Air Fence Is In Place At Loudon, And Race Will Go On Rain Or Shine, Wood Says

Air Fence Is In Place At Loudon, And Race Will Go On Rain Or Shine, Wood Says

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According to New Hampshire International Speedway Safety Director Jerry Wood, 35 pieces of Air Fence/ Alpina Air Module were installed at the track Wednesday, June 13.

“I went around with Hugh Fleming this morning and suggested the places that I thought it would best put, and that’s where they put it,” said Wood in a June 13 telephone call. “Then if Ron Barrick gets here and wants something moved around, we have an extra 400 haybales as well as that stuff. So we’ll be able to adjust it and make everybody happy. We sure do have a lot of Air Fence now.”

The new Air Fence sections are in addition to several permanent sections of Air Fence Bike barriers already purchased by the Speedway for use in Loudon club races. “The track bought a whole ton of the Air Fence Bike product, which is not portable. It lays in place,” said Wood. “It has proven to be really, really effective. You can absolutely drill that stuff, and you not only save the rider, but you save the bike. What normally happens is you pull the bike out of it and ride it off.”

When asked where the inflatable barriers are, Wood said, “There’s a bunch of it in turn two and a little in turn three. There’s a bunch in turn six. We have a high impact area there. Six is the big bowl turn at the bottom of the hill. There’s a place there if you might lose the front end. You’re going pretty fast there. We have a gravel trap, then we have the Air Fence Bike product behind the gravel trap, then we have the soft tire barriers behind that. The inside of the turn eight/nine combination, we’ve got it in there. Then going down the hill to turn 10, off to rider’s right, it’s all across there.

“I’m hoping that the AMA riders will feel more secure here,” said Wood, the father of two professional racers. “But of course, it’s a fact that we have not had any wall-related injuries since we re-designed the race track, not at a pro race or our club races. We just ran 1200 entries this last weekend. We have huge races. We have a money race, and the guys at the front of that were turning 1:12s, which is just a couple of seconds off the Superbike times at Loudon. We have a real good safety record. I’m real happy with it. That’s without the extra Air Fence. So with the extra Air Fence, we should be looking really good.”

When it starts raining at a racetrack, like it did at Road America, everyone starts thinking more about safety. In the past, AMA Pro racers have had strong reservations about racing in the rain at Loudon. “Gary Medley (Doug Chandler’s Kawasaki Crew Chief) told me that they had an AMA meeting at the last race, and that they were told that they were going to run here whether it rained or not,” disclosed Wood. “We also resurfaced the whole track with an abrasive compound. So we don’t have any slippery spots any more. There are no slippery patches. There’s a constant traction surface throughout the whole track.”

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