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Spectator Safety A Focus

23 February 2004

Spectator Safety A Focus

Spectators at April’s Propecia Rally New Zealand can be assured of some prime viewing in safe locations for New Zealand’s round of the World Rally Championship.

Chief Safety Officer Willard Martin said he was pleased with the selection of stages for this year’s event from 15-18 April that will not only provide a stern test for the drivers but also offer spectators some exciting and safe viewing areas.

“Spectator safety is a major component in planning for the event. Unlike circuit racing we do not have the benefit of Armco barriers, catch fencing and gravel traps. We need to incorporate the natural environment of the route in our planning,” Martin said.

“Before determining if a location is suitable we need to consider the potential path of the cars and from there we can decide if the area is safe for spectators. We are confident we have achieved this, and provided some fantastic rally action this year.”

In addition Rally New Zealand will utilise the services of more than 2,000 marshals to ensure that spectators remain within the approved areas.

Martin confirmed that event safety does not end there.

“With approximately 250,000 spectators we also utilise the services of nine special safety advisers, three safety cars that traverse the stages before the rally cars, two safety helicopters who shadow the cars and a fully equipped medical helicopter.”

“All of this is in addition to the FIA Safety Delegate who travels the world attending each round of the WRC, surveying the events safety procedures.”

The Propecia-sponsored event starts with two super special stages at Manukau City on the evening of Thursday 15 April. The first full day on Friday is in the Kaipara region before returning for two further super special stages at Manukau City. Saturday’s racing returns to Kaipara, with the last day in the Waikato region near Raglan. The final stage will be the internationally acclaimed Whaanga Coast, with the ceremonial finish in downtown Auckland city on Sunday afternoon.


© Scoop Media

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