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Mallory chicanes


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#1 simonlewisbooks

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Posted 17 June 2006 - 11:21

Sad to see the superbikes race on TV at Mallory Park last weekend with a pretty horrible chicane installed three quarters of the way round the otherwise awesome Gerards bend. This goes with the one before the esses that appeared a few years ago and that truly nasty bus-stop affair that has been a feature for bikes between the hairpin and Devils Elbow for many years.

Interesting that most of the accidents are 'high sides' on exit from these three slow 'safety features' and to hear Jamie Whitham's comment that the bus-stop is the easiest place in the country to get flipped off the bike...

I know the chicanes were not put there by the circuit owners from choice and it does make one wonder at the value of such things when they seem to create more problems than they prevent - and make the place look a mess as well as spoiling some of the best bends in the country.

Here's hoping they don't become features of the circuit for cars as well.

The Woodcote chicane at Silverstone used only for bikes is another example of the curious trend in "safety " logic. It must have cause more accidents to a factor of ten than it ever prevents?

Simon Lewis

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#2 Huw Jadvantich

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Posted 17 June 2006 - 11:59

I saw that coverage of Mallory and came to the same conclusion; also attending an recent event at Castle Combe, a once great circuit, and wondering why I bothered. Silverstone is never on my agenda these days for the same reason. It is not even a shadow of its former self - I don't recognise it when I watch it on the TV any more.
Realignment I can understand, extended run offs I am all in favour of, but chicanes? All they do is interrupt the flow of a good motor race. Taking corners at high speed is part and parcel of the thrill of controlling or watching a racing machine in action, and allows the difference between machines and drivers to be shown to the full.
Chicanes rarely provide overtaking opportunities, just opportunities to crash into one another.
All three of these once great circuits have been emasculated into motor sport theme parks.

#3 David McKinney

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Posted 17 June 2006 - 13:08

The best corner in the country disappeared when they built the Knickerbrook chicane at Oulton Park :down:

#4 ian senior

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Posted 19 June 2006 - 07:42

Originally posted by David McKinney
The best corner in the country disappeared when they built the Knickerbrook chicane at Oulton Park :down:


Agreed.

#5 Andrew Kitson

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Posted 19 June 2006 - 09:17

Agree on that one too, also the late 60s/70s version of Russell at Snett - a 'deep-breath-almost-flat' kink to sort out the men from the boys.

#6 simonlewisbooks

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Posted 19 June 2006 - 09:41

Interesting that we all seem to love fast, testing bends both as spectators and as drivers. The very thing that is being stripped from the sport by those who know whats best for us...

For me Castle Combe was ruined when the chicane went into before Old Paddock. That was another take-a-deep-breath corner where you really could see who was and who wasn't trying. Exactly the kind of corner I wanted to experience when I started driving and increasingly a rare beast.
If only we could have preservation orders on such fast corners to prevent their extinction as a species?
We need a motor racing equivalent of Bill Oddie !

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#7 Mallory Dan

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Posted 19 June 2006 - 10:58

Like so much else in this country, its the Lawyers/Litigation industry and continual emphasis on "Health & Safety" in every walk of life.

However have we ended up in the situation where no-one is allowed to take responsibility for their own actions ? I blame Heseltine and Howe.....

#8 simonlewisbooks

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Posted 19 June 2006 - 11:24

Originally posted by Mallory Dan
Like so much else in this country, its the Lawyers/Litigation industry and continual emphasis on "Health & Safety" in every walk of life.

However have we ended up in the situation where no-one is allowed to take responsibility for their own actions ? I blame Heseltine and Howe.....


And anyone with the misnomer "Rt Hon" before their name and "MP" after it. They have all failed us by letting a situation go way out of control and way beyond the bounds of logic.

But then think for a moment about two points

1/How many MPs are lawyers ?
2/Who, as a profession, benefits from all the h&s litigation?

...it stinks doesn't it?


Simon

#9 subh

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Posted 19 June 2006 - 11:39

With reference to Mallory - I agree. I’m used to seeing them negotiate the Bus Stop chicane there - it must have been in use for bikes for at least ten years, but would prefer to do without the very recent Edwina’s and Charlie’s. James Haydon had a huge crash at the Lake Esses a few years ago. Arguably this would have been less likely with Edwina’s installed - although perhaps not in Haydon’s case - but this chicane was the site of perhaps the most decisive moment in the BSB title chase last year, when Ryuichi Kiyonari crashed and then missed four races. And there certainly have been quite a few incidents exiting the Bus Stop in recent seasons.

The only defence for the incredibly tight bikes-only Woodcote chicane at Silverstone, scene of a few crashes since it was installed, is that the incidents there have been at very low speeds. They wouldn’t have happened at all without the chicane...

It’s also a shame that there is now a chicane before the Mountain at Cadwell Park, but this at least is borne out of safety concerns in the wake of a serious accident to Yukio Kagayama. The ‘proper’ circuit still looks to me the best challenge for bikes and riders in the UK.

#10 simonlewisbooks

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Posted 19 June 2006 - 12:08

Originally posted by subh
James Haydon had a huge crash at the Lake Esses a few years ago. Arguably this would have been less likely with Edwina’s installed - although perhaps not in Haydon’s case - but this chicane was the site of perhaps the most decisive moment in the BSB title chase last year, when Ryuichi Kiyonari crashed and then missed four races. And there certainly have been quite a few incidents exiting the Bus Stop in recent seasons.


The Kiyonari accident was indeed really nasty looking and it did nothing to prove the presence of the Edwina chicane was contributing to the overall safety of the track.

