Apr 8, 2002
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<BR>Copyright 2002, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc.<BR><BR>By David Swarts<BR><BR>The Central Motorcycle Roadracing Association (CMRA) and RPM Racing, two competing motorcycle road racing clubs based in Texas, worked together recently in the interest of rider safety. When shipment of two sections of Alpina Air Module, (slated for use at the April 5-7 RPM/WERA National event at No Problem Raceway in Belle Rose, Louisiana), was delayed, Brooks Gremmels and the rest of the CMRA Board of Director agreed to loan two of the CMRA's Alpina Air Modules to RPM/WERA.<BR><BR>Many racers in the area compete with both CMRA and RPM.<BR><BR>"I think it was a great thing," said RPM owner Alan Blair on Monday. "Having raced at NPR before, there had been some racers that had brought up the issue of the entrance of the straightaway from turn 14 and were concerned it would be a hot spot for accidents. There's been one or two little incidents there, but no one's been hurt. We felt even though there hadn't been a serious safety issue there, we wanted to do something about it before there possibly was. Of course, I called John Ulrich up and asked him about buying some Air Fence. He worked with me on ordering some Air Fence and had hoped that we would get it in time. Of course, that didn't happen."<BR><BR>Once Ulrich found out that the shipment was delayed and would not arrive from Austria in time, he contacted Gremmels and asked him to arrange the loan, personally guaranteeing that any damage to the loaned modules would be covered.<BR><BR>The $4500 cost of the ordered modules was split three ways between RPM, WERA and the Roadracingworld.com Action Fund, a new non-profit corporation which has taken over the work of what was previously known as the Roadracing World Air Fence Fund.<BR><BR><BR>"I think the gesture on Brooks Gremmels' behalf of lending us the Air Fence was a great thing," continued Blair. "It's nice to see that we can all set aside our competitiveness some times and work with each other to make the track safe for all the (racers).<BR><BR>"The interesting thing is, we set the Air Fence up right there, and I think that was probably the one spot on the track where there were more accidents this weekend than (anywhere). But I don't think anyone hit the Air Fence. I'm pretty sure of that, as a matter of fact. It's nice to have had it there, and, like I said, there were some close calls. It was nice to have it there, especially with the (WERA) National where the pace of things are upped a notch."<BR><BR>Blair said that the sections of Alpina Air Module that are on order for No Problem Raceway will only be used at that track since RPM's two other venues, Texas World Speedway and Hallet Motor Racing Circuit, are already protected by safety barriers supplied by the Roadracingworld.com Action Fund and do not require such safety devices, respectively. RPM also hopes to add additional sections of safety barriers in front of a wall outside NPR's turn nine in the future. <BR><BR>Blair added that the air barriers at NPR would also be used during RPM's monthly open track days and rider schools. <BR><BR>*Air Fence is a trademark of Air Fence Safety Systems of Australia.