Turn 5 safety...

Discussion in 'Open Forum' started by Matt Stokes, Apr 10, 2020.

  1. Matt Stokes

    Matt Stokes Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2017
    Messages:
    63
    Likes Received:
    28
    Real Name:
    Matt Stokes
    Has any thought been given to making Turn 5 safer? It seems like the last area of low hanging fruit for making Castrol safer. It's a high speed corner after a straight, and our 1st corner after a busy start.

    The photo below was taken from the tower last year. From the turn in point near the first orange brake marker, if you lost control here at 170+ km/hr or someone passed on the inside and bumped you wide, your trajectory is into the wall just to the left of the port-a-potty.

    Is there a good reason for not removing the wall to the left of the port-a-potty and relocating the flag station to the inside of the corner? This could be achieved by volunteer work and minimal cost.

    I would be interested in feedback about it from the Executive.

    Matt


    Turn 5.jpg
     
  2. DSmith

    DSmith New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2019
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    1
    Real Name:
    Douglas Smith
    The problem with 5 is the proximity of 13. The shorter or shallower you make the wall there the more you have to worry about someone missing 13 and coming out in 5 or vice versa and right now it's at the length that just barely blocks the line of sight straight across. There's no real great solution there that doesn't involve moving 12/13 northwest like 50m. The port a potty is just there because it creates a convenient spot.
     

    Attached Files:

  3. M87

    M87 Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2009
    Messages:
    309
    Likes Received:
    24
    I haven't raced at Castrol in a couple of years but I have gone off in that corner more than once and I think it actually looks worse from the tower than it does from on track. Those of you who know me are aware of how eager I am to complain about race safety but I really think that the best compromise has been reached here.
     
    Jefferson, SetUpSixRR and DEFBOY35 like this.
  4. Nevets

    Nevets EMRA Executive Member

    Joined:
    May 28, 2011
    Messages:
    111
    Likes Received:
    29
    Real Name:
    Steve O'Brien
    The executive has discussed the wall in turn 5, and the issue that Doug brings up is exactly what we ran into.

    Reducing the amount of wall for impact in turn 5 increases the chances of riders being able to end up wrong way on the track. It's not a great situation, but I believe we have minimized the risk as much as possible with airfence.
     
    DEFBOY35 likes this.
  5. Matt Stokes

    Matt Stokes Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2017
    Messages:
    63
    Likes Received:
    28
    Real Name:
    Matt Stokes
    Thanks for the feedback and sharing the photo. I appreciate it. We know the Executives are very attentive to safety issues, and that the Castrol layout is always going to involve compromises.

    With the current layout, a mistake in Turn 5 involves a hard impact into a wall, and a mistake in Turn 12/13 involves a possible but unlikely impact into a tire barrier and a building. It could be suggested that the paved access between Turn 12/13 and Turn 5 increases the chances of impacting the tires and the building or entering the track the wrong way. For example, if you had a brake failure entering Turn 12/13, being on asphalt reduces your chances of being able to stop.

    Wouldn’t it be a better compromise to relocate the flag station as shown in yellow on the attached sketch, and remove even a small section of the Turn 5 wall (shown in red) and replace it with a gravel trap (shown in blue)? The current location of the flag station is an impact danger to both corners, and the wall is Turn 5 is definitely an impact danger.

    How could you enter the track in the wrong direction from Turn 12/13 to Turn 5 (or visa versa) if there was a gravel trap here? Is an impact with a wall preferable to a gravel trap to solve this secondary problem? That is questionable.

    If you’re riding a motorcycle and you’re asked to choose between hitting a wall and going into a gravel trap, the choice is clear.

    I don’t question the Executives’ commitment to safety. Their advocacy for Club safety is clear. This is just a discussion about better solutions for safety.

