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Dec 7, 2011

FIRST PERSON/OPINION: New Concrete Curbs At VIR Increase Injury Potential For Motorcycle Riders

Vertical edge at the rear of new curbing at VIR increases the risk that a crashed, sliding rider will be injured.
FIRST PERSON/OPINION

Via e-mail:

I have been made aware that additional curbing is being installed at
multiple corners at Virginia International Raceway. The photos that I
received from a driver friend show me a curbing design that appears to
me to be particularly unfriendly to motorcycles, and more importantly,
riders. The large steps within the curbing contain a series of sharp
edges that could tear up machinery and protective clothing. The
outside frame looks like a small wall simply designed to cause
unnecessary damage to anything or anyone that makes contact.

The photos show the Turn 5 / Turn 6 area on the North Course:

My understanding is that this style of curbing is to be installed at a
large number of corners. I do not know why this design was chosen.
However, at my current level of understanding with the design, that
is, motorcycle and rider unfriendly, my riding days at VIR may be
over.

Possibly someone could explain the functional properties of this
curbing design that I am not aware of at this time. I would love to
understand how the mini-wall on the outside of a sharp-edged gator
claw is to my advantage. I could be missing something.

My thought is that you might be able to garner information and / or
insight on this project at VIR.

Jim Bonner
Coopersburg, Pennsylvania