'Freak accident' prompts GTI International race meeting to leave Bruntingthorpe Proving Ground, near Lutterworth
The organisers of a race meeting have pulled out of a venue where a car left the track and injured three spectators.
Two of the spectators were seriously injured when a racing car lost control and crashed through a safety barrier at Bruntingthorpe Proving Ground, near Lutterworth.
One man suffered head and pelvic injuries and another suspected spinal injuries.
Two of the spectators are pursuing claims for compensation.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Sunday, June 30 2013
The incident happened at the end of the two-day GTI International race meeting at the former airfield last June.
Two cars were racing on a quarter-mile sprint track when the driver of one lost control.
The car, thought to have been travelling at between 60mph and 70mph, crashed through a heavy, water-filled plastic barrier before hitting a metal barrier in front of spectators.
A statement on GTI International's website said: "For the past eight years, GTI International has been held at Bruntingthorpe Proving Ground.
"Although one of the most successful of the series, last year's event was marred by an accident on the sprint which resulted in three spectators being injured.
"We don't want anything like this to happen again, so we are moving GTI International 2013 to the Shakespeare County Raceway, near Stratford on Avon, one of Britain's top drag racing venues.
"With full Motor Sports Association accreditation, full-time medical centre, extremely experienced staff and a wonderful smooth and level surface, sprinting at GTI International will be faster, and much safer than ever before."
Martyn Salt, 23, who was at the Bruntingthorpe race meeting with partner Shelley Burton, 23, suffered head and pelvic injuries and was taken to Leicester Royal Infirmary on a spinal board. His partner was also taken to hospital.
Mr Salt, of Cheadle, Staffordshire, said: "Shelley is still having quite a bit of pain in her leg and I'm still suffering a bit as well.
"I've got a solicitor working for me. It's not something I've ever done before, but after we were injured through no fault of our own there was no other action we could take."
A Harborough District Council spokesman said: "The organiser has agreed to completely review the health and safety arrangements. We have written to the organiser detailing which areas we want them to improve and have asked that they submit full details in advance of any future event."
Bruntingthorpe owner David Walton said: "Prior to 2012, GTI were considering other venues.
"We rented them an empty site, costs were going up and they decided they wanted to go somewhere where all the facilities were already in place.
"It was an incredibly unfortunate incident and their first in more than 20 years of running the event. The steering wheel came off in the driver's hands.
"Prior to the event, the track and barriers had been approved by the council's health and safety inspectors, as well as the police and emergency services.
"It was considered after the event that the barriers, which were hired in by GTI, were not strong enough to withstand the impact and more substantial barriers need to be put in place for future events.
"We have started the process of acquiring concrete barriers for future events."
A GTI International spokesman said: "Following a health and safety investigation, clearly bigger and better barriers would be advantageous.
"Everything for the race, including the barriers, had to be shipped into Bruntingthorpe at vast expense, which was crippling our event.
"We would have had to spend even more this year on improved barriers. Regardless of the incident we were looking to move to a track with its own facilities, including safety barriers anyway.
"Health and safety had no issues with the barriers until this freak accident."