US GP: SAFER barrier approved

Safer Barrier to be used in Turn 13 at Indy; 2003 USGP provisional date set. Officials from the FIA, the governing body of worldwide motorsports, have agreed to use the SAFER Barrier in Turn 13 of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road circuit ...

Safer Barrier to be used in Turn 13 at Indy; 2003 USGP provisional date set.

Officials from the FIA, the governing body of worldwide motorsports, have agreed to use the SAFER Barrier in Turn 13 of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road circuit for the SAP United States Grand Prix on Sept. 27-29.

The SAFER Barrier will include an extension for clockwise race traffic, said Charlie Whiting, FIA race director and safety delegate. Race traffic on the IMS oval travels in a counterclockwise direction.

"I'm pleased that the FIA has agreed to keep the SAFER Barrier in place for the SAP United States Grand Prix," said Tony George, Indianapolis Motor Speedway president and CEO. "We think the system is a significant step forward in safety for every series that competes at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and the initial feedback about energy absorption and increased driver safety in impacts during the Indianapolis 500 in May was very positive.

"We believe that the system offers significant benefits to drivers in the event of an accident during competition conducted at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway."

Turn 13 of the 2.606-mile road course also is Turn 1 for the 2.5-mile oval. The SAFER (Steel And Foam Energy Reduction) Barrier, an energy-absorbing barrier system, was installed in all four turns of the 2.5-mile oval before the Indianapolis 500 in May. Each turn of the speedway has 1,060 feet of barrier and a transition element approaching the actual energy-absorbing barrier.

The new energy-absorbing barrier is constructed in 20-foot modules. Each module consists of four rectangular steel tubes, welded together, to form a unified element. The modules are connected with four internal steel splices. Bundles of 2-inch-thick sheets of extruded, closed-cell polystyrene are placed between the concrete wall and the steel tubing modules every 10 feet. Six or seven sheets of polystyrene are used in each bundle, depending on the location on the module.

The FIA has set Sunday, Sept. 28 as the date for the 2003 SAP United States Grand Prix as part of its provisional 2003 Formula One calendar.

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Series Formula 1
Drivers Tony George