BTCC driver Ollie Jackson hits out at Thruxton over safety

British Touring Car racer Ollie Jackson has hit out at Thruxton circuit after the crashes that took place there earlier this month

BTCC driver Ollie Jackson hits out at Thruxton over safety

Jackson's Welch-run Proton was one of three cars to crash at the high-speed Church right-hander, though there were no serious injuries.

Circuit operator the BARC issued a statement in the aftermath of the incidents, but in a letter to AUTOSPORT, Jackson said: "To insinuate that myself, Simon [Belcher] and Nick [Foster] walked away from these accidents because of the inherent safety of the track provided by the length of run-off is a frightening attitude.

"It is pure luck combined with the strength of the NGTC car that the consequences were not far worse.

"The data showed that I lost around 15mph from the 110mph apex speed at Church between leaving the track and the point of impact, mainly as I was airborne for much of the run-off due to the roughness and profile of the area.

"To say cars ended up 'among the bushes' is also belittling the situation, all three ended up in a tree."

Like many of the drivers, Jackson does not want the circuit to be modified, but feels the barriers around it need to be changed.

"Personally I love the challenge of the track and do not want the layout of the track itself to be changed at all," he said.

"What I want is level, flat run-off areas with an appropriate surface (even if this is still grass) bordered by modern, safe barriers of appropriate design."

Jackson also questioned the process that allowed Thruxton to have a licence: like all UK circuits, the Hampshire track has a licence with the Motor Sports Assocation, the governing body of the sport in the UK.

"What is also worrying is the fact that this track has repeatedly passed safety inspections and still has a valid licence," added the 30-year-old.

"It is difficult to see how loose stacks of tyres instead of barriers, rough run-off that can cause rollover, the virtually exposed end of the pitwall, and the various marshals' posts in the firing line all fulfill safety standards in this day and age."

He added that the incidents should act as a catalyst for finding ways to improve other circuits: "Although arguably the most notorious due to its speed, Thruxton is not alone in having substandard safety systems.

"Without listing examples I'm sure many can think of examples of obviously poor barriers at other tracks that could practically and economically be significantly improved.

"This should be used as a fortunate opportunity to have a serious review of UK circuits and, if necessary, the regulation surrounding their safety.

"It goes without saying the damage that an avoidable, high-profile death would do to UK motorsport."

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BTCC drivers call for changes at Thruxton after crashes
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