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WMRRA Airfence Fund

Racing Association To Purchase Protection for Raceway Corners

The Washington Motorcycle Road Racing Association is purchasing 350 feet of Air Fence to protect its riders in 3 different corners at the newly renamed Pacific Raceways (formerly Seattle International Raceways), and 1 corner at Spokane Raceway Park. Air Fence and similar products have proven very effective in preventing injury or worse, in tracks around the US with safety issues similar to those faced by WMRRA at Pacific Raceways and Spokane Raceway Park.

In 2002, WMRRA will be hosting 7 race weekends at Pacific Raceways, and 2 at Spokane Raceway Park. Pacific Raceways has 3 major areas of concern that can and should be addressed with this equipment. Spokane has 1 area of immediate danger that can and must be addressed with Air Fence.

Air Fence is designed to absorb impact. The corners posing the greatest problem with impact at PR are turns 5, 7 and 8. At Spokane, the area of concern is Turn 11.

PR's turn 5 is a 4th gear left hander at the end of the back straight. Until recently, turn 5 had ample run off, but a wall has been recently erected directly in the middle of the crash zone. The purpose of the wall is to protect car racers from dropping off of the large cliff just behind the wall. However this wall now poses a significant threat to motorcycle racers, as it has essentially removed all run off for a racer losing control in the braking or turn in zone.

WMRRA plans to use 125 feet of Air Fence II s to protect racers from this wall. This fence will be delivered in time for use at the season opener on April 14th. Racing at PR without Air Fence on this wall is not considered an option. In addition, the Air Fence II s being purchased for Turn 5 can be used in Turn 11 at Spokane Raceway Park.

PR Turn 7

Turn 7 is a classic "highside" corner. It is the entrance to the crucial hill climb up to turn 8, and the drive out of turn 7 is very important. Many crashes occur on the exit due to losing traction at the rear wheel. An embankment very close to the track means little runoff and high impact. Over the years, there have been several injuries in this corner, including 2 injuries that required ambulance transport in 2001.

Starting at our June date, this corner will be protected by 100 ft of Air Fence Bike. 

PR Turn 8

Turn 8 is a very high speed 5th gear corner that is taken at full throttle and full lean angle. The problem with turn 8 is that there is a hard embankment with fencing on the top! In addition to this, on the other side of the embankment is a steep drop off. On multiple occasions, bikes and riders have literally "launched" themselves off this embankment and down the hill on the other side. The force of impact on the haybales and tire wall is usually quite high. In the last 2 seasons, 5 riders have had injuries serious enough to warrant ambulance transport from crashing in this corner. 

For years, WMRRA has dealt with turn 8 by putting multiple layers of hay bails in front of the tire wall that abuts the banking.

Options for the racetrack to improve this situation are very limited, as the track does not own the property on the other side of the fence.

Until the new wall was built in 5, Turn 8 was considered the priority for Air Fence, and is still considered to be of very high importance.

Starting at our June date, the exit/crash zone of Turn 8 will be protected with 125 feet of Air Fence Bike.

The WMRRA Air Fence Fund

The total cost for this air fence will be approximately $30,000. The track management has agreed that it is in everyone's best interest to purchase this fencing and has agreed to contribute a significant portion of the cost of the equipment. They have also agreed to be responsible for the set up and storage of the Air Fence. The benefit of this is that it will allow at least some of this fence to be used to protect riders during the myriad of non racing track days that PR is hosting this summer.

However, the rest of the funding has to be supplied by WMRRA, as well as the cost of maintenance and repair. The WMRRA Air Fence Fund has set a goal of raising $25,000 towards this. Should it become an issue, any money raised in excess of $25,000 in 2002 will be donated to the Roadracing World Air Fence Fund

The good news is that since an announcement went out to WMRRA members in email on Friday, March 15th response has been overwhelming! The WMRRA Air Fence Fund has already received pledges in excess of $10,000! This will almost cover the first purchase of fence to cover Turn 5 and we will have it for our first race weekend. This fence has been ordered.

The bad news is that WMRRA still needs to raise $15,000 more for the second purchase by June. 

To pledge to the WMRRA Air Fence Fund, or if there are questions contact:

Briggs Willoughby
Email: kneepuck@hotmail.com
Phone: (425)254-0141

Donations can be sent by check (made out to WMRRA) and mailed to:

WMRRA Air Fence Fund
c/o Briggs Willoughby
12044 SE 76th ST.
Newcastle, WA 98056

100% of the proceeds of donations to the WMRRA Air Fence Fund will be used to purchase and maintain Air Fence.

All contributors to the WMRRA Air Fence Fund will receive acknowledgement on the WMRRA web site, in the WMRRA APEX newsletter, in WMRRA race day programs throughout the season, and in the clubs press releases.

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