Estonian circuit operator says Latvian biker killed due to combination of circumstances

  • 2024-06-03
  • LETA/BNS/TBT Staff

TALLINN – The operator of the Audru motorsport race circuit has said in a statement that their track meets international safety requirements, and the death of Latvian motorcycle rider Juris Apinis was probably a result of a coincidence of several bad factors.

"We take the incident very seriously and will order redevelopment works on the track, which eliminate the possibility of a similar accident happening again," said Andres Hall, the manager of Rada OU, which operates the circuit located not far from the southwestern regional capital Parnu.

He said the safety of Estonia's only motorsport circuit has always been the highest priority for the company, and Saturday's accident was a great shock. The event was a track day organized by the Lithuanian company CR Moto, which preceded the first stage of the Estonian and Baltic championships scheduled for Sunday.

The Audru circuit meets the Grade 4 requirements of the International Automobile Federation (FIA) and has been repeatedly inspected by both the Estonian Autosport Union and FIA. The latter has issued the relevant license for holding races at Audru. The Estonian Motorcycle Federation has also recognized the track as meeting the required standards. Regarding the sixth corner, near which the accident occurred, Hall noted that inspectors inspecting the track have never had any remarks about it.

"The Audru circuit has been operating in its current form since 2013. Under normal circumstances, the place where the accident occurred does not remain within a run-off area of the track and, in the event of a mistake, the rider or the bike should not end up sliding in that direction. The Audru circuit has the largest run-off areas in the region, and the run-off areas of other tracks in the nearby region are similar, with a grass surface. There are no asphalted or gravel run-offs in the Baltic countries. As the accident did not occur in a run-off area, the surfacing of the run-off would not have made any difference in this case," Hall explained.

This is the first tragic accident in the history of the Audru circuit. In motorsports, including motorcycling, unfortunately, falls and accidents cannot be 100 percent ruled out, according to Hall. This makes it extraordinarily important to make the tracks safe.

"I would like to assure everyone that we take the determination of the causes of the accident with all seriousness, cooperate fully with the Estonian Motorcycling Federation and take steps to prevent the recurrence of similar incidents," the executive said.

He said that earthworks have been ordered in the area of the sixth corner for the coming week in order to eliminate the drainage ditch next to the accident site and raise the soil element in front of the barrier made from tires.

On behalf of the company, Hall expressed his condolences to the family of Juris Apinis.