New Safety Improvements at Mather’s Cross and Station Corner27/04/2010
Organisers of the ReIentless International North West 200 in association with Black Horse are continuing with a range of major safety improvements which will be completed prior to this year’s North West 200 on 15th May. Funded by the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure through Sport Northern Ireland and 2&4 Wheel Motorsport Group, a new purpose built chicane at Mather’s Cross has been introduced to slow down competitors at the entrance to the corner.
Explained NW200 Race Director Mervyn Whyte MBE, “The new chicane will reduce speeds at Mather’s Cross and initial drawings and plans were created following competitor consultations. The now completed chicane is located on right side entrance to Mather’s Cross and the area to the left has been cleared of any hedging with the total chicane area now free of any obstructions.”
Further changes are currently being carried out at Station Corner, another high speed area on the 8.9 mile course. On the exit of the corner on the left hand side it is planned to pipe the large drain and fill up the ground over an 80 metre distance. A new socketed fence is to be installed the full length of the corner. Mervyn Whyte also thanked local landowner Felix Mullan for his assistance in providing access to his land so that improvements could be carried out.
“These upgrades are part of the North West’s ongoing policy on safety improvement and we continually work hard year on year to make the course as safe as possible for competitors and spectators.” said Mervyn Whyte. “I believe these improvements are significant, we have had excellent feedback from both riders and team managers. We would like to thank and commend 2&4 Wheel Motorsport Group and its Chair Alan Drysdale for their help and assistance and of course Sport Northern Ireland and the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure who have provided funding for these safety initiatives.”
Sport Northern Ireland have been has been working closely with the Race Director of the North West 200, Mr Mervyn Whyte MBE, Department for Regional Development and 2+4 Wheel Motorsport Steering Group Ltd to complete urgent safety works prior to this years event. SNI has contributed £35,000 to ensure safety works have been completed at Mather’s Cross and Station Corner. These works had been identified by the North West 200 as the most urgently required safety works on the circuit. Eamonn McCartan, Chief Executive of Sport Northern Ireland, stated that, “SNI view the safety of participants and spectators at the NW 200 as of the utmost importance. While the event obviously centres on the racing, it is vital that measures are taken to improve the safety of all concerned.”
Commenting on the new improvements Alan Drysdale, Chairman of 2&4 Wheel Motorsport Group said, “2&4 is delighted to have received funding from DCAL to again fund important course development works at the NW200. The initiatives being funded are part of extensive motorsport facilities development programme that will see DCAL through 2&4 invest c£350,000 in Northern Ireland's road race circuits in 2010".
Riders Gary Mason and John McGuinness inspect the new chicane at Mather’s Cross with NW200 Race Director Mervyn Whyte MBE.
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