Oct 21, 2001
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Copyright 2001, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc.<BR><BR>Alpina Air Fence sections in place at Daytona International Speedway--thanks to the Roadracing World Air Fence Fund and Parts Unlimited--have proved valuable in at least eight crashes during the F-USA/CCS Race of Champions as of Sunday morning.<BR><BR>A full 18, 28-foot sections of Alpina Air Module inflatable air barriers are in place around Daytona's 3.56-mile round course, with two held in reserve. Alpina modules are in place in turn one, going into turn six, on the speedway wall at the exit of turn six leading from the infield to the speedway banking, on riders' left in the chicane where AMA Pro Thunder racer Dirk Piz was killed in March 2001 and additional sections against the speedway wall at the exit of the chicane. <BR><BR>Although a few air barriers have been used at Daytona in the past for AMA Superbike races, CCS and Formula USA racers have never had the luxury of the devices. The sections of Alpina module in place against the speedway walls exiting turn six and the chicane protect riders from sections of walls that were previously not protected by any form of impact-attenuating device, including haybales. The Alpina Air Modules have proved particularly effective in those areas.<BR><BR>Friday, October 19 during the wet Middleweight Supersport Amateur race, Florida rider Santiago Sierra highsided over a slick patch at the exit of the chicane. Formula USA National Safety Director Roger Lyle was an eyewitness to the crash and said, "He got launched pretty good, probably 10 feet in the air, and went flipping. His helmet came off during the flipping, and he landed right in the Air Fence."<BR><BR>Sierra was conscious and coherent at the scene and rode in an ambulance to the infield care center before refusing treatment and walking back to his pits.<BR><BR>According to safety logs checked by Lyle Sunday morning, the 18 sections of Alpina Air Module deployed at Daytona had been hit eight times with all of the riders suffering only minor injuries.<BR>