Sport

Queensland Raceway chief defends track after safety criticism

RACEWAY CONCERNS: Jamie Whincup, of Red Bull Racing Australia, during the Coates Hire Ipswich 400 earlier this month.
RACEWAY CONCERNS: Jamie Whincup, of Red Bull Racing Australia, during the Coates Hire Ipswich 400 earlier this month. Mark Horsburgh

CHAMPION V8 Supercar team Red Bull Racing Australia will test at Morgan Park in coming weeks ahead of the Sandown 500.

Due to safety concerns at Queensland Raceway, V8 Supercars Australia has told all Queensland-based teams they're able to test at other circuits.

Red Bull's five-time V8 Supercar champion driver Jamie Whincup told Speedcafe.com he wouldn't be surprised if their team never returned to Queensland Raceway.

It was reported Queensland Raceway undertook safety adjustments to qualify for a temporary CAMS license, required to run the Coates Hire Ipswich 400 earlier this month.

As a result, V8 Supercars Australia footed the bill for the charges costing around $60,000, which were removed at the request of circuit owner John Tetley two weeks after the event.

Red Bull Racing Australia's team manager Mark Dutton told Speedcafe.com that Morgan Park at Warwick would be more beneficial for the team to practice on ahead of Sandown.

"You can still get insurance policies and things like that so we are still able to test at QR, but because it isn't CAMS certified now V8 Supercars said that we are not going to make that your only option," Dutton said.

"It's not a revolt or a revolution or anything like that. It is simply saying we are not going to force you to test at a circuit which doesn't meet the safety requirements required to run a V8 Supercar event.

"We have taken the opportunity to move the test before Sandown to Morgan Park just because you are allowed to.''

Circuit chief executive Tetley has staunchly defended the safety of Queensland Raceway by outlining the extent of his work in response to the high-profile Sean Edwards fatality last October.

Tetley launched a firm rebuttal after a $60,000 tyre barrier was installed at turn three as a temporary safety measure for the latest V8 Supercars meeting.

"The reason why that tyre wall was put in was because CAMS insisted on it," Tetley told Speedcafe.com

"The inference that we haven't done upgrades and a $60,000 wall was required is completely erroneous and it puts us in a bad light that we are not willing to tolerate."

Tetley says that in response to the shocking death of England's Porsche Supercup driver Edwards at turn six, the run-off area has been lengthened and an elaborate island tyre barrier supposedly called an 'arrestment and deflection barrier' installed.

When penetrated, the barrier essentially works like a motorcycle chain where inside each of the tyres is a pipe that has hinged bars or link bars.

"So if you hit it in the middle it will surround you and if you hit it on edge it tends to deflect the car away," Tetley said.

Topics:  coates hire ipswich 400, morgan park raceway, queensland raceway, sandown 500, v8 supercars



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