Since 8 spectators were killed at an off-road desert race in August this year, Parker race fans have been anticipating the response from the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) with regard to their rules for the upcoming Parker 250 and Parker 425 races in January and February.
Today, BLM made it clear they support the Best In The Desert races in Parker and wish to prolong the perfect safety record of the events. BLM states that they are implementing land closures “to help ensure public safety” from 2pm on Friday, January 7th through 6pm on Saturday, January 8th and from 2pm on Friday, February 4th through midnight on Saturday, February 5th.
There will be the usual spectator zones, with a new 25 mph zone for race vehicles around the spectator areas in Bouse, leaving the famous Parker Python unaffected.
“As in past years, we will have designated spectator areas so people can enjoy the races,” said BLM representative Mike Henderson. “Given the tragic events at a similar racing event earlier this year, spectator safety is of heightened concern. Rather than closing a spectator area or moving the race course away from spectator areas, race promoters have agreed to implement a ‘speed zone’ of 25 miles per hour at the two spectator areas in Bouse. The five-mile long spectator area long Shea Road outside of Parker is above the race course, is protected with a post and cable along the bluff and will not require a speed zone.”
Henderson added, “The Parker Races are an important tradition to the community and public. We’ve had a perfect spectator safety record for 39 years and we want to keep it that way.”
The race course and closure areas descriptions, restrictions, and maps of the designated race course are available at the Bureau of Land Management Lake Havasu Field Office, 2610 Sweetwater Avenue, Lake Havasu City, AZ 86406.
For more information contact Michael Dodson, Field Staff Ranger, BLM Lake Havasu Field Office at (928) 505-1200.