Where Denny Hamlin crashed last year at Auto Club Speedway – and subsequently was injured – came at a spot on the 2.0-mile oval in Fontana, Calif. where there was no SAFER barrier.
In 2014, if any driver is unfortunate enough to lose it at that exact same spot, it appears they will not be subject to the same level of impact or injury. At least that’s the goal.
As it is, NASCAR.com’s David Caraviello has confirmed Tuesday from an ACS track spokesperson that an additional 1,000 feet of the Steel And Form Energy Reduction barrier has been added to the track on the inside of Turn 4.
According to the NASCAR.com report, the change was made last September. The IndyCar Series’ finale raced there last October 19.
It’s a promising sign that the tracks and powers-that-be have collaborated to make this change occur. There were several accidents at Daytona this year where drivers crashed into unprotected walls without the SAFER barrier there.
Now if anyone loses it off Turn 4 at Fontana, they should be in better shape.
Ferrari Driver Academy member Callum Ilott will start the 64th Macau Grand Prix from pole position after beating his Formula 3 rivals to victory in Saturday’s qualification race.
Ilott, 19, started third on the grid on Saturday behind pole-sitter Joel Eriksson and McLaren junior Lando Norris, but made a good start to rise to second early on.
Ilott hounded Eriksson for position for much of the race before battling past at Mandarin on Lap 7 as his Swedish rival struggled to keep his tires alive.
With Eriksson unable to respond, Ilott ultimately crossed the line more than seven seconds clear to take his first Macau win and secure pole for Sunday’s main event.
“We started quite strong as I got up to second from third which was not too bad. Then in the middle part of the race I had a good pace and I got past Joel for P1,” Ilott said.
“After that I managed to pull away. It was a good race, even quite relaxing at the end. I’m really happy for the result. Thank you SJM Theodore Racing by Prema, they did a great job and it should be good for tomorrow too.”
Eriksson held on to second ahead of Sergio Sette Camara, who completed the podium ahead of Maximilian Günther in P4.
Ferdinand Habsburg finished fifth ahead of Pedro Piquet, while Norris was left to settle for a lowly P7 after a clutch issue off the line caused him to drop down the order.
You can see full results from the Macau F3 qualifying race here.