Business Reviews

Barber Motorsports Park – Birmingham, Alabama

Written by  May 31, 2005

Do you have a need for speed? Well Barber Motorsports Park was built to satisfy that need! You could sit back on your couch at home and watch the super bikes race on the Speed Channel, or you can ride to the Barber Motorsports Track in Birmingham, Alabama and experience the adrenalin rush for yourself—up close and European-style!

We were fortunate enough to be there for the very first race weekend, and fortunate enough to have been granted access to the most recent AMA Super Bike Classic, including the paddock area. This event drew more than 48,000 spectators in the spring of 2004, and is televised live on the Speed Channel. I believe this weekend brought in around 60,000 spectators.

We went on Sunday, April 24, which was the last day of a full weekend of racing, and the day of the big race. It was kinda cold that day, but we rode anyway. So did thousands of others, it seemed! This town and the surrounding area were filled with visitors from all over—most of them on motorcycles.

We saw tags from Michigan, New York, Ohio, plus all of the surrounding states. This has got to be one of the most beautiful tracks in the world, and we've heard that a lot of the racers have commented on it as well.

We didn't get to the paddock area the first time we were there, so this was a real treat to be so close to the race teams, the racers and their bikes. Leigh has a couple of friends who work with the Corona Race Team, so that was the first place we visited. As it turned out, they weren't working that race, but right across from their team was the Jordan Motorsports team—Michael Jordan's race team. They had around nine bikes in their stable.

In that morning's practice, one of his riders, Jason Pridmore, crashed and had to be taken by ambulance to UAB Hospital where he under went emergency surgery for a ruptured spleen, which he had removed, and a lacerated liver. Michael himself was in town for the weekend to support his team, and every time he stepped out, a crowd would quickly form. At one point, we were walking around taking some photos and checking out some of the cool bikes, and as we walked up to the Jordan tent to get some photos of his bikes, I saw Michael step into the tent area, and was all of a sudden surrounded by people. I managed to get a couple of photos, then got the attention of one of his guys. I handed him a Cycle Connections card and asked if he would give it to Michael. We just wanted to introduce him to the magazine and maybe get a really good picture, but he was less then cooperative.

There were three races that day, which were very exciting to watch. The results of Sunday's big race were as follows:

First Place - Mat Mladin, on a Suzuki GSX-R 1000 at 95.2 mph.

Second Place - Neil Hodgson, on a Ducati 999 R.

Third Place - Ben Spies, on a Suzuki GSX-R 1000.

Fourth Place - Miguel Duhumel, on a Honda CBR 1000 RR.

Saturday's race included, Mat Mladin, Aaron Yates and Ben Spies. It seemed that Mat Mladin was out to show everyone how it's done, and way to go, Ben Spies! We got to meet Ben before the race, and he seemed like a really nice guy. Sarah Hood and the folks at Barber Motorsports were nice enough to invite us back for their next big Super Bike Race, so we plan on bringing you a more in-depth story on the track, as well as their onsite museum. You’re gonna want to get there and check it out!

On July 29-31, they are hosting the Grand American Rolex Sport Car Series featuring Daytona Prototypes, Porsche, Ferrari, Corvettes, and will also partner NASCAR drivers with some of the Rolex drivers. This event will be televised on Speed, so don't miss it!.

August 12-14 is the Championship Cup Series (CCS) Motorcycle Racing, and September 23-25 is the WERA NTL Challenge/Endurance Series, and October 21-23 is the AHLMA American Historic Racing Motorcycle Association.

Write on & Ride on!

Story and photos by Lynn Reynolds and
Leigh Lilly


More Events