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Old 01-29-2021, 03:27 PM   #1
hitman5532
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What happen to AFM at Sonoma?

Hey y'all,

Haven't raced (or ridden) for 5 years, and hoping to get back into it. I just looked at AFM schedule and noticed no more racing at Sonoma! What happened? Is this just a COVID thing?
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Old 01-29-2021, 04:10 PM   #2
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I'm not entirely sure of the specific reasons, but last time I rode Sonoma it was straight up unsafe. The pavement is in horrible shape; the u-turn is so torn up it felt like my puck was going to get torn off.

As much as I used to love racing Sonoma, I'm glad it's not on the list this year.
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Old 02-01-2021, 10:30 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Joshman View Post
I'm not entirely sure of the specific reasons, but last time I rode Sonoma it was straight up unsafe. The pavement is in horrible shape; the u-turn is so torn up it felt like my puck was going to get torn off.

As much as I used to love racing Sonoma, I'm glad it's not on the list this year.
This


They also dicked around AFM last year.

Their management sucks.

Their security guards are people who can't get jobs in Vallejo.

Love the track, hope it improves
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Old 01-29-2021, 04:10 PM   #4
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I don't have anything concrete to add, but I've seen that many TD orgs are avoiding Sonoma due to the price and terrible condition of the pavement. Wouldn't be surprised if AFM made the same decision.
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Old 01-29-2021, 05:43 PM   #5
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Old 01-29-2021, 05:50 PM   #6
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Yup... got pay $$$ to play at the Point.
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Old 01-30-2021, 08:39 AM   #7
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Sears Point Sonoma makes 80% of their yearly operating budget on a single weekend...NASCAR!!! Everything else is just minor nuisance.

So they've been raising prices more and more to squeeze out less profitable weekends. Costs more now to rent Sears than Laguna. I'd much rather drive extra 1.5-hrs to Laguna than Sears. Much better track surface.
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Old 01-30-2021, 10:03 AM   #8
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Back when I was racing, ( and dinosaurs walked the earth) the only track we had was Sears Point. That was great for me since I had little budget for travel. I loved that place. Challenging but fun. I started when we were still using the old Turn 11 down by the wall. My last race there was 2007. It's sad to see that the owners don't seem to want to take care of the track or to have the AFM out there anymore.

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Old 02-01-2021, 06:31 AM   #9
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So sad. That was easily my favorite track. Sear's Point is a crucible for all those fast guys coming up from other tracks, who quickly discovered that a faster bike wasn't a match for great cornering and braking skills.
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Old 02-04-2021, 07:50 PM   #10
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That blows donkey balls. Having a two track race series is kinda "meh" and just asking to be a major factor in the demise of the club...
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Old 02-04-2021, 09:18 PM   #11
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AFM will survive.

I doubt any demise.

And to those that say it it unsafe now I laugh at you, I still feel you.

It was always was a casket course and is way safer now.

Turn 9 at a buck thirty with a wall 15’ off the track?
A fucking ditch on the exit of 3A and a wall just outside 4??

Same with 7 and at 110 mph T10.

Nascrap 11 was pretty safe back then compared to most of the track.

Great road course for learning cornering and race craft back in the day. Hope they live on for many decades to come.
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Old 02-05-2021, 12:56 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by budman View Post
AFM will survive.

I doubt any demise.

And to those that say it it unsafe now I laugh at you, I still feel you.

It was always was a casket course and is way safer now.

Turn 9 at a buck thirty with a wall 15’ off the track?
A fucking ditch on the exit of 3A and a wall just outside 4??

Same with 7 and at 110 mph T10.

Nascrap 11 was pretty safe back then compared to most of the track.

Great road course for learning cornering and race craft back in the day. Hope they live on for many decades to come.
I liked the bus stop a lot more before they changed it years back for the cars (world sport touring cup or something)
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Old 02-08-2021, 03:22 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by budman View Post
AFM will survive.

I doubt any demise.

And to those that say it it unsafe now I laugh at you, I still feel you.

It was always was a casket course and is way safer now.

Turn 9 at a buck thirty with a wall 15’ off the track?
A fucking ditch on the exit of 3A and a wall just outside 4??

Same with 7 and at 110 mph T10.

Nascrap 11 was pretty safe back then compared to most of the track.

