Barbagallo racing off the agenda for 2017 – but training may be back within months

CAPTION: Looking ahead ... It's been more than 200 days since bikes were banned from Barbagallo. It looks like they will be back later this year for training, but not for racing.

THE operator of Perth’s Barbagallo Raceway has predicted motorcycles will return to the circuit later this year for “basic and advanced training activities” — but not for racing.

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In a press release titled ‘How we plan to return Motorcycle activity to Barbagallo Raceway’ the WA Sporting Car Club (WASCC) said the return of training activities “can be measured in months”.

But racing was a different matter.

“Given the nature of works required, a return to race activity was not envisaged this year, but will likely return in 2018,” the statement said.

The latest chapter in the ongoing Barbagallo bike ban comes after a recent meeting between major stakeholders including the WASCC, the WA Minister for Sport and Recreation,  the Department of Sport and Recreation, the City of Wanneroo, Motorcycling WA and Motorcycling Australia.

CAPTION: A crowded pit lane at Wanneroo, circa April 2016.

The press release said that engineer Chris Hall, the consultant who was engaged by the Department of Sport and Recreation to report on the safety of the circuit last year, had now been engaged by the WASCC to advise on how the risks he identified in that report “could best be mitigated” for motorcycles to return.

A three-phased plan had been agreed in principle for the return of bikes, starting with “temporary chicanes to control speed in critical areas” allowing basic motorcycle training on the circuit.

The second phase involved placing air fences to enable advanced rider training and “restricted free practice”.

The final phase would identify works “including track and barrier alignment especially in the critical area at Turn 3” to enable race activity to resume.

There has been no motorcycle activity at Barbagallo since November 10 last year when the WASCC banned bikes after the release of Mr Hall’s report.

Background

In his report last year, Mr Hall said there were multiple instances where the Barbagallo circuit did not comply with motorcycle racing industry safety guidelines.

He said the circuit was associated with “a significant number of critical risk items” that rendered it “unsafe for motorcycle racing due to an unacceptable risk of serious injury”. Mr Hall identified several corners which he said had insufficient run offs.

Two riders died in separate incidents at the circuit in 2016. In May, Daniel Chadbund, 28, was killed when he was thrown from his bike and struck a tyre wall during the opening round of the 2016 State Road Racing Championships. Then in November, Chris Adley, 21, fell off his bike and was run over by the rider behind him during a race at the Kings of Wanneroo event.

The two deaths took to six the number of fatalities at Barbagallo in 16 years.

CAPTION: The press release from the WA Sporting Car Club.

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