AUS: Willowbank proud of safety standards

Willowbank Raceway Safety Standards Applauded Such has been the resolve of Ipswich's Willowbank Raceway to ensure safety of International standards the potential for major injury to drivers has certainly been reduced. That was evidenced in no...

Willowbank Raceway Safety Standards Applauded

Such has been the resolve of Ipswich's Willowbank Raceway to ensure safety of International standards the potential for major injury to drivers has certainly been reduced.

That was evidenced in no uncertain terms last night during the 2004 Winternationals, when Top Doorslammer driver Joe Schembri was catapaulted extremely high into both sides of the safety barriers and walked away relatively unscathed.

Although shaken the New South Wales competitor was back at the track this morning and for Willowbank Raceway General Manager Harry Rowsell, an upgrade to the Ipswich facility eight months ago is already paying big dividends.

"There's no denying any form of motorsport carries with it a certain amount of risk, but the actual potential for injury is reduced by the various safety regulations set down by the Australian National Drag Racing Association (ANDRA) and strictly enforced by Willowbank Raceway," said Rowsell.

"As part of the million dollar revamp that took place prior to last year's iTEL Nationals we brought the safety barriers up to the International standard and a number of incidents that have occurred since then have really rammed home the value of such measures.

"We will remain diligent in this area to ensure the safest possible setting for all competitors."

Another major contributor to the exceptional coordination of Australia's biggest drag racing event has been the contributions of more than 200 hardworking volunteer staff.

These individuals fill many vital roles from manning the entry gates, ushering patrons to their seating areas and vital on-track duties including the scrutineering of competitors and the numerous surface clean-ups which are vital to the maintenance of a safe driving environment.

"During the Willowbank Winternationals we will run over 2000 passes in total and these guys are integral to the successful coordination of such a busy program," added Rowsell.

"We are thankful for such unwavering support which helps ensure every drag racing fan who has attended this massive sporting event is able to enjoy the spectacle without concern."

Today's major program of racing begins at 3pm with the first round of Top Fuel elimainators.

A spectacular F-111 dump and burn performed by Willowbank Raceway neighbours, RAAF Amberley, will provide the ideal lead in to the finals of the 2004 Winternationals.

-wbr-

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