protocol did not analyze the tire sample for the presence of additional materials or chemicals.
Following the test by Dunlop, AMAP sent an additional sample to an independent laboratory for chemical analysis. When results were received from the laboratory, it was determined that the tire had been contaminated and that a number of additional chemical compounds were present in the test sample which were not present in the control tire supplied to the laboratory.
After a thorough internal review, AMAP officials sought counsel from external experts before concluding this matter. It has been determined that no further action will be taken for two primary reasons:
1. Due to the lack of custody of the tire in the week following its use in competition, AMAP could not determine when the tire had come into contact with any contaminant material that was subsequently identified during chemical analysis.
2. No protest had been submitted by any third parties, an option all competitors may avail themselves of via procedures in the AMA Pro Flat Track rulebook. Neither AMAP officials nor any competitors had raised the possibility that the tire had been tampered with or may be in violation of any rules. The AMAP rule book does not allow for protests outside of a window of 30 minutes after race results are posted and a view has been taken that a protest two months after the race cannot be considered reasonable.
AMAP acknowledges that revisions to the AMA Pro Flat Track rulebook and event protocols are necessary with regards to tire testing and the reporting of technical inspections and violations. An internal team has been established to analyze best practices and to implement modifications to both the rulebook and to the processes that take place at technical inspection and following each event. This team will focus on the following key areas:
1. The rulebook will be updated to include rules for tire testing, in the same manner that it currently details the rules for fuel, sound and drug testing. This will provide the paddock and officials with a set of guidelines for confirming compliance.
2. To provide documentation and transparency, the company now posts a tech log following each event outlining the inspections performed, with pass/fail designations as well as any penalties assessed.
AMAP is fully committed to the ongoing development of AMA Pro Flat Track and welcomes the participation of its racing paddock in that process.