SA's first race control system successfully commissioned

February 2002 Surveillance

Phakisa Freeway in Welkom recently commissioned its new Race Control system, bringing it fully into line with the requirements of Dorna, the world controlling body of World Motorcycle Grands Prix.

This sophisticated CCTV installation gives the track the necessary homologation to stage internationally recognised events. It is one of only 16 racetracks around the world complying with the Controlling Body's demanding protocol. Three World Motor Cycle Grand Prix, national, regional and club events have already been staged using the Race Control system.

Scene in Race Control during the World Motorcycle Grand Prix held at Phakisa, Welkom.  The monitor on the far left in the bottom row receives live feed from the local broadcaster
Scene in Race Control during the World Motorcycle Grand Prix held at Phakisa, Welkom. The monitor on the far left in the bottom row receives live feed from the local broadcaster

Spacious enough to accommodate 20 personnel and their complex equipment, the Race Control affords quality visibility of the pit lane, starting grid and track. The entire circuit can be seen at all times. Cameras with remote controlled zoom and pan facilities keep the Race Director fully informed of events. VCRs ensure a record of incidents, the reaction and behaviour of riders, marshals, fire, medical and other emergency personnel. These are retained for subsequent analysis and evaluation.

Designed, installed and maintained by AV Electronics of Senderwood, Johannesburg, the system includes 17 cameras, 18 monitors, host broadcast TV set, VCRs, computers, walkie-talkies, matrix and fibre optics. A standby electrical generator and UPS cater for any possible power failures. One of the VCRs is equipped with a professional slow motion facility, including freeze frames with reverse and forward tracking ball. The Race Director and Clerk of the Course decide the exact location of the equipment.

The minimum power supply required to provide for all conditions is 1000-1400 KVA. Airconditioning ensures optimum equipment performance at all times. As yet a further precaution, AV Electronics stations 2 highly qualified technicians, from the Welkon office, at the track throughout race and practice periods. TV cables connect Race Control and the Media Centre with the main truck of the host broadcaster, enabling personnel at both sites to view practices and races on television.

At the commissioning ceremony, Gary Davids, AV Electronics' Marketing Director, commented, "We can take great pride in this installation. It demonstrates yet again that South African technology and know-how is equal to the most daunting challenges and can accommodate even the most exacting specifications."

For further details contact Gary Davids, AV Electronics on tel: (011) 453 8663, e-mail: [email protected]





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