MODIFICATIONS TO ADELAIDE PARKLANDS STREET CIRCUIT FOR 2009 CLIPSAL 500
The Confederation of Australian Motor Sport (CAMS) and the South Australian Motor Sport Board (SAMSB) have today announced changes to the Adelaide Parklands street circuit ahead of the 2009 Clipsal 500 in Adelaide, South Australia on 19-22 March next year.
The changes are as a result of the findings of a CAMS Panel of Inquiry and subsequent stakeholder consultation, with a revised corner configuration for the Turn 8 section of the circuit unveiled in Adelaide, South Australia today.
In March this year, CAMS announced that a Panel of Inquiry would examine the incident that occurred at Turn 8 during a Fujitsu V8 Supercar Series race at the 2008 Clipsal 500 event, which took the life of driver Ashley Cooper, an experienced competitor from Ulladulla, New South Wales.
Cooper, 27, passed away in the Royal Adelaide Hospital on 25 February 2008 and is survived by his wife Casey, his two children and parents Alan and Maree.
Following the completion of the investigation, the CAMS Panel of Inquiry delivered its recommendations to a group of key stakeholders, who then set about examining all feasible options for modifications to the Turn 8 section of the circuit.
The stakeholder consultation unanimously decided on the final option, revealed today, which was then accepted by the SAMSB, to be fully implemented for the 2009 event, during which further evaluation of the benefits of the design will be undertaken.
The stakeholder consultation included representatives from CAMS, V8 Supercars Australia, the SAMSB and its engineering contractor KBR, and senior V8 Supercar drivers.
CAMS Chief Executive Officer Graham Fountain and SAMSB Chief Executive Jason Allen announced the changes to the circuit in Adelaide today.
Graham Fountain: Chief Executive Officer - Confederation of Australian Motor Sport
"These modifications are in line with our commitment to constantly improve safety wherever possible in what is an inherently dangerous sport," said Fountain.
"This was an extensive process with exhaustive efforts from many stakeholders.
"Our thoughts are with the friends and family of Ashley Cooper."
Jason Allen: Chief Executive - South Australian Motor Sport Board
"Most importantly our thoughts continue to be with the family, friends and colleagues of Ashley Cooper," said Allen.
"Ashley will be honoured at next year's event via the Ashley Cooper Foundation and the SA Organ Donation Agency.
"The South Australian Motor Sport Board recognises the Confederation of Australian Motor Sport as the national sporting body responsible for the conduct of motor sport in Australia and for matters of safety and circuit licensing.
"As previously stated, the SAMSB will fully comply and implement the changes to the circuit as outlined by CAMS today."
THE CHANGES EXPLAINED:
There will be a realignment of the left-hand barrier on the outside of the Turn 8 section of the Adelaide Parklands street circuit.
The changes are designed to minimise the likelihood of a similar incident occurring, as well as minimising the consequences should a car make contact with the left-hand barrier.
A REDUCTION IN CAR SPEED AT TURN 8:
A decrease in the radius of the racing line through Turn 8, due to the realignment of the left-hand barrier, reduces the corner speed through Turn 8 by around 5-8 percent (reduced to about 189-195km/h in a V8 Supercar).
Due to the revised alignment of the left-hand barrier, the track width will be narrower, therefore decreasing the radius of the racing line through Turn 8 and resulting in the reduced speed.
MINIMISING THE EFFECT OF A CAR MAKING CONTACT WITH THE LEFT-HAND BARRIER AT TURN 8:
The realignment of the left-hand barrier at Turn 8 has resulted in a reduction of the angle where the cars approach the left-hand, or outside, barrier on the exit of the corner.
The left-hand-side barrier is now parallel to the racing line. This will minimise the effect of a car making contact with the left-hand barrier.
Formerly, the outside barrier ran parallel to the inside barrier on the right-hand side of the circuit, rather than the racing line of the cars themselves.
THE PROCESS EXPLAINED:
CAMS forms Panel of Inquiry regarding the incident that took the life of
Ashley Cooper. Panel of Inquiry consists of:
- Mr Christopher Blanden SC as Chair
- Professor Jack McLean (Director of the Automotive Safety Research Centre at Adelaide University)
- Mr Garth Wigston (former Chief Steward of the V8 Supercar Championship Series)
Mr Colin Bond (a previous Bathurst winner, Australian Touring Car Champion and former Driving Standards Observer for the V8 Supercar Championship Series) is also appointed to assist the Panel with its investigation.
Key stakeholders then examine findings of CAMS Panel of Inquiry, as well as additional reports referred to in the Panel of Inquiry's findings; the FIA Institute of Motor Sport Safety report by Andrew Mellor and a report to the Panel of Inquiry by the CAMS National Track Safety Committee.
The stakeholder consultation then determines, given all the circumstances, limitations and constraints, if it is feasible for modifications to be carried out to reduce corner speed and also reduce risk, and if so, to propose what these modifications should be.
The stakeholder consultation unanimously agrees that the final design, revealed today, should be implemented for the 2009 Clipsal 500, during which further evaluation of the benefits of the design will be undertaken.
Within the physical and environmental constraints of the parklands, the approach to Turn 8 will be modified to effectively decrease the radius of the corner and to realign the barriers on the left side of the track so that the left side barrier is, as near as practical, parallel to the actual racing line of the cars.