BARSTOW • The City Council approved a fee waiver request Monday night for the Viewfinders Motorcycle Club to host a motorcycle racing event in Barstow in October.
VFMC requested that the $7,500 fee to use Robert A. Sessions Park for three days in October be waived, which will assist the effort to put on a financially viable event.
The American Motorcyclist Association District 37 Big 6 Grand Prix Series is a circuit of eight rounds of grand-prix off road racing. The eight-race set takes place at various locations throughout California and Nevada, and for the past 11 years, VFMC has hosted Round 6 of the series in Ridgecrest.
For the 2014 season, Round 6 is coming to Barstow. The competition "is a unique mix of off-road, motocross, and some obstacles mixed in, to make the course unique to the venue and terrain," according to a presentation by VFMC member Donn Nay.
The proposed fee waiver passed by a 4-1 vote, with councilwoman Carmen Hernandez voting against it.
"My concern at the Sports Park is you're so close to residential homes, and they're not having an input into this," Hernandez said. "And I know how crazy my neighbors get when we have just one child up the block that illegally rides behind ours, and I get complaints. That's one of my biggest concerns, is residents around the area, and the noise factor."
Nay said all vehicles in the event will be inspected for noise output.
"We sound-check all the motorcycles," Nay said. "They are held to a standard of 96 decibels for modern motorcycles, 98 for the vintage motorcycles, of which we have very few. They are all sound tested, that's one of our requirements. We self-police that; we've been doing it for years."
VFMC expects the event to draw approximately 1,200 racers to the community, along with fans, friends and family.
"With 1,200 racers, and family and friends, and supports crews, I would think that the economic benefit to the community would far outweigh the $7,500 fee that we're waiving," councilman Richard Harpole said. "Bringing more events like this to Barstow will help turn Barstow from a stop to a destination."