Safe to Race Task Force creates guidelines for reopening

The Safe to Race Task Force—a coalition of 20 motorsports organizations, including the AMA—has developed guidelines to help motorcycle event organizers resume operations as quickly as possible in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, while following the direction of health officials and government restrictions.

The guidelines—known as the Resumption Plan and Best Practices Toolkit: Motocross & Off-Road—were released May 4 and can be downloaded at www.mxsportsproracing.com/2020/05/04/rlt-competition-bulletin-2020-9-safe-to-race-task-force-status.

The toolkit’s recommendations include developing a medical action plan for symptomatic event participants, attendees or crew members; forbidding overnight camping for one-day events; requiring that vehicles park 10 feet apart; closing bleachers and other fixed spectator seating; eliminating fan activities, such as autograph-signing sessions and podium celebrations; using advance registration to limit participation; encouraging the use of credit cards for on-site payments; and having competitors bring their own pens to sign documents.

“This toolkit represents the collective input from a diverse group of motorsports professionals, with the common goal to reopen motorcycle/motorsports race venues and recreational riding areas and competition centers,” the Resumption Plan and Best Practices Toolkit: Motocross & Off-Road states. “It is the mission of the Safe-to-Race Task Force to provide guidelines and best practices consistent with current health and safety standards for social distancing to enable motocross and off-road racetracks [outdoor recreation facilities] to resume limited operations.”

Bill Cumbow, the AMA director of road racing relations, described the project as an, “unprecedented” collaborative effort among the nation’s biggest motorcycle racing organizers and sanctioning bodies.

Four AMA staff members and Dr. Hub Brennan of the AMA Board of Directors were among the 40 people who participated in the Safe to Race Task Force.

Participating motorsports organizations included AMA Amateur National Motocross Championship and Grand National Cross Country Series organizer MX Sports, AMA Pro Motocross Championship promoter MX Sports Pro Racing, AMA Supercross promoter Feld Entertainment, AMA Superbike Championship organizer MotoAmerica and AMA Pro Racing. Two local government officials and three medical professionals also participated in the project.

The project was an off-shoot of another collaborative effort, the Race Leadership Team, which was formed to coordinate scheduling for MX Sports’ AMA-sanctioned series and events. The group quickly realized that a broader collaboration was needed to help motorcycle competition events get started under pandemic-driven restrictions.

The Race Leadership Team recruited other organizations and professionals to take part in the Safe to Race project.

The AMA had representatives on four of the task force’s five committees. Cumbow was on the medical and IT committees, and was joined on the medical committee by Brennan.

Alex Kovacs, AMA motocross coordinator, was the AMA’s second representative on the IT committee. Mike Pelletier, AMA Supercross manager, sat on the competition committee. Mike Sayre, AMA director of government relations, was on the government relations committee.

Though the task force has published its guidelines, it will carry on updating them as the coronavirus pandemic continues to develop.

Safe To Race Task Force Participating Organizations

• AMA
• MX Sports
• MX Sports Pro Racing
• Feld Entertainment
• MotoAmerica
• Racer X
• AMA Pro Racing
• MyLaps
• Trackside Software
• MotorsportsReg
• Daytona International Speedway
• Medical professionals (3)
• Local government officials (2)
• NBC Sports/Ignite Partners
• United States Motorsports Association
• J.H. Leale
• Lucas Oil Off-Road Racing Series
• RedBud MX
• Lucas Oil Speedway
• TicketSpice
• American Specialty Insurance
• Airstream Ventures