Barrier changes at Sandown
Friday 17th February, 2023 - 4:09pm
Changes to the safety furniture have been made at Melbourne’s Sandown International Motor Raceway.
Imagery which has emerged online shows that barriers around Turns 7 and 8, which form part of the esses complex between the back straight and the slow left-hander known as ‘Dandenong Road’, have been moved.
Motorsport Australia has confirmed that the changes have been ticked off by the FIA circuit inspector and that Sandown maintains its Grade 3 rating, which is necessary to host the Repco Supercars Championship.
“There have been some barrier realignments completed between turns 7 and 8 at Sandown,” a Motorsport Australia spokesperson told Speedcafe.com.
“Motorsport Australia and the FIA have been consulted throughout the process. The works have been completed to the FIA inspector’s satisfaction and the circuit maintains its licence.”
The historic Melbourne circuit will play host to the Penrite Oil Sandown 500 on September 15-17, marking the return of the traditional Bathurst 1000 lead-in to the Supercars calendar.
A week prior, it will also welcome the Shannons SpeedSeries, including a round of the Supercheap Auto TCR Australia Series.
The downhill esses complex at Sandown is regarded as a true challenge for drivers and produces some of the iconic television and still shots from the venue.
The changes now are the latest to the safety features at the circuit, which include the addition in 2019 of a large tarred run-off area at the end of the back straight, an area which had become a hotspot for carnage.
Last year, a production car managed to climb an Armco fence and back into a ‘bridge’ after the driver lost control in wet conditions exiting Dandenong Road.
The future of the facility, which features a horse racing track within the motor racing circuit, remains uncertain, following the revelation that owner Melbourne Racing Club will indeed proceed with a rezoning application despite the election of three overtly pro-Sandown board members in its annual general meeting in the preceding September.
A successful application would allow for the 112ha site, located in the Victorian capital’s suburban southeast, to be subdivided for residential and commercial development, although that much is not a fait accompli.
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