Great road course for learning cornering and race craft back in the day. Hope they live on for many decades to come.
We used the old turn 11 and there wasn't a chicane before turn one. Woo-Hoo!
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Old 02-09-2021, 04:55 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by hitman5532 View Post
That blows donkey balls. Having a two track race series is kinda "meh" and just asking to be a major factor in the demise of the club...
What's up Dan! Most of the people here hit the right elements: too expensive, track surface is poor (poor enough that even car guys complain regularly), and our attendance has fallen enough to make all events there unprofitable. In 2019, Sonoma clawed back our 1 date (after having the other clawed back two years previous) and we didn't ask for the date the next season. Sonoma is a triple digit cost number; 40% more than Thill and 115% more than Buttonwillow. But, it's a great facility with a poor surface. We've been told for years, "we're gonna repave" and it never happens. It wasn't management's fault; corporate wouldn't allow it. In 2020, SMI in North Carolina fired the entire management staff and anyone we knew and had relationships with @ Sonoma. It was, to say the least, tragic. Those people were so good to us and the club. True rock stars. Now, they have a few on site errand takers, but the track is managed from 2500 miles away. I seriously doubt a repave is in the future now too given the cost of oil future escalating quickly causing asphalt prices to spike. I also have suspicions the reason for not repaving was always due to the questionable survivability of Sonoma Raceway in today's world (in CA) and their proximate location. I believe management may be reticent to invest several 7-figures of capital that may not have a quantifiable ROI. I have greater than not expectations that Sonoma is being put out to pasture by its owners. That land has a much higher value into developed build sites at this point.

BTW< Buttonwillow has a new tracking coming on line AND a new development just happened yesterday on my call with Barb: we have our Sonoma airfence available for use other places. We talked about moving it to Thill which may open up the door for running Thill backwards...no promises, but I think it's very possible with the use of our airfence.

Quote:
Originally Posted by budman View Post
AFM will survive.

I doubt any demise.

And to those that say it it unsafe now I laugh at you, I still feel you.

It was always was a casket course and is way safer now.

Turn 9 at a buck thirty with a wall 15’ off the track?
A fucking ditch on the exit of 3A and a wall just outside 4??
You guys were REAL men. So much so that being into aerobics AND Moto racing meant you were the ultimate in confidence and risk!

Quote:
Originally Posted by hitman5532 View Post
I liked the bus stop a lot more before they changed it years back for the cars (world sport touring cup or something)
They changed the course from the old T9 due to he crash of Jim Groshong in (I think) 04' or 05'. I was three bikes back from Jim when he hit the wall in T9 during our 1st or 2nd lap in one of the morning practices. T9 was pretty gnarly back then. If you got spit off or into the grass, it was deadly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chuckwarren View Post
We used the old turn 11 and there wasn't a chicane before turn one. Woo-Hoo!
T1 without the chicane was balls fun...up against the concrete with your left shoulder/ knee hoping you could get the drive on the guy ahead into T2. I lost the front at the apex of T1 during practice with those Michelins of the day on my Arclight Suzuki (wonder who built that bike...), Pete Doyle close behind me on his Arclight 1000 he bought from Stanton watched my bars turn left, smoke billowing off the tire while I was ham fisting things having no idea how bad it was until I hit the ground.

That bike was D-stroyed...but we rebuilt her with her builders help with some parts (Arclight again) and went on to some podiums-n-stuff. I think Siggy even borrowed it for the GNX. The Arclight guy...he built some great bikes. Excellent bikes, if I don't say so myself.
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Old 04-01-2021, 07:32 PM   #15
hitman5532
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What's up Dan!
Sup Berto!! Long time but finally going to ride again...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Holeshot View Post
Buttonwillow has a new tracking coming on line AND a new development just happened yesterday on my call with Barb: we have our Sonoma airfence available for use other places. We talked about moving it to Thill which may open up the door for running Thill backwards...no promises, but I think it's very possible with the use of our airfence.
Hopefully Bwillow finishes in time. That would be awesome to run thill backwards

Maybe even the 2 mile track with a few more laps is possible?

Basically, it simply sucks to see the club reducing down to two tracks. A true test of racer skill is the ability to adapt, not just putting on a thousand laps at the same place.
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