AMERICAN FINAL RETURNS TO USA CALENDAR
American riders have the chance to launch their quest for FIM Speedway Grand Prix stardom as the AMA/FIM North America Final returns.
08 / 11 / 2018, 14:52
American riders have the chance to launch their quest for FIM Speedway Grand Prix stardom as the AMA/FIM North America Final returns to the calendar at Perris, California on December 8.
The event was a highlight of the US speedway calendar for a quarter of a century, most notably during its run at the Long Beach Veterans Stadium.
Each year the cream of American-based speedway stars would race with the overseas-based US riders for limited spots in the World Championship qualifying rounds.
With the likes Max Ruml, Gino Manzares, Broc Nicol and Luke Becker joining four-time world champion Greg Hancock and Ricky Wells in Europe this year, the nation’s future on the world stage looks brighter than for some time.
And with more and more American riders fighting to make it to the sport’s summit, demand for SGP qualification spots is high in the States.
So Perris bosses are ready to offer the USA’s up-and-coming stars the chance to earn their right to mix it with the best in the world.
The Perris promotion team explained: “We have seen a huge growth to our program in the past 12 months. We've gone from strictly amateur off-season races into being a well-attended and well-paying prize money venue with a year-round schedule.
“The American Final has held our interest for a number of years. There are limited venues that can stage it as it really belongs on a European-sized track and in the off-season, so as not to disrupt the schedule of the riders racing professionally in Europe.
“We have coordinated with FIM North America boss Bill Cumbow, who has been a massive asset to American Speedway. The event will feature 16 riders over 20 heats and the top scorers will get preference to take the GP qualifier spots that are allocated to the USA.
“The race is not only about the spots available and not just for the European-based riders. It really is a coming together of the best riders in America for a major title regardless if they harbour Grand Prix ambitions.
“For the 16 riders in the field, it will be very cool to arrive at the track, knowing you are effectively in a World Championship qualification event.
“No rider in the field is obligated to take their place in the rounds in Europe if they qualify. Hypothetically, if a USA-based rider wins, they can go to Europe or give up the spot they earned to the next rider down. But the finishing order on the night will dictate qualification preference.”
The rider line up and qualification criteria for the 2018 American Final will be released soon.