Flat Track Meeting- AGM (Feb.15/15) Paris, On
The start of the meeting was an introduction of how far we’ve developed from the start and gave insight to where we’d like to go in the future. The obvious suggestions were to make the championship series a ‘true’ National series which spreads across Canada. Part of the idealistic vision is to have televised events and to influence OEM support. All of which would help produce motorcycling to become a little bit more mainstream.
Obviously we have the meeting to receive input from riders and supporters of the sport to gain insight and communicate ideas for steps moving forward. There were various topics discussed at the meeting to help reach an understanding of how to develop the sport of flat track and help make it grow.
Below were the various topics discussed in bold with a summarized conclusion to the discussion.
We want to start taking a proactive approach to safety as opposed to a reactive approach. We want to continue to promote safety and safety devices. Therefore we will have a safety advisor, Marc St. Amand, to aid newcomers and youth in the sport. Marc will help give good advice on different safety gear available on the market and advise some products that are best suitable for the sport.
The topic came up of mandating a back brace in to the rules. The back brace will eventually be mandated however there will be a grace period. The dates will be suggested in the near future.
We will also add a recommendation guide to the rule book. It will suggest the importance of different safety components that are recommended, however aren’t mandatory, the example of ear plugs for hearing protection was used.
A suggestion was made to jump start a gear exchange program. It would essentially allow parents to exchange equipment with other kids as they rapidly grow. It would help dramatically with the cost of things.
We will also be purchasing a wireless red lights to go around in various locations on any size venue. Therefore we can draw a red flag stop immediately on all parts of the track as opposed to bikes still racing to a flag which can be hazardous.
Plastic Bottle Drive
The idea of a safer barrier was suggested from fellow road racers Kenny Reidman and Jodi Christie that a canvas bag filled with empty plastic bottles make a great barrier for safety. In doing research study, this barrier has proven a safer concept than an air fence. Therefore we are collecting empty plastic bottles and hopefully influencing others to join us. We would like to keep building these barriers for different hazardous areas on larger tracks. This type of barrier would be used in conjunction with straw bales. We are collecting any type of plastic bottles, whether they are windshield washer fluid bottles, water bottles or plastic containers of that nature, we will accept them at Paris Speedway on any type of event day.
It was suggested that there was a check list for each. For 2016, we will have a tech inspection location at each venue, the inspection must be scrutinised by items of a check list and must comply with the safety standards.
As the sport grows and we start to introduce more OEM’s to the sport, more and more contingency programs will take effect. We talked about how typically the programs work and what the expectations are from riders. Kate Rundle was also on hand to talk about the ‘Team Green’ program and answer any questions that anyone had.
Flat Track ‘Stars of Tomorrow’ Program
The ‘Stars of Tomorrow’ was introduced at the Motorcycle Spring Show in Toronto on Mar.21-22. The idea was to help give exposure for the young riders and for the sport, showing the amount of support from young followers and the prosperous future it wields. On Sunday there was workshop that included advice to help prepare for interviews, pictures, public speaking and developing relationships with potential sponsors. The program proven to be a success and it looks like it will be viable program for the future.
Outlaw Productions is looking for ‘webseries’ footage, therefore if you forward ‘GOPRO’ footage to him, you have a good chance that the footage might be displayed.
We have a sponsor supporting us to acquire a system for 2015. It’s the newest state of art system. During 2015 we will set up, test and develop the software and smart phone app. The rules will mandate Intermediate and Expert classes to have a transponder for 2016. Riders who acquire a transponder for 2015 will be able to test utilize the timing and scoring procedures used. 2016 practice and qualifying sessions will take place to build the race program.
- Points, this will be the new points structure for each of the classes at all of the events.
- A DNS for final, the rider will acquire 0 points. Once they made the ‘Original start to the race’ they will be awarded points. If two riders fall and cannot continue, their order it will result in the previous lap or how they qualified for the race if at least one lap hasn’t been completed.
- DNF’s are still awarded points if the ‘original final start’ was made.
- Red flag finishes result in the previous lap, excluding fallen riders.
- Races can be called a finish after 75% of the race is completed (to the referee’s discretion)
- Restarts must be given at least a minimum of 3 laps
- If a rider is the cause of a restart a second time in a final, the rider may be excluded (at the referees discretion)
It was discussed that our goal is to be in Calgary and Quebec by 2017. This goal has many challenges and there was a discussion about what classes the expectations were to travel and what the different methods of logistics available. It was suggested to have an East/ West class for most of the amateur classes and have the Experts travel abroad with an expectation of the top 10 competitors. They mentioned that it would be beneficial to be a double header. Most riders were willing to travel to the Quebec/ Ottawa area.
The idea was to change the itinerary and make it similar to the Leamington race. Where most of the qualifying races take place before the actual ‘show’ or opening ceremonies (advertised start time).
This would run all practice and qualifying heats earlier in the day with the exception of Expert heats which would open the show.
Tighten time in between races… checkered flag lap with interview, while the next race stages its race.
No tolerance or waiting time for riders who aren’t staged and ready. A rider must have a team member tell us to wait to have the 2 minute rule apply.
We’re getting charities involved with the London event this year to help increase exposure for the sport. If the model seems to work, we will replicate it at each of the venues for 2016. Any suggestions for charities local to the communities of the venues…
Flat Track Canada has plenty of events planned and booked for increasing the promotion and exposure of the sport. Any help will be necessary and are always looking for volunteers.
450 vs. DTX class
A topic was brought up about replacing the DTX with just an open 450 displacement class, allowing ‘framers’ to be able to participate in the class. Currently there is an Open class and a DTX class, the point of having the DTX class is keep all of the bikes equal and in the same production category. All of the bikes and rules in this class are easily obtainable throughout the industry. For the most part these bikes are highly competitive amongst themselves and share an identity that is highly recognizable to the untrained eye. The DTX option is the most simple and easy solution to a start in flat track racing, and this must be influenced through all levels of classes. OEM’s typically have a hard time supporting something they aren’t familiar with or if they feel it could be unfair. In this case the DTX class is a fair playing field for all levels and the products are identifiably production based. Therefore we’ve chose to continue with the ‘Production Class’ and the ‘Open Class’ for 2015.