Thruxton releases safety statement after huge BTCC crashes

Simon Belcher Toyota BTCC crash Thruxton 2014

CONCERNS WERE RAISED over safety at Thruxton circuit at the weekend, but bosses have now spoken out in defence.

This weekend’s British Touring Car Championship meeting at Thruxton saw three separate incidents at the 130mph Church corner, which saw the Proton of Ollie Jackson snap a tree in half and the BMW of Nick Foster and the Toyota of Simon Belcher (watch the video below) vault the tyre barrier and land in the trees behind.

Thruxton’s group managing director Bill Coombs has now spoken out on the issue:

“Any accidents at a motor racing meeting are regrettable, but as a racer myself, I fully understand that it is not desirable to have cars ending up among the bushes. That is something we will be addressing, but by the same token, we need to be careful in this kind of situation not to jump to any kneejerk reactions or conclusions. Church is a high-speed, challenging corner, and like all the classic corners, it is just this that makes it so exciting and rewarding to get right. There is a significant amount of run-off area – more than at many other circuits – and the result is that when accidents do occur, drivers are thankfully able to climb out of the car and walk away, as was the case last weekend. The last thing we want to do is remove the character of Thruxton, but safety is of course of paramount importance.”

Thruxton BTCC 2014

Meanwhile governing body, the MSA, has also issued a statement:

“The MSA’s policy has always been to operate a robust and continual risk assessment programme, an important part of which is to monitor incidents at events and to investigate these as appropriate. All race circuits hosting MSA authorised activities are inspected on an annual basis as part of the MSA Track Licence system. In addition to its MSA credentials, Thruxton also holds a valid FIA Track Licence which requires its own tri-annual inspection process. BARC (Thruxton) Ltd, as operators of the venue, and BARC, as organisers of the race meeting, are pleased to co-operate with the MSA in the course of this investigation.”

Former BTCC driver and ITV pundit Paul O’Neill said on Twitter:

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