The 49th annual THOR Mini Os at Gatorback Cycle Park—beginning November 22—is creeping closer and closer. On Wednesday, we posted part one of the early history of the event (originally called the Florida Winter Nationals) and a list of riders to watch for at this year’s event as well. So here’s a quick look at the new track changes, schedule, format, awards, and—new this year!—an opportunity to earn Supercross Futures points at this year’s event.
The supercross and the motocross track at Gatorback Cycle Park have seen significant changes for the first time in quite a while. Both tracks have changes but we will highlight the changes to the motocross track. The moto track has three significant changes: the rollers in the back have been taken out, the split lane section has changed, and the big sweeper in the back section has changed. Also, the crew added a lot more sand mixed in throughout the entire track.
You can view a first-person view of the new motocross track courtesy of some guys you may have heard of before: Ronnie Renner and Tom Parsons. Check it out:
Or you can watch a few full laps with Greye Tate:
The week-long event consists of both supercross and motocross racing. This year’s event schedule will be as follows:
Tuesday— Supercross Racing
However, because of the large number of entries for the event, it is very likely there will be supercross heat races following practice on Sunday (Stay alert at the track for updates).
Note: Scheduled times are subject to change due to weather or other unforeseen circumstances.
RacerTV Broadcast Schedule
Monday, November 23| 8 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. // Mini O’s After Show
Tuesday, November 24 | 8 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. // Mini O’s After Show
Wednesday, November 25 | 8 a.m. – TBD
Thursday, November 26 | 8 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. // Mini O’s After Show
Friday, November 27 | 8 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. // Mini O’s After Show
Saturday, November 28 | 8 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Format and Awards
As Davey Coombs explained in his Mini O’s history piece earlier this week, the event first began as the Florida Winter Nationals in November 1972. Pat Ray ran North Florida Raceway and wanted to host an event that included three disciplines—flat track, hare scrambles, and motocross—over one weekend to crown the best all-around minicycle racers. The event then became known as the Mini Olympics (Mini O’s for short) as each year more and more big name riders came to Florida to contest the three disciplines. Eventually, the event turned into just supercross and motocross as it is today.
Nowadays, the format consists of a supercross overall winner, a motocross overall winner, and Olympiad Awards, which go to the best rider in both disciplines over the week. The supercross portion of the week will consist of heat races and LCQs that determine gate picks. Points are then awarded for rider finishes in the main event. The motocross racing is completed in typical fashion, where moto one results combine with moto two results for the overall. However, points are awarded on overall finish compared to individual moto finishes. In the occurrence of a tie, the tie breaker will be determined by the rider with the most wins, second, and third place finishes. There are several awards that are handed out throughout the week, including the Olympiad Awards, Pro Circuit Platinum Pipe Award, Scott Golden Goggle Award, Dunlop Silver Tire Award, Thor Bronze Boot Award, Nihilo Prodigy Award, VP Ironman Award, Diamond Award, and the Renthal Mechanic of the Year Award.
The following descriptions of the awards are from the Unlimited Sports MX website.
Awarded to the rider who accumulates the most points in the Supercross main and Motocross overall in each class.
Pro Circuit Platinum Pipe Award
Awarded to the rider who accumulates the highest number of points in the Supercross main and Motocross overall combined. Select classes apply.
Scott Golden Goggle Award
Awarded to the rider in the 250 and 450, B and C classes who accumulates the highest number of points in the Supercross main and Motocross overall combined.
Dunlop Silver Tire Award
Awarded to the rider in the Pro and A classes that accumulates the highest number of points in the Supercross main and Motocross overall combined.
THOR Bronze Boot Award
Awarded to the rider in the 65cc, 85cc, Mini Sr., Supermini and Schoolboy classes that accumulates the highest number of points in the Supercross main and Motocross overall combined.
Nihilo Prodigy Award
Awarded to the 50cc rider in all 50 classes that accumulates the highest number of points, combined in both Supercross and Motocross
VP Ironman Award
Selected by an industry panel at race.
This award recognizes a rider who exemplifies late Jantz Grodzicki’s love and dedication to the motocross sport. This award will be presented to a “B” or “C” rider that creates a positive impact, is humble, acts as a role model for others and represents his or her sponsors well. The recipient of this award must ride both Supercross and Motocross. We are looking for that one-of-a-kind rider… the “Diamond in the Rough”!
Renthal Mechanic of the Year Award
This award honors the Mechanic who has made an outstanding contribution to his rider and/or team this year and has gone above and beyond the call of duty. The mechanic exemplifies their love and dedication to not only the rider he supports but to the motocross sport. The mechanic must be nominated by the rider or team in a written essay explaining what sets your mechanic apart from the rest. Essay must be turned in by Friday and the winner will be selected by a selected industry panel.
Supercross Futures Points
With the news that Feld Entertainment had to cancel the 2020 Supercross Futures events because of COVID-19, the 2020 Mini Os event will be one of the major amateur events over the next year that will count towards riders earning points for their pro supercross licenses.
The following information on the 2020 Supercross Futures of the awards are from the Unlimited Sports MX website.
Road to Supercross and Pro Am Points
250 and 450 Pro Sport classes in Motocross and Supercross are eligible for Pro Am points
The American Motorcyclist Association released a competition bulletin announcing the 2020 Thor Mini O’s as a Road to Supercross point providing event due to the cancellation of the remainder of the 2020 Supercross Futures season. The following classes at the 2020 Thor Mini O’s will provide points for the Road to Supercross:
Top 20 overall riders in the 250cc A and 250cc Pro Sport Supercross classes will earn 2 points towards Supercross Futures.
For more information on the 2020 Mini O’s event, visit the Unlimited Sports MX website.
Main Image: Nick Romano at the 2019 Mini O's, photo by Christian Munoz.