Beginning January 2017, pro racers and auto/motorcycle enthusiasts alike are expected to flock to Palm Springs as The Thermal Club finalizes its highly anticipated third and final phase of track development, complete with the most modern safety technology in the industry.
Previous additions to Thermal—the North and South Palm Circuits—received the highest accolades. Phase 3, the Desert Circuit, is poised to be no less impressive. Membership to The Thermal Club is exclusive and definitely not cheap, but its members are privy to driving laps of luxury in their Ferraris, Porches, Lamborghinis, etc. Not surprisingly, Thermal has become the go-to club among the racing and driving communities, building upon innovation and passion for motorsports as its core foundations. Now it stands to elevate its status as the pinnacle of opulent racing and safety.
One of The Thermal Club’s utmost concern is the wellbeing of its drivers. Thus, they outfitted all three track phases with state-of-the-art barrier technology pioneered by Impact Safety Systems (ISS). Thermal placed the barriers in critical locations around their courses—red and white Kart Impact Safety Systems (KISS) barriers outline one mile of the South Palm Circuit and three miles of the karting track; blue and white ProLink barriers by ISS cover three-quarters of a mile of the North Palm Circuit; and more than half a mile of the Desert Circuit is bordered by green and white ProLink barriers. In total, there are nearly 3000 ISS barriers creating kaleidoscopic rows of protection.
Impact Safety Systems was developed in response to the dire need for barricade reform to increase driver survival. The Thermal Club usurped the status quo of using archaic and dangerous barriers—such as Armco guardrails, concrete walls, or used tires—and chose a new composite polyethylene plastic barrier technology that delivers maximum safety. A premium facility like Thermal demands only the highest quality equipment and their decision to use ISS Barriers is a clear example.
On Thermal’s tracks, ISS barriers are more than mere aesthetic enhancements—as buffers against Armco and cement, they may make the difference between life or death, minor rather than critical injuries, and minimal versus major vehicle damage. ISS barriers act as the first line of defense by providing enough safe deceleration to avoid hitting the last line of defense—hard walls. The system is designed to absorb impact energy and distribute it down the line of linked barriers to cushion the blow and reduce ricochets.
Many members regularly drive their exotic sportscars or valuable race cars on The Thermal Club tracks. As is to be expected in racing, participants have personally been involved in or witnessed serious collisions. However, thanks to Thermal’s foresight in installing ISS Barriers, these accidents resulted in very little vehicle damage and, more importantly, less harm to occupants.
When Thermal’s events require track changes, ISS barriers easily adapt as they are one of the only systems that can be arranged in any configuration or either direction, including curves and 90° angles, making driving there even more interesting.
The Thermal Club fulfills the need for speed and understands that the ideal environment to safely indulge in this obsession must offer unparalleled protection that rivals the amenities and upscale service. Thermal’s completed project is the perfect outlet to test the limits of both man and machine.