AMA Pro Racing Addresses Daytona 200 Issues
Organizers admit failures occurred
The 2011 Daytona 200 featured some dramatic racing but it was marred by a lengthy red flag delay for a mandatory tire change as well as another red flag on the starting straight after race-winner Jason DiSalvo crossed the finish line.
Mandatory Tire Change
According to the statement, spec-tire provider Dunlop advised AMA Pro Racing about tire overheating issues and asked for a red flag so racers can swap their existing tires for fresh versions of the same tire. After racers entered the pits, Dunlop decided all riders should be fitted with an entirely different batch of front tires, in the interest of rider safety.
The switch in Dunlop’s directions led to some confusion which contributed to the delay. The lengthy two-hour delay for the tire change was also attributed to teams’ lack of extra front tires and extra rims, as well as the time required to warm the new tires to a safe enough level.
The lengthy delay also allowed DiSalvo and the Latus Racing team time to replace a damaged engine with a motor from a back-up machine.
AMA Pro Racing denied a rumor the delay was intentionally increased to allow the Latus team time to work. Providing fresh tires to all active racers was a priority, and the restart time was established based on the time required for LTD Racing’s Huntley Nash, the last rider to receive a new tire, time to warm up. AMA Pro Racing points out the long delay severely hurt Speed’s television coverage, and a shorter delay would have been better for maintaining a prime-time viewing audience.
Regarding the engine swap, AMA Pro Racing says it was performed with the full supervision of grid official Mike Lagenfeld. Team Latus asked Lagenfeld about the rules regarding an engine swap and Lagenfeld told them the rules permitted the team to continue provided it used the original frame.
Timing and Scoring
Official race timing and scoring were not up to AMA Pro Racing’s standards, the event promoter admits. Online scoring updates were not up to par and the at-track operations briefly provided an inaccurate finishing order.
The last-lap crashes by Dane Westby and Taylor Knapp added to the confusion. AMA Pro Racing explains the crash led to a red flag that was waved after the first five finishers had crossed the line. As a result, those five finishers had completed their final lap. All remaining riders however were relegated to their positions as of the previous lap. The only exceptions were to Westby and Knapp because their crashes led to the red flag.
AMA Pro Racing also announced it is penalizing one rider whose on-track actions were deemed unacceptably dangerous to other riders. The offending rider will not be identified until he receives official notification.