I assume that particular accident was the reason for the new chicane ?

But then when you think about it that means they installed a chicane to slow up the approcah to...a chicane...hmm... makes you wonder how far this line of thinking can go?

Simon

#11 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 19 June 2006 - 12:17

Nothing, but nothing, will top the chicane installed *in* Eau Rouge in 1994 for the Grand Prix.

#12 ray b

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Posted 19 June 2006 - 12:44

as this is the history section
who first came up with this bad idea of chicanes
where and when was the first use on a track

#13 simonlewisbooks

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Posted 19 June 2006 - 12:58

[QUOTE]Originally posted by ray b
as this is the history section
who first came up with this bad idea of chicanes
where and when was the first use on a track
[/QUOTE

Monza certainly used them in the 30s in an effort to make the outdated Alfas a little more competetive with the German cars.

Brooklands used them in the two British GPs in 1926-27 but that was to make the worlds first superspeedway into something a little more like a road course so in both cases the reasoning behind the chicanes wasn't safety.

But were they the first?

Simon Lewis

#14 MichaelJP

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Posted 19 June 2006 - 14:04

Originally posted by simonlewisbooks
Sad to see the superbikes race on TV at Mallory Park last weekend with a pretty horrible chicane installed three quarters of the way round the otherwise awesome Gerards bend. This goes with the one before the esses that appeared a few years ago and that truly nasty bus-stop affair that has been a feature for bikes between the hairpin and Devils Elbow for many years.

Interesting that most of the accidents are 'high sides' on exit from these three slow 'safety features' and to hear Jamie Whitham's comment that the bus-stop is the easiest place in the country to get flipped off the bike...


Having experienced a broken femur from just such a high-side coming out of the bus-stop at Mallory, I can only agree with you!

I understand this ridiculous chicane was put there in the first place due to lack of run-off at the adverse camber Devil's Elbow but it certainly makes high-sides more likely as you accelerate hard in first gear down the hill.

Wasn't Knickerbrook chicane at Oulton put there after Paul Warwick's death?

- Michael

#15 subh

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Posted 20 June 2006 - 11:09

Originally posted by simonlewisbooks


The Kiyonari accident was indeed really nasty looking and it did nothing to prove the presence of the Edwina chicane was contributing to the overall safety of the track.

I assume that particular accident was the reason for the new chicane ?

But then when you think about it that means they installed a chicane to slow up the approcah to...a chicane...hmm... makes you wonder how far this line of thinking can go?

Simon


Actually, I believe the chicane at Gerard’s was added because of several crashes actually at Gerard’s in 2005 - in the Superbike races, but apparently more notably during several support races. link and link

#16 Vitesse2

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Posted 20 June 2006 - 11:50

[QUOTE]Originally posted by simonlewisbooks
[QUOTE]Originally posted by ray b
as this is the history section
who first came up with this bad idea of chicanes
where and when was the first use on a track
[/QUOTE

Monza certainly used them in the 30s in an effort to make the outdated Alfas a little more competetive with the German cars.

Brooklands used them in the two British GPs in 1926-27 but that was to make the worlds first superspeedway into something a little more like a road course so in both cases the reasoning behind the chicanes wasn't safety.

But were they the first?

Simon Lewis
[/QUOTE]
Artificial chicanes were inserted at Pescara and Montlhery too, again in an attempt to slow down the German cars. Brooklands also used the "triple chicanes" in the JCC International Trophy and others were used in races like the Empire Trophy. But these were all temporary affairs of sand or strawbales, the British press referring to them picturesquely as "wiggle-waggles".

#17 Dutchy

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Posted 20 June 2006 - 11:58

The Brooklands chicanes were used on several as a means of handicapping the cars i.e. the chicane for the smallest cars was the least severe and that for the biggest was correspondingly long and slow. I have seen some film of (I think) the 1934 International Trophy and it was quite interesting seeing how far the slower cars got ahead after the chicanes - indeed I don't think the 750cc class had to pass through a chicane at all, they simply raced past. That way everyone could be on the same lap - clever really if rather artificial.

#18 Eric McLoughlin

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Posted 20 June 2006 - 16:59

Would the Goodwood Chicane be the first to be installed with "safety" as the prime consideration?

Regarding Mallory, the original Gerrards seems to be still there. Do you think that the "normal" bend can be used as and when desired - such as on track days?

#19 Dutchy

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Posted 21 June 2006 - 08:25

It is.
The Gerrards chicane is only used for bikes.

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#20 Andrew Kitson

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Posted 21 June 2006 - 08:31

Indeed. The course of the 1.35 mile car circuit is totally unchanged from the day it opened, just larger run-off areas. The chicanes are for bikes only although there was a BARC car meeting clubbie that used the Edwina's chicane before the Esses on one occasion only a couple of years ago.

#21 simonlewisbooks

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Posted 21 June 2006 - 09:37

It seems slightly bizarre that bike racing now seems to be the main reason for many of the unwelcome modifications to circuits in the name of safety when for years they ran on an unchicaned Silverstone and continue to tough it out on the roads in Ireland and on the Isle of Man (and long may that continue).

OT (but not much) - Did anyone else see the Irish motorcycle road racing from Tandragee on MOTOR SPORT MONDIAL last week (one of those 3am-video-it morosport programmes that are so easy to miss on Ch4 and Ch5) ?

Wonderful stuff. Genuinely frightening and utterly compelling. It made you remember exactly why motor sport grabbed your attention in the first place!
Ironically for this thread a chicane after the start was the scene of the only crash captured on camera....

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