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Race tracks case study

Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit
South Africa

PROJECT

Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit, Midrand, South Africa


  • 2015
    Year

  • South Africa
    Country

  • Stringent Performance Requirements
    Challenge

  • Premium Polymer Modified Bitumen (PMB)
    Enabling Technology

  • Race Tracks
    Category

  • Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit Case Study
 “We found that the use of this particular PMB blend enhanced the track’s niche pavement and asphalt finishing. These aspects of the project are among the critical factors in high-speed safety, obtaining FIA certification and ensuring that the track is a world-class facility.”
– Francois Van Rensburg, Divisional Director of WSP Global Inc.
for Development, Transportation, and Infrastructure in Africa

 

Introduction

Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit was constructed in 1961. In 1967, the racetrack began hosting the Formula 1 World Championship, becoming a world-renowned racing venue.


Challenge

By early 2010, Kyalami required a substantial track renovation to achieve the high construction standards needed for a safety certification from the Federation International de l’Automobile (FIA), the motorsport’s top governing body.


Resolution

To get Kyalami back on track, Bituguard worked with Kraton to produce a premium modified binder that restores the circuit and adheres to FIA standards. The scope included the track’s refurbishment, realignment and extension. The old asphalt track was excavated down to the base layer. This asphalt was treated so it could serve as the foundation for the new modified binder and surface layers.

To meet specifications by the Committee of Land Transport Officials (COLTO), the asphalt mix needed to be impermeable, have a high deformation and fatigue resistance, and avoid creep from abnormal surface forces. This was accomplished by designing a new medium graded asphalt mix with a five percent styrene-butadiene-styrene (SBS) modified binder.

The race circuit was successfully executed, and the materials’ consistency made it possible to produce an asphalt mix to international standards for high-speed safety. The renovated 4.5 km Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit is certified by the FIA as a Grade 2 race track that meets stringent international safety and quality standards, becoming the only current motor racing facility in Africa to achieve this accreditation.

Adding SBS to the modified asphalt enhanced the track’s durability. Since its reopening, the race track has proven its quality and performance with drivers racing at speeds approaching 320 km per hour.

 

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