Since the start of the 2011/12 summer season, Gillman Speedway Stadium has had a Speedway Safety System Airfence, the most up-to-date and safest Speedway fence that is manufactured.
The fence consists of 66 three metre panels. Each 3 metre section has a foam frame and reinforced PVC cover. They absorb the impact of a rider by the air inside them being compressed on impact and transferred between internal chambers. Seat belt style straps and D rings join the sections together to form a seamless wall of protection.
The “Airfence” panels are 3m long x 1.2m high and .75m deep. They are blue with a white face which has sponsorship banners attached with velcro fixings.
The cost of the fence, with all associated costs such as freight to Gillman, etc., was in excess of $100,000 and was raised by the Speedway Riders’ Association of South Australia Inc., promoters of the Gillman Speedway, offering sponsorship packages.
In return for donations of either $660+GST or $1200+GST sponsors have their business name (or personal name if not in business) on the panels for three years, on banners one metre high and either 1.5m long or 3m long depending on the level of sponsorship.
The finances were raised throughout the 2010/11 season and into the winter of 2011, before the order was placed and the Airfence delivered in mid-November in time to be in place for the Leigh Adams Benefit Meeting on 26 November 2011.
Speedway Manager David Parker said at the time: “I do not need to tell anyone how important this will be for the safety of the competitors at our venue. Gillman Speedway takes great pride in giving the riders a race venue that is probably the safest in Australia, but obviously, even with a rubber fence, we have seen riders get hurt and it is not a nice thing to have to inform parents and loved ones that someone close to them has been hurt and is in hospital.”
More details of the fence can be seen on the Airfence Safety Systems web site www.airfence.com
The Gillman Speedway management would like to acknowledge, and thank, the people listed below, and also the many anonymous donors who put money into the collection tins at Gillman Speedway, for their contributions. They are all responsible for increasing the safety of our competitors.
CBS Bins (Baker family)
Office of Sport & Recreation
CBS Temporary Fencing (Baker family)
Speedway Star Racewear (Wayne Meyer)
Speedway Sidecar Riders Association of Victoria (SSRAV)
Armour Fire Protection
Ferrous Forgings, Vic (John Heaviside)
Paintmaster SA (David Adams)
K Trans Racing
John Titman Racing / Talon
Sturm’s Mechanical & Manufacturing
Chloe Sophie Miller Lewis Olivia
Mick Headland and Paul Waters Racing
Evans, Waters & Frith families
Don, Des and Paul Marker
Territory Marine, NT (Steven Blair)
Waters & Evans Families
Leigh Adams Racing
Ivan Mauger OBE MBE
Stumpy and Grumpy
Sime Tyres (now Sailun)
Littlehampton Bricks (Mark Fiora)
Northern Track Promotions (Neil Burston & Geoff Brown)
Edinburgh Monarchs Speedway Club (Scott Somerville)
CCG (Jeff Fisher)
Vintage Tin (Dave Hatcliffe)
J.D. Couriers (John Dawson)
Gilbert Event Management (Mark Gilbert)
National Dirt Racers Association Inc. (NDRA Inc)
Motocross Riders Association (MRA)
Longtack (John Hewitt)
Commercial Driving Centre Murray Bridge (Rod Webb) and Mark Evers, Peter Vipond, Kev & Joy Waters
Cottrell family, Rooney family, Dennis family (Homehill), Riddington family, Bichard family
BFD (Dave Puxley), Howard Williams, Ron Bauer, John Taylor, Deb-lone, Ken Walker, David Graham, In Memory of Harry Denton
2012 World Speedway Champion Chris Holder in front of a section of the air fence. [photo: Judy Mackay]