Atlas F1 News Service

Australian GP to Undergo Safety Modification

Friday November 23rd, 2001

Organisers of the Australian Grand Prix at Albert Park, Melbourne, announced new safety measures they propose to introduce to the track, before the 2002 race takes place, on March 3rd 2002.

The proposal follows the fatal accident in the 2001 event, where track marshal Graham Beveridge was killed when a flying wheel from Jacques Villeneuve's BAR car managed to fly through the protective fence and hit the 51-year-old.

The Grand Prix chairman Ron Walker said new measures will see changes to the protective fencing around the circuit, however these changes are pending the coroner's inquiry into Beveridge's death, which should be finalised in December.

Walker said the new plan would see less openings around the circuit, while the design of the openings themselves would be changed as well. "The primary reason for having openings in the fencing is to allow drivers access from the track, if necessary, as well as for marshals to enter and exit the track in a hurry," Walker said.

"Until now these have been created by raising a debris fence panel to create a four-metre by 40 centimetre opening. It is proposed to replace these by new openings designed to minimize the risk of penetration by debris."

Walker added that the new openings would be about one meter wide and would face the opposite direction of the traffic. He also said these modifications have been approved by the FIA.

Published at 09:26:46 GMT

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