Shropshire quarry creates Silverstone track
When thousands of motorbike fans descend on Silverstone for the MotoGP Bank Holiday weekend, they will be watching riders race on a new track made in Shropshire.
The 6km-long track has been re-laid using materials quarried from a Shropshire quarry.
Workers at the Bayston Hill Quarry spent 16 hours a day getting the stone ready to take to the famous Northamptonshire track.
The contract was carried out by Tarmac which owns the Quarry.
Quarry manager, Phil Dukes is a huge motorsport fan and said it was a massive thrill to be involved.
He said: "It was great for the team to work on such a high-profile project, knowing that some of the world’s best drivers will be driving on materials we quarried. I only re-joined Tarmac in May – for the second time in my career - so to find myself working on this project just 10 days into my new role was fantastic.”
He said the workers in Bayston Hill spent three weeks, working 16 hours a day, five days a week, quarrying, washing and cleaning the material before it was transported by road to Silverstone.
There, a highly skilled team from Tarmac worked round the clock to lay a bespoke asphalt solution, developed by the circuit design team, Dromo.
The track was laid just weeks before the British Grand Prix race on July 14.
It was watched by millions of people around the world who saw Lewis Hamilton’s sixth historic British Grand Prix victory.
Mr Dukes said the Shropshire surface was designed specifically to be resistant to the lateral loads and extremes of braking and cornering generated by high-performance racing cars and motorbikes.
“The new track surface was designed to a really high specification, so it’s no wonder, that 10 years ago, the surfacing materials for the Bahrain Formula One race track also came from the same part of the quarry, testament to the quality which we are able to produce.”
Those taking part will include Shropshire’s very own Thomas Booth-Amos, who will be competing in the British Moto3 race as part of the CIP Green Power team.
Tom, from Newport, said he was delighted to have joined the team.
"The challenge of riding against the best riders in the world on the best circuits is a dream come true. I will work at every opportunity to repay everyone’s faith in me and prove that I can race with the best.”
In 2014 the Bayston Hill quarry stone was used to create the surface of the track at the Bahrain International Circuit in the middle of the desert.
It is made of crushed rock called Graywacke aggregate, shipped to Bahrain from the Quarry near Shrewsbury.
The surface material is highly acclaimed by circuit bosses and F1 drivers because of the high level of grip it offers.