As we in Ontario get ready for the gate to finally drop on the 2021 AMO race season, everyone is excited and Gopher Dunes is ready to host this opening race. Like last year it has been a long wait for riders and their families as once again Covid-19 restrictions have made not just racing, but doing anything very difficult. However, the moment has finally arrived and it’s time to go racing! Ryan Gauld is the man behind AMO Racing and he’s been working hard to ensure that the AMO Racing OPC Series is the best it can be for 2021. As you can imagine Ryan (or Gauldy as he knows to everyone) is a very busy man this week but we managed to pin him down and have him answer these five questions. Good luck to everyone this weekend at Gopher Dunes, we hope all of the riders have a safe and successful opening round.
MXP: Gauldy! We’re on the eve of the start of another great race season in Ontario. What are your expectations heading into this weekend at Gopher Dunes?
RG: Craziness!! The first race is always nuts for so many reasons. AMO, my staff/team, we’re ready and organized. The new LIVElaps system is good. We had a small glitch but (Predi@livelaps.com) is an absolute beauty and getting everyone dialed. Then as I type this I get a call from Diggs about some serious rules we all must follow. So it’s wild stuff!!
Just in as of June 9, 2021, at 10:30 am:
Ontario Regulation 82/20 (updated to June 7th)
Schedule 7 (Businesses that may open at Step 1)
Section 47 (Recreation)
47. Outdoor horse racing tracks, car racing tracks, and other similar venues may open for training and races if they comply with the following conditions:
1. No members of the public are permitted at the venue.
2. Only persons who are essential to the training, race, or operation of the venue are permitted to be on the premises of the venue.
What this means is we all need to bring just our essential racing family. No extra vehicles at all. And all of the rules we had last year will be enforced even harder. I’ve had a few people reach out about extra vehicles. We were going to allow for certain reasons but they will not be allowed now. As much as we all want this pandemic to end, it is still here in some capacity and if we all wish to race then we have to follow the rules.
MXP: Ironically, this about the time that AMO went racing in 2020. First off, it’s mind-boggling to think that we’re still dealing with this Pandemic on so many levels. But from your perspective, was trying to get racing going, even more, frustrating this year than it was last year?
Yes, it has been a little more challenging this year. More from the angle of less communicative in 2021. Last year I phoned, emailed, and always received answers or callbacks. This year, not so much. Very cold shoulder at times. But eventually, we got the word and here we are again. Like you said, almost the same time as last year and that’s exciting.
MXP: The 2021 AMO Racing OPC Series will visit the usual great tracks in 2021. All of these tracks have made some big improvements during the past two months. I know you and the track owners are constantly talking and trying to make racing better in Ontario. How important are these relationships for not just AMO, but all Ontario riders?
It’s more important than my marriage at times (laughs). I’m kidding obviously, but without this relationship with our facility tracks, we wouldn’t be racing. Derek and Kerri at Gopher Dunes, Mel and Brett at Walton, Zeb and Davin at Motopark, and Kevin at SDL, are all in this sport for the right reasons. My relationship with these fine people is all different but at the end of the day, we all have the same goal. To bring the sport to everyone possible and enjoy it as much as possible. We are a big family. At times we argue, at times we hug (not me, I’m not a hugger, that’s Derek, Kevin and Brett), but we make it work and that benefits every rider and racer in Ontario.
MXP: This year is a little different as AMO is running all of the Regional racing in Ontario. Are you happy with how your membership base is and how excited are you for the future?
Our membership just hit 750 people! I’m extremely excited about that and I thank everyone for supporting AMO. I’m also excited about the product AMO delivers. We try to keep improving things each year and we keep trying to bring the best product possible to our members. I’m also scared I can’t reach every person in the way they need. Our community is awesome but it demands constant communication and info within their groups to feel secure. I try my ass off to do that but with the growth sometimes I feel it’s not enough. But I won’t stop because I see so many new folks joining and that keeps the blood flowing. Some people will see these numbers and just see cash flow. Like everyone did when CMRC was big. That is inevitable from parts of our community. For me, of course, I want to make money, but honestly, the most satisfying part of this is seeing people enjoy moto and seeing what it does for their little racer as they grow and get into the real world. The amount of confidence and self-respect this sport builds is better than any school out there. Money is great, I don’t knock someone for making a buck, but if they deliver a solid product and also back it up with good communication, then that’s top shelf in my opinion. This is what I’m trying to do.
MXP: Okay, this weekend is going to be a busy one at Gopher Dunes. What can people expect as far as what might be new for 2021, and also, what suggestions do you have for riders and families to ensure the weekend runs as smoothly as possible?
2.Small track races Saturday and normal race day Sunday. This is new for 2021 and will work well in my opinion for the parents and kids racing in the specific classes.
3.Have fun, no stress, lets the kids be kids, let the Vet riders sweat, and everyone please come and soak it all in!!