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Jun 28, 2002

Phil Sharpe Was The First Racer To Test New WMRRA Air Fence In Seattle

From a press release:<BR><BR>WMRRA Middleweight GP Twins racer Phil Sharpe became the first WMRRA racer to test out the new Air Fence* that WMRRA has purchased for Pacific Raceways in Kent, Wa.<BR> <BR>Sharpe crashed his SV650 and hit one of the brand new sections of Air Fence Bike in turn at at PR. Turn 8 is a bumpy left handed sweeper taken at over 100 mph. "At 100 mph, that Air Fence saved my ass!" Sharpe said of his experience. "I don't know what happened, I was outside my normal line and the next thing I know I was sliding. I'm sure glad it was there." Sharpe was uninjured in his crash.<BR> <BR>June 23 was the first weekend that Air Fence was deployed in turn 8. In the previous two race weekends, two almost identical accidents occured, both leading to injuries. On May 5th, Brandon Knowles broke his collarbone and ankle hitting haybales very close to the spot that Sharpe hit. On April 15th, Greg Zanghi crashed in the rain and recieved severe tissue damage along his spine and scapula after impacting a haybale. <BR> <BR>"I think this demonstrates the effectiveness of the Air Fence and that we made the right decision with this stuff," WMRRA President Barry Wressell said. "I think this a very positive step in making racing safer. We really owe a lot to everyone who has helped get us here. John Ulrich and the Action Fund, Luke Gaylor, Andy Coffey from Air Fence, Chris Denzler, and most of all the contributors<BR>to the WMRRA Air Fence Fund and the Action Fund."<BR><BR>Wressell added, "I would encourage other clubs to take a look at what's been done here. Our membership was very generous with donations to make racing safer, and I'm sure that's not unique to us."<BR> <BR>Sharpe was asked to autograph his divot on the section he hit. He also subsequently made a generous donation to the WMRRA Air Fence Fund.<BR> <BR>Donations to the WMRRA Air Fence Fund are being matched by an anonymous donor until the end of June.<BR> <BR>More information is available from Briggs Willoughby ( (425) 254-0141.<BR><BR>Donations can be sent to:<BR>WMRRA Air Fence Fund<BR>c/o Briggs Willoughby<BR>12044 SE 76th St.<BR>Newcastle, WA 98056<BR><BR>*Air Fence is a trademark of Air Fence Safety Systems