For the first time since 1953, the two major American OEMs – Indian and Harley-Davidson – will battle it out on a dirt track. The AMA Pro Flat Track race today at Sonoma County Fairgrounds is the scene for the face-off and make no mistake, it will be an historic moment. Racing fans know that this track has seen a few of those before and this running of the Ramspur Winery Santa Rosa Mile Pro GNC is one to watch.
To get the buzz going yesterday, Indian sent rider Joe Kopp around the smaller track at the Fairgrounds’ Chris Beck Arena on the new purpose-built FTR750, a bike debuted during the Sturgis Rally at the Sturgis Buffalo Chip. On hand then, as now, were two of Indian’s legendary Wrecking Crew factory race team, Bill Tuman and Bobby Hill.
It was clear from the first rooster tail of dirt that Kopp and the FTR750 meant business. What the “demo laps” demonstrated was a hot, capable contender of a bike and a rider equally race-prepped. And that’s to be expected. The bike features a high performance V-Twin powerplant hugged by an ultra-light steel frame and dressed in stunning carbon fibre bodywork. It’s a “clean sheet” design from Indian, poised to ramp up once again the infamous Harley and Indian Wars fought on race tracks across the country back in the day. If yesterday’ demo was any example, race fans are ready for the battles to begin.
Leading up to Sunday’s AMA Pro Flat Track GNC event, Indian sponsored the Pro/Am Hooligan and RSD SuperHooligan races on Saturday. In addition to the usual classes, a relay race was added that paired SuperHooligan racers and moto-journalists in fast flying antics.
To see today’s racing action, go to http://www.fanschoice.tv/