Silverstone to sue contractor for botched track resurfacing

Silverstone bosses are preparing an £8M lawsuit against contractors whose 2018 relaying of the famous British racetrack left it unsafe and in need of resurfacing again just a year later.

Aggregate Industries were paid £2M to relay the 6km track in 2018 – the first time it had been renewed since 1996. The four-week job was intended improve racing by ironing out bumps and uneven surfaces and removing differently-aged asphalt sections that had different performance characteristics. It was touted as being “very close to the perfect surface for a racing circuit” by Silverstone managing director Stuart Pringle at the time, but problems quickly arose.

Formula 1 used the track for the 2018 British Grand Prix in July, but multi-time F1 Champion Lewis Hamilton described it at the time as “the bumpiest track I’ve ever experienced”.

At the British MotoGP Grand Prix in August 2018, standing water on the surface caused five riders to crash during practice and the actual race was cancelled for the first time in 38 years. This left the organiser, Dorna, obligated to refund 56,000 tickets.

The contractor agreed to carry out a full review of its work, but motorcycling’s governing body FIM revoked Silverstone’s license shortly after. Silverstone claims that losing the right to host MotoGP events has cost it at least £3.5M in the last few years.

The surface was relayed by Tarmac before the 2019 British Grand Prix, barely a year after Aggregate Industries’ job, at a cost of £3.7M.

Now Silverstone is gearing up to win that money back in court. In the court documents, the racetrack’s lawyers describe the botched surface as having “microbumps” and “fatty” areas where bitumen seeped out. They also describe excessive water retention and a release of foaming white liquid from the track at times.

Silverstone is suing for the cost of the lost MotoGP, the cost of resurfacing the track again and additional lost profits worth £624,552, bringing the total to £7,933,124 before legal fees.

Source: New Civil Engineer

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