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Apr 25, 2015

Roadracing World Action Fund Organizes Record Soft Barrier Deployment At Road Atlanta

Chris Ulrich (18) gives a radio personality a ride on his two-seat GEICO Suzuki GSX-R1000 Superbike with multiple sections of inflatable and non-inflatable soft barriers deployed in the background at Road Atlanta. Photo by David Swarts, copyright Roadracing World Publishing, Inc.

By David Swarts

The Roadracing World Action Fund (RWAF) organized a record soft-barrier deployment for the MotoAmerica AMA/FIM North American Road Racing event held April 17-19 at Road Atlanta.

RWAF representatives, AMA/FIM North America officials, ASRA/CCS and AMA Pro Racing/Daytona Motorsports Group workers and N2 Track Days volunteers deployed a total of 89 inflatable soft barriers before the start of the event. That’s up from the 76 inflatable soft barriers that were deployed for the last AMA Pro event at Road Atlanta, which was a record for the event at that time.

In addition to the 89 inflatable soft barriers, another 85 shorter, non-inflatable soft barriers were deployed at the event. The deployment totaled about 2824 linear feet (over half a mile), of impact-absorbing soft barriers covering concrete walls, tire walls and steel barriers.

“I was not aware it was a record-setting Airfence deployment,” said MotoAmerica COO/KRAVE Partner Chuck Aksland. “We were aware that the number used in the past previously was high. [Roadracing World Action Fund Founder] John Ulrich worked with DMG to bring all the Airfence that was available from their respective sources, and since it was on hand it was better to use it rather than have it sit in the trailer. We also brought in haybales to add extra protection along with the doghouses (non-inflatable Airfence sections) that the track had onsite.

“I think all in all the input of [MotoAmerica Rider Representative] Doug Chandler and Wayne [Rainey, MotoAmerica President/KRAVE Partner] went a long way in getting the protection placed in the right spots. Their suggestions, along with those of Walter Walker, Dan Argano, Bill Cumbow, Paul Butler, RWAF rep Chris Ulrich and the Airfence crew, ensured everything was covered. We took a few riders around before any on-track action started and generally they seemed happy with what we had done ahead of time.”

The Roadracing World Action Fund is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to advocating and facilitating the use of soft barriers to help reduce the number of rider injuries at motorcycle road races and flat track races. Since it was founded by John Ulrich in 2001, donors have contributed over $1.3 million to the Roadracing World Action Fund. To donate or get more information about the Roadracing World Action Fund, go to