Northern California’s Sonoma Raceway announced that it will be hosting the first of a special three-round pro/am-style road racing series that will see the country’s top competitors battle amongst expert and amateur level racers alike. The event will be held in conjuncture with the AFM racing club, May 3-4.
Two-time AMA Superbike champ and factory Yamaha YZF-R1 rider Josh Hayes has committed to the first race as well as reigning Daytona Sportbike champ Cameron Beaubier, and Jake Zemke.
“From a racer’s perspective, I'm excited that someone has put in the effort to give us racers the opportunity to spend more time racing our awesome Superbikes. A big thank you for that," said Hayes. "We've always had good crowds at Sonoma Raceway. It's one of the best tracks we go to in the country and one that's always brought me a lot of success."
The new three-round series is the idea of long-time racing enthusiast and Roadracing World
magazine editor, John Ulrich. The series hopes to reduce the downtime for pro racing teams between the AMA’s
first event that kicks off next week at Daytona, and the second one at Wisconsin’s Road America over two months later.
“When I learned that there was no national-level professional road races scheduled west of the Mississippi River for the 2014 season, I realized that I had to try to make something happen,” said Ulrich in a press release. “This event is the first step, and is modeled after the successful formula used by British Superbike. I’d like to thank the AFM, the club I started racing with in 1973, for working with me on this effort to rebuild our sport in the United States.”
The technical format will be identical to what the AMA is running (including spec-Dunlop tires and Sunoco fuel) with lightly modified liter-class bikes eligible for the Pro Superbike class and tricked out 600s and 675s in the Pro Sportbike segment. Practice will be Saturday with racing on Sunday. SoCal’s Auto Club Speedway has also signed on and will be hosting the second event sometime in April with Utah’s Miller Motorsports Park ready to go the month after.