It's official. AMA Pro Racing announced Friday the Brainerd International Raceway 2005 Superbike Championship round, tentatively scheduled June 25-26, has been removed from its schedule.
John Farris, AMA Pro Racing vice president of commercial development, said by phone that AMA and Sports Resorts International, of which BIR is a subsidiary, have been in contact for the last three months. Sports Resorts International is based in Owosso, Mich.
Farris said Sports Resorts International contacted AMA two weeks ago. After further talks, Farris said he was told BIR did not want to hold the event.
"The reason is that the property is definitely for sale so they're not sure of what the near-term future is," Farris said.
Gregory Strzynski, chief financial officer of Sports Resorts International, said by phone that "we evaluate events at the track and that is one of the events we decided we're not having this year. You can only do so many things."
BIR hosted the AMA Series Superbike races from 1983-87 and from 1992 to 2004. In 1989 and 1990, BIR hosted the FIM World Superbike Championship Series and in 1991 the USA round of the Diesel Jeans Superbike World Championship Series.
Farris said BIR's round, one of 11 last year, was one of the lowest-attended races on their schedule. Last year's attendance at BIR was 11,000. The best year for attendance at BIR was in 1994 with 42,000.
Farris said racers "generally" liked the track and the event was well received by the television audience.
"The fans that did come out were great," he said. "Quite honestly, we are going to miss going there. We wish we were coming there."
In his four years at AMA, Farris said the contract with BIR was year to year. Last year, one major company, Ducati North America, sponsored the event and Michelin presented it.
Former BIR general manger Scott Quick said he and Farris worked tediously at securing this sponsorship.
Quick also said the event has been the raceway's second-largest in spectator attendance.
Farris said the AMA is interested in returning to BIR in the future.
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