Nov 25, 2001
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Copyright 2001, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc.<BR><BR>By David Swarts<BR><BR>The Central Motorcycle Roadracing Association (CMRA), the Southwest CCS affiliate, announced that the first stage of repaving Oak Hill Raceway in Henderson, Texas has been completed.<BR><BR>The track was originally built in 1975 by paving contractor and go-kart racer Jack Reed in 1975 for private use, but has been raced on by the CMRA (and before it became CMRA, by CRRC, Central Road Racing Club) for much of its 26-year history. A young Freddie Spencer raced at Oak Hill with CRRC in 1975.<BR><BR>The tight, twisting, 1.8-mile road course still incorporated sections of the original 26-year-old pavement in 2001.<BR><BR>Two years ago, CMRA officials started working to fund repaving of the track by collecting a tariff of $10 per racebike on race days, and local government and a go-kart association, SWRA (Southwest Roadracing Association) also contributed. But despite the efforts, the organization came up short of funds.<BR><BR>It looked like the CMRA would have to wait another year to begind repaving the track, until a CMRA member who asked to remain anonymous donated $10,000 to help complete the effort on schedule.<BR><BR>According to CMRA's Eric Kelcher, the track was slightly graded down, especially at its edges where portions of the pavement had eroded away or been covered by earth, and repaved from turn eight (the last corner) through turn two, a distance of approximately one-third of a mile. <BR><BR>The material used was the same as originally used to pave the track, a mix of Uvalde asphalt and aluminum slag. <BR><BR>Oak Hill Raceway will remain closed to let the new pavement cure for at least 60 days and is expected to re-open in time for the first CMRA event, a new riders school, in February 2002.<BR><BR>As a result of the track surface improvement, the CMRA has decided to close the small section of paddock that had been outside of turn one in anticipation of increased speeds out of the final turn and through the first corner. That area will serve as new run-off room for turn one, and CMRA will rent nearby pasture fields for extra parking space on race weekends.<BR><BR>The CMRA and its partners plan to repave another section of the track in 2003, from turn two through turn four.<BR><BR>In other CMRA news, Kelcher also said that he and Derek Heaton would be going to Salt Lake City, Utah in January 2002 to be trained by Alpina Safety Systems personnel in the installation and maintenance of Aplina Air Modules before returning to Texas with four sections of Alpina Air Modules for use by the CMRA. Kelcher said that the CMRA bought the Alpina sections in "used" condition at a considerable discount over new. The Alpina sections will be used in the School House Turn (turn seven) at Oak Hill, in turns one and two at Hallett Motor Racing Circuit in Hallett, Oklahoma and in turn 8A at Texas World Speedway (where several sections of Airfence Bike are also in use) during CMRA events. The CMRA also races at the Motorsport Ranch in Cresson, Texas but no safety barriers are needed at that course.