Alastaro is a masterpiece of asphalt paving
The Alastaro racing circuit in Finland has a large-scale investment program that will enhance the circuit´s driving and safety qualities to the top European level. The key component is the new asphalt paving, a high-quality example of Lemminkäinen’s expertise.
You are hardly ever asked to move at a snail’s pace on a racing circuit. This was the case this autumn, however, as our surface treatment experts renewed the asphalt surface on the classic and reputable Alastaro racing circuit, in Western Finland.
The previous asphalt surface had endured several dents over its 30 years of service. In practice, the surface had reached the end of its life-cycle after several patches and minor reparations.
Site Manager Marko Wendelin says that asphalt workers highly unlikely get the possibility to work on sites such as Alastaro in their careers.
“This has been an extremely interesting and challenging project that has allowed everyone to demonstrate their expertise, from planning to implementation, regarding both technical requirements and surface treatment work,” explains Wendelin.
Seamless paving work
The project’s difficulty was increased by the fact that the asphalt surface had to be longitudinally seamless and trenchless, and not the slightest inclination or surface defect that could affect water drainage was allowed. The paving work continued for three days.
“The track is three kilometres long and 16 metres wide at its widest point. At its busiest there were four paving machines running next to each other, travelling at a pace of two metres a minute. The drivers, as well as others involved, required nerves of steel and a steady approach,” says Wendelin.
Additional challenges arose from the inclinations in curves, which were too much at their steepest for lorries arriving from the asphalt plant. This meant that the asphalt needed to be transferred to pavers with wheeled machines.
The circuit required a total of approximately 5,000 tonnes of new asphalt mass. The circuit is located in a groundwater zone, which needed to be constantly taken into account.
“It tells a lot that 26 people worked on the project. A single paving team with much more fewer workers would have handled an equally long piece of public road,” says the Site Manager.
A trusted partner
The new asphalt has already been tested with test drives and folk race competitions. According to Tero Tupala, Chairman of the Resykli Oy Board of Directors, who operates the circuit, the feedback has been very positive.
Lap times in wet conditions have improved by as much as ten seconds compared to the previous track. It means that water drains efficiently and that the formula for the asphalt is exactly what is required for high speeds.
“Tyres have a remarkably better grip than before, making the entire circuit safer. It’s an extremely important condition for upcoming competitive events. We’ve reached the level where we can host international competitions as well. I can say that some F1 races are certainly driven on weaker asphalts than what we have here in Alastaro,” says a proud Tupala.
We’re a familiar face in Alastaro, as Wendelin’s team was also responsible for paving the drag race track that was renewed a year ago.
“It was obvious from the beginning that the renewal of the track would be left to the best experts in the industry. It was easy to see that the crew had an interesting project on their hands. The project was carried out with real devotion,” says a thankful Tupala.
Site Manager Wendelin also recognises this. “A lot of the team considered coming here for a test drive some time.”
Image 1: Resykli Oy Chairman of the Board of Directors Tero Tupala
Image 2: Lemminkäinen Site Manager Marko Wendelin
Images 3–5: Lemminkäinen paving team at work