bikes race anti-clockwise around an oval track on a surface of loosely
packed shale. The shale allows the riders to slide their machines
sideways into the bends using the rear wheel to scrub-off speed
while still providing the drive to power the bike forward and around
the bend. Tracks generally range between 260 and 425 metres in length
but are often quite narrow.
is also some form of safety barrier between the outer edge of the
track and the spectators. These safety barriers were traditionally
constructed of wood but in recent years more forgiving materials
have been used to reduce injuries to those unfortunate enough to
collide with them. The most up to date innovation has been air fences
(air filled bags) around the bends and these are gradually being
accepted as the safest form of track barrier for riders and spectators.
Air fences are now used for all Speedway Grand Prix meetings.