Shocked and saddened organisers of the popular bike racing at Oliver’s Mount have pledged further safety measures following two serious crashes at the weekend that left 12 people injured.
Three casualties remain in hospital with serious injuries following two incidents at Drury’s hairpin at Sunday’s Steve Henshaw International Gold Cup Road Races.
Rider Daley Mathison has been left “traumatised” after his bike smashed into a crowd of racing fans following brake failure.
The collision occurred after a similar incident involving Jamie Coward at 10.40am during qualifying at an identical location when he crashed through safety fences into spectators.
Daley, who was unhurt but shaken, said: “On lap three, disaster struck with front brake failure. I did everything in my power to slow the superbike but it was useless.
“Fortunately I managed to miss several competitiors before making the decision to jump off the bike at between 50 and 60mph. The bike unfortunately hit the fence at Drury’s hairpin, before being involved with spectators in the field behind.
“This has to be the hardest thing I’ll have to come to terms with in my career. I am so traumatised by what has happened, as I am sure a lot of people are who witnessed the crash, and I am so deeply sorry for the spectators involved and their families. I’d like to send my best wishes to everyone involved.”
A man in his 60s from Derbyshire sustained head and chest injuries from the first incident while a man in his 30s from Derbyshire suffered a leg injury and a man in his 40s has multiple injuries from the afternoon crash, at around 1.40pm.
Emergency services also responded to a bike crash on the bottom straight on Saturday when rider Brad Vicars sustained a serious leg injury.
Peter Hillaby, Auto 66 club chairman, who has done much to ensure safety of both spectators and riders, told The Scarborough News that a temporary steel barrier fence will be installed during future racing events at Oliver’s Mount.
He said: “It was a shock but these incidents are very rare. The last incident we had similar to this was around 28 years ago and we moved the fence back following that. We are installing a temporary steel barrier fence outside Drury’s hairpin which will be put in place another metre back on the Friday to Sunday during racing.
“We were happy that everything was OK before racing and now we are even more pleased. This is our biggest event of the year and it is great to see so many people in Scarborough. I was driving from Driffield to Scarborough on Monday and I passed more than 50 bikes which will have been at Oliver’s Mount.”
The Auto Cycle Union has announced it will be investigating, in conjunction with the circuit and organiser.
People attending the Oliver’s Mount racing from throughout the UK and countries including Germany, France and Belgium, bring a big boost to Scarborough.
Bikes packed outside hotels and guest houses all over the town and along the seafront demonstrated the popularity of the race events – and the organisers said the support of members of the public had been “fantastic” following the accidents.
John Castle said: “It’s a fantastic weekend of racing. Sure there’s a risk but every spectator and every rider accepts it. Roll on next year and hopefully more exciting racing at Oliver’s Mount.”
Julie Blower said: “Oliver’s Mount is one of the many venues that raises large amounts of money for the air ambulance. Anyone that attends these meetings have a passion for bikes and speed, it’s a risk to anybody. It’s unfortunate when these things happen. Hopefully all will be OK.”
The emergency services have been hailed as “excellent” for their responses to the two incidents. In total, four air ambulances and six road ambulances were called out and three clinical supervisors, while police were also in attendance.
Peter Hillaby said: “I thank all the marshals and officials who were praised by the emergency services for their swift, professional and effective responses. The Auto 66 club would like to sincerely thank all the emergency services for their immediate response to both incidents, which was crucial.”
The decision was taken to halt the meeting following the second incident, leaving the huge crowd to return home hours early.
The injured spectators were sent to different hospitals including James Cook, Middlesbrough, Hull Royal Infirmary and Scarborough Hospital, while others were treated at the scene.
Dani Marie Ferguson said: “My father-in-law was the one who is seriously injured but no-one in the family blames the rider. It was a horrible tragedy and we all understand that.”