Barbagallo yet to see motorcycling return

Due to safety concerns motorcycling has not returned to Barbagallo Raceway after the death of a motorcyclist there in April 2016. Diagram from safety report

MOTORCYCLING is yet to return to Barbagallo Raceway with round 2 of the state road racing championships to be held at the Collie Motorplex Circuit on Sunday, August 5.
The inaugural round 1 held back in April was the Motorcycle Racing Club of WA’s  (MCRCWA) first road race meeting at the Collie purpose-built circuit and the first modern road race since the closure of Barbagallo back in 2016.

A report commissioned by the Department of Sport and Recreation after the death of 28-year-old Daniel Chadbund during a motorcycle event at Barbagallo on April 30, 2016 said the raceway had some non-compliant run offs, with high and extreme risk levels for motorcyclists.

The safety report authored by Chris Hall from Hall Technical and released publicly on Friday, December 9, 2016 concluded the raceway’s layout and barrier design meant the circuit was associated with a significant number of critical risk items that rendered it unsafe for motorcycle racing but it also highlighted concerns about Turn 3 for car racing as well.
MCRCWA president Tim Simmons said during the remainder of 2018 three race rounds and at least one ridedays WA-tuning event will be held at Collie (with the option of more events if dates become available).

“For 2019 we have committed to securing additional dates at Collie Motorplex to run our racing and rider training activities,’’ he said. “(But) MCRCWA welcomes ongoing communications with all parties in an effort to see the return of motorcycle activities to Barbagallo Raceway.

“MCRCWA and Motorcycling WA have been working together closely over the last few months towards an outcome for Barbagallo Raceway as well as future opportunities for the club.

“Hopefully there may be a positive announcement about a new facility in the near future, as well as further updates associated with the licensing of the long circuit at Collie Motorplex.

Mr Simmons said since February a series of steps had been taken to try and get the return of MA sanctioned motorcycle activities to Barbagallo.

“The first step was Motorcycling Australia (MA) issuing a phase 1 license for LAMS approved basic training – issued to the WA Sports Car Club (WASCC) on March 27) – which didn’t cover any activities previously undertaken by MA associated organisations at Barbagallo Raceway and wasn’t applicable to our activities.

“The next step was a phase 2 license for practice, tuning and advanced rider training – issued to WASCC on April 24, which we considered suitable to be able to operate ridedays WA events.

“The track license conditions for phase 1 and 2 were based on recommendations by Chris Hall and Steven Brake in relation to the necessary safety modifications and speed management required for rider safety at Barbagallo Raceway, assuming no further changes to the circuit.

“In consultation with the WASCC, MCRCWA applied for and received a permit (with a replicate of the track license conditions as per the WASCC request to show that they were also MCRCWA’s responsibility) to conduct an event on June 23.

“In late May, the WASCC reviewed the phase 2 track license and MCRCWA event permit, and declined MCRCWA’s permit to run the event.

“Communications between WASCC and MA in June tried to resolve the differences between WASCC’s understanding of their liabilities due to the track license conditions versus MA/MAIL’s Insurance coverage.

“This disparity didn’t appear to be resolved.

“As the WASCC had not accepted the conditions or the insurance associated with the phase 1 and 2 licences (which didn’t require track modifications), nor had they communicated to MA that they intended to comply with the MA track licence conditions, MA notified the WASCC on July 11 that they were withdrawing the phase 1 and phase 2 permits and track licenses for Barbagallo Raceway.

“MA has strongly urged the WASCC consider the required track modifications to ensure the safety of all motorcycle riders at Barbagallo Raceway.’’