Team MMCR/GPF - AMA National Arenacross Efforts Start at Georgia Practice Facility

 
 
In 2009 team rider Tyler Madalia won the Lites West.
In 2009 team rider Tyler Madalia won the Lites West.
When we contacted Ray Woods about his Georgia Practice Facility (GPF) and his newly formed AMA National Arenacross team he replied, "I will try and keep it as brief as possible but I gotta warn ya, I have put a lot of years in making GPF what it is, and sometimes I tend to ramble on about our efforts." Ramble on we said, GPF is a brilliant idea, and the only way it could get any better is if Ray had practice facilities accessible in other areas of the country as well.
Team MMCR/GPF riders A.J. Catanzaro and Dano Aulseybrook won both Lites West and Lites East Championships.
Team MMCR/GPF riders A.J. Catanzaro and Dano Aulseybrook won both Lites West and Lites East Championships.


GPF is a seasonal training facility for aspiring amateur and pro motocross, Supercross and Arenacross athletes. Since their opening in 2000 GPF has gone through many changes and expansions, but the goal has remained the same - to provide riders and their families with a quality place to train and ride that will offer them the same opportunities as a factory sponsored rider. The limited membership facility is located just 30 miles north of Tallahassee, Florida, in Cairo, Georgia.

"In 2000 my son Josh Woods was 17-years-old and an aspiring pro rider getting help from Kawasaki Team Green. He and I had already been traveling to Florida and Southern Georgia for a few years during the winter months (our home state is Michigan) to keep Josh riding and training in the better weather. The reason we chose Cairo, Georgia, was mostly about the climate. You could ride year around and we were well accepted in the community. It also helped that many other riders were gravitating to the area, Ricky Carmichael already lived within 10 miles of GPF, and Davy Millsaps was next door. Ezra Lusk, Chad Reed, and James Stewart all rode and trained in Florida and Southern Georgia."
Making the K&N connection for the Team MMCR/GPF bikes was a no-brainer according to Ray Woods.
Making the K&N connection for the Team MMCR/GPF bikes was a no-brainer according to Ray Woods.


As in any new endeavor the first few years were tough going. Josh was in high school and weekends consisted of endless hours of driving to get him back to school by Monday after his training sessions.
The Georgia Practice Facility is a brilliant concept, and one of the few ways to improve on it would be to franchise it nationwide, so even more riders might reap the benefits.
The Georgia Practice Facility is a brilliant concept, and one of the few ways to improve on it would be to franchise it nationwide, so even more riders might reap the benefits.


"A friend of mine who also had a son that raced mentioned that we should look into purchasing a piece of property in the area we had been going to and make our own practice track, said Ray. "And from that Michigan Motocross, later changed to GPF was born."

Josh went on to win two amateur National Titles and he finished in the top-ten at Loretta Lynn's venue for several years. After high school Josh turned pro and held national numbers for six consecutive years.

"All during this time we continued to develop GPF into a premium training facility for up and coming riders and their families. We wanted to supply them with a place that they could ride and train throughout the winter months in an atmosphere that allowed them to reach their potential. We were also thinking about a future for Josh that allowed him to stay involved with a sport that he loved by training young riders."

Now in their eleventh year Ray feels that they have the complete package, with 32 full hook -up campsites, three rental homes, a national caliber motocross track, a full blown Supercross and two National caliber Arenacross Tracks, and a complete fitness Center.
K&N Banners are positioned around the Georgia Practice Facility MX Track
K&N Banners are positioned around the Georgia Practice Facility MX Track


"We have also, have a basketball court, sand volley ball, a paint ball course , and our recreation center is equipped with a pool table, ping-pong, a big screen TV on the upper level, and a large room with fitness equipment on the lower level," adds Ray.
Georgia Practice Facility MX Track
Georgia Practice Facility MX Track


Many of the members have been at GPF for several years, which is how the concept for their National Arenacross team came about.

"We wanted to help our younger riders coming out of the amateur ranks to gain the confidence they needed to go to into Supercross. We have always felt that Arena Cross is a great stepping stone for that too," explains Ray. "We started four years ago with Travis Sewell who was named AMA Arenacross Rookie of the Year. 2008 was all about 17-year-old Shane Sewell winning AX LITES North. Then in 2009 Tyler Madalia won the Lites West. Last year we followed that up with team riders A.J. Catanzaro and Dano Aulseybrook winning both Lites West and Lites East Championships."

"This year is a bit different for us, in that Feld Motorsports decided to not allow televised coverage for the Lites class, so we decided to join forces with another aspiring team and formed Team MMCR/GPF to race the Premier AX class on 450 cc bikes. Although it has been a challenge for us being the new kids on the block, just like when GPF originally formed, we will continue to improve, and with the help of great companies like K&N, we will gain the experience necessary to get to the top level of that class."
MX Track at the Georgia Practice Facility
MX Track at the Georgia Practice Facility


Ray says he's also experienced a swing towards more women becoming involved in motocross and wanting to train at his facility recently.

"Over the years we have had the pleasure of having several top level women athletes ride at GPF, including current women's National Champion, Jessica Patterson," says Ray. For 2011, Ashley Foilek, the former women's National Champion, will also be riding at GPF preparing for the 2011 outdoor season."

"Our connection with K&N came about through our affiliation with Babbitt's Sports Center. Once we were introduced to K&N through Denny Bartz (Monster Energy AX Team), I used my experience in working for General Motors in the Experimental Engine Division to prove the gain we always suspected in performance. From there it was a no brainer, anytime you can get more horsepower with a bolt-on item, and prove it on a dyno, that's just plain and simple free horsepower."

"Our plans for the team for the remainder of the year are to gain as much experience as we can in the 450 AX Class, and to bring that to the table for 2012. Our goals for GPF will be to continue to give back to all of our members and guests and to help them achieve their goals, whether it is finishing up the Supercross season, or our amateurs preparing for the AMA National Championships at Loretta Lynns."

Find K&N products for your vehicle using the K&N application search then use the K&N dealer search to find a K&N dealer in your part of the world.



See What K&N Makes for Your Car! Get the K&N Newsletter! Visit K&N on HyperLink Facebook  or  HyperLink Twitter

Printer Image    Email This Story
 
Did you like this story? Select 1 to 5 stars to rate it.
 
K&N Engineering in Riverside California is the world's leading manufacturer of washable performance air filters and air intake systems. K&N invented the reusable high flow cotton air filter in 1969 and has been perfecting the technology ever since. K&N is a world class filtration company selling air filters, oil filters, and intakes in over 30 countries. K&N sells over 5,000 products designed for cars, trucks, motorcycles, engines, and industrial applications. From their Million Mile Warranty to their Consumer Protection Pledge, K&N stands behind their products and their consumers 100%. The distinctive K&N logo represents performance from one of the original performance companies. For more information, visit knfilters.com.

K&N News Home