Rockingham takes shape as surfacing begins

A landmark was reached at the Rockingham Motor Speedway last week as the first layer of bitumen was laid on the 1.5-mile oval which is to host Britain's first Indycar race for 23 years

Rockingham takes shape as surfacing begins

The all-new track is being built on a 300-acre brownfield site near the Northamptonshire town of Corby and is to stage round 18 of the 2001 CART Championship on September 22.

Such is the scale of the building work at Rockingham, a special asphalt manufacturing plant has been built next to the track and last week's first layer of bitumen marks the beginning of a 15-week long operation -- 126 000 square metres of asphalt will be laid to cover the 2.6-mile infield road course, the paddock and the car parking areas.

Frantic construction work has seen the nine metre high acoustics barrier surrounding the entire facility already completed, and 12 000 metres of drainage pipes laid. Work is progressing on the other areas of the American-style racing facility with the 36 pit garage structures almost complete and the frameworks of the track centrepiece, the Rockingham Building and the grandstands also taking shape.

"Our customers will quite rightly demand the highest quality of facilities when they visit us," said Rockingham managing director Peter Davies. "So we have designed the Rockingham Building and the grandstand facilities to do just that. We are looking forward to a great opening season at all levels of racing when we open for action in spring 2001."

It unsure which cars will have the privilege of competing first on the Rockingham track next year, other than the event is expected to have a distinctly 'classic' feel to it. But come the first race in May next year, more than two million tonnes of soil will have been bulldozed, 12.4 miles of barriers and fencing will be in place and 27 500 permanent grandstand seats will await the crowds.

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