Strong together for Formula 1
Three SUPER 1800-3is

Rehabilitation of the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps by Wirtgen Group machines

The challenging Spa-Francorchamps race track in Belgium was rehabilitated with the aim of enhancing its attractiveness to spectators and, above all, of improving racing driver safety - an ongoing concern for those running Spa-Francorchamps.

The rehabilitation of the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps posed particular challenges to all involved, as the track was not a design fresh from the drawing board, as is usually the case, but has been in existence for over 100 years and includes ordinary roads. The project was planned and coordinated by the Spa-Francorchamps track management team (as project manager), then implemented and monitored by Italian company Dromo Circuit Design. Dromo CEO Jarno Zaffelli emphasizes how very demanding this rehabilitation project is - due in particular to the undulating nature of the circuit. There are extreme sections featuring gradients of 20%, such as the legendary combination of the Eau Rouge and Raidillon corners. A further challenge was presented by the hairpin bend La Source (“the spring”), because spring water gets on to the track here. To ensure maximum driver safety on the tough Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, the most stringent possible conditions for evenness and grip were applied to the asphalt surface course.

Bringing experience and expertise to the race for quality

Belgian company Bodarwé was contracted to complete the asphalt paving - this company, based in nearby Malmedy, has set great store by Wirtgen Group machines for years. This was also reassuring for Dromo’s Jarno Zaffelli, since the variations in level around the winding Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps present a real challenge to the paving team, as well as to racing drivers. Zaffelli is a big fan of the Wirtgen Group:

“For years, we have been working with contractors who use Wirtgen Group machinery. We know the machines very well, and are familiar with what they deliver in terms of quality and reliability."

Jarno Zaffelli, CEO of Dromo Circuit Design

Stringent demands deliver the best results

The project was to pave a new surface course on a section measuring 505 m, extending from the Eau Rouge valley to the famous sweeping Formula 1 corner at Raidillon. Another 206 m section was to be paved in the area of the T9Car Formula 1 corner to the north, in addition to 701 m for the new T8Moto and T9Moto motorcycle race corners. To ensure that the sections were completed to the highest possible standard, the following requirements were imposed on the paving team: Paving had to proceed non-stop, at a rate of between 3 and 4 m per minute. The temperature of the asphalt material was set at 180 °C in order to maintain a sufficiently large compaction window, even at the low outdoor temperatures prevailing at the time. A further requirement was for continuous monitoring and documentation of the temperature of the paved surface course.

Benninghoven plant for a special material

The composition of the material plays a key role in the quality of a Formula 1 track surface. Dromo developed the formula, code-named "Le Noir", especially for Spa-Francorchamps in accordance with the regulations of the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA). It is a well-kept secret. The material was mixed by the plant belonging to Boreta S.A, a subsidiary of Bodarwé. The Benninghoven TBA 4000 plant, just two years old, was the first to be produced at the new Benninghoven facility in Wittlich. This mixing plant is characterised by the highest quality and production standards, as well as by a wide range of options.

The highest quality and production standards for asphalt mixing: the Benninghoven TBA 4000 plant was the first to be produced at the new Benninghoven facility in Wittlich.

Three top-specification Vögele SUPER 1800-3i machines

Once the surface course in the relevant sections had been removed by a , complete with LEVEL PRO ACTIVE milling depth regulator and 3D controller, three Vögele SUPER 1800-3i machines were deployed. The task was to pave three 4.1–4.3 m strips without joints using the tried-and-tested hot-to-hot method.

Perfect grade and slope control: all three Vögele pavers are equipped with a Big MultiPlex Ski, ensuring maximum evenness.

Vögele Big MultiPlex Ski

The three pavers were each equipped with an AB 500 TV Extending Screed and a Big MultiPlex Ski to ensure maximum longitudinal evenness. Three multi-cell sonic sensors were fitted to the variable carriers of the Big MultiPlex Ski, each scanning the binder course/the adjacent surface course to ensure precision paving.

Read more about Big MultiPlex Ski

Tolles Produkt

Complete control with WITOS Paving Docu and RoadScan

The three Vögele pavers were equipped with incorporating the RoadScan temperature measurement system to monitor and record paving temperature. The system recorded not only asphalt temperature, but other paving parameters, too: geometry, surface area, distance and volumes of asphalt paved. Construction manager Sébastien Dandrifosse was very pleased: “WITOS Paving Docu is ideal for monitoring temperature directly on-site, where we can immediately use the information to counteract any deviation.”

WITOS Paving Docu always gives the paving team complete control of logistics and paving temperature.

Teamwork for the supreme class

Machines and people co-operated to the highest standards on the legendary race track in Belgium’s Ardennes mountains. The demands of the project were intense, but operators used the machinery and technology to overcome every challenge they faced. The race track design team were also impressed by the support provided by the Wirtgen Group, as summed up by Jarno Zaffelli:

"The backup from their technical team was very good - and extremely important. It is very reassuring to have experts like that by your side when running a paving operation that can’t easily be repeated. It was a learning process, and both racing drivers and spectators got to experience the perfect result at the Formula 1 Grand Prix on 28th August 2022."

Jarno Zaffelli, CEO of Dromo Circuit Design

Press/media kit

Click here to download a ZIP file containing the press release in the available languages in Microsoft Word format and the images in 300 dpi resolution.