    Turn 5 arial.jpg
     
  6. DEFBOY35

    DEFBOY35 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2011
    Messages:
    619
    Likes Received:
    124
    Real Name:
    Shane C Fraser
    With the speed of corner 5 and the elevation difference a gravel trap where indicated would be almost useless as you would launch off the surface and probably clear a good part of the gravel. Sending bike and rider into oncoming traffic. The way that corner is set up you’re typically more likely to go supercrossing through the ditch into the field. And more than likely would be a glancing type blow if you did manage to get to the wall.
    The chicane you are definitely much slower into so less likely to make it up to turn 5 with most crashes there being on exit. The bigger concern would be the culvert and maybe another French drain with gravel there to keep bikes from getting too far up towards the shack and avoiding the dip there. 0.02$
     
  7. Matt Stokes

    Matt Stokes Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2017
    Messages:
    63
    Likes Received:
    28
    Real Name:
    Matt Stokes
    Thanks Shane. There are lots of riders with more experience than me, so l appreciate all input. Experts and instructors will probably remember the race school incident in 2017 when a student hit this wall. I don't know how it turned out.
    What do you think about just moving the flag station and perhaps even just straightening out the wall a bit or shortening the wall a bit near the existing flag station to reduce the chance of an impact and ensure any impact with the wall is a glancing blow. I've never hit a wall on a bike, but I could guess that even a glancing blow with an airfence could be quite dangerous. It may snap your handle bars to the right and pitch the rider over the wall. If I glanced the wall here and got thrown over it, I would be thrown directly into the flag station. Perhaps relocating the flag station would be the least worst option.

    Matt
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2020
  8. SetUpSixRR

    SetUpSixRR EMRA Executive Member

    Joined:
    May 13, 2011
    Messages:
    521
    Likes Received:
    138
    I can tell you that it's definitely been looked at, drawn, measured and surveyed in person. That wall has moved at least twice since 2014 to make it a little straighter, and a little shorter to allow more airfence and less of an angle for impacts. Also, we share this track with the car clubs and if a car screws up the chicane they can easily make it into oncoming traffic at Turn 5. A bike/rider likely won't get that far even sliding on it's side but a car could pretty quick.

    We consult with Castrol regularly on all safety aspects and they are very receptive to all of our ideas, but they need to be reviewed with the car clubs and with our insurance before changes are made. We're coming into the season now and this will be looked at again soon.
     
    DEFBOY35 and Nevets like this.
  9. Matt Stokes

    Matt Stokes Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2017
    Messages:
    63
    Likes Received:
    28
    Real Name:
    Matt Stokes
    Great info. Thanks Brian. I know you guys are on this. If the wall must remain where it is, likely the only possibility to improve this corner is to relocate the flag station. Hope to see you all at the track soon and have a look at it.
     
  10. fast316

    fast316 EMRA Executive Member

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2009
    Messages:
    429
    Likes Received:
    92
    I'd like to point out we don't use this flag station. Maybe it was used in the past, maybe it was used on a track day (when there is much less traffic and the likeihood of a crash in that area is less), but on race weekends we do not use it. Like Brian said we have gone over this part of the track many times and it has been improved many times. There are some changes being made to it for next season.
     
  11. electrobiker86

    electrobiker86 Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2016
    Messages:
    236
    Likes Received:
    78
    Real Name:
    David
    FYI, I was (one of) the corner 5 / 13 workers in 2017 for race school. I was watching the riders approach 5; the racer completely target fixated, seemingly on me, and literally drove into the wall. It was a freaky accident and I suppose could be repeated with worse results. To me that specific incident brings up an overall race school rider competency issue, more so than a wall issue.

    That being said, I have seen other corner 5 crashes and have to concur with Matt that improvements could be made. I was following a track day crasher that put multiple air fence bags onto the track, I came close to hitting a couple of them. If the corner 5 wall intent is to prevent racers from crossing track into oncoming corner 13 traffic, then perhaps the wall should be halfway between 5 and 13 with air fence on both sides. The flag station is not used by us, and is likely an accident waiting to happen in itself. A rider over the wall, like the Hayden crash in Moto GP in 12, could fly right into the flag booth. Just a thought.
     
    Matt Stokes likes this.
  12. Matt Stokes

    Matt Stokes Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2017
    Messages:
    63
    Likes Received:
    28
    Real Name:
    Matt Stokes
    Thanks for your input about this. The Executive understand the issue and have informed me that they are continuing to work on a plan for improving the safety in this corner. There are no easy answers, but they are trying to improve it.
     
  13. electrobiker86

    electrobiker86 Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2016
    Messages:
    236
    Likes Received:
    78
    Real Name:
    David
    Whenever multiple users share a facility it definitely complicates things. The execs have been doing an excellent job on getting improvements made.
     

Share This Page