American Flat Track has announced the 2020 Daytona TT and Daytona 200 road race will be held on the same day - Saturday 14 March.
Ago, Saarinen, Schwantz, Lawson, Rainey, Mann, Roberts, Romero, Nixon, Spencer, Hayden, Russell, Duhamel... The winner's list is a who's who, or was until superbikes were banned at the end of 2004. The Daytona 200 used to be one of the most prestigious races in the world, but its status has waned in the last 20 years. It wasn't unusual for high profile World Superbike racers, like Fogarty and, of course, Scott Russell, to race the AMA Superbike season opener as a one-off, but safety concerns have forced major changes on the race. It's now 62 miles, not 200. Chicanes have been added. Bikes have changed from superbikes to 600s (though the modern 600s are probably as quick as, if not quicker than, 1990s superbikes). The last Superbike race was 2004, won by the Aussie Mat Mladin. So it's hard to say if it's much of a draw, but clever ticket pricing might attract those on the fence to see to different races in the same long day and it is another example of AFT's innovative marketing to try grow the audience.
AFT's press release says...
Traditionally racing two days apart, the DAYTONA TT and DAYTONA 200, sanctioned by the American Motorcyclist Association and operated by the American Sportbike Racing Association (ASRA), will now run together on the second Saturday of the historic Daytona Bike Week festivities. Fans will be able to enjoy the 79th DAYTONA 200 during the day and stay into the evening to cheer on the athletes of American Flat Track at their season-opening DAYTONA TT.
'2020 is shaping up to be a breakout season for AFT,' said Michael Lock, CEO of American Flat Track. 'After incorporating the Start-Finish banking for the first time at the TT in 2019, we are further enhancing the track design to encourage even more passing into Turn 1 for our season opener in 2020. All this and now combining the historic DAYTONA 200 with the incredible action of the DAYTONA TT is sure to deliver a can’t-miss day of action for race fans.'
The 2019 running of the DAYTONA TT made history as AFT introduced a multi-surface racetrack by incorporating the front stretch of the historic Daytona International Speedway tri-oval into its purpose-built dirt TT course. 2020 will see this taken to the next level with further track enhancements.