Green Savoree Racing Promotions, which owns and operates the track, confirmed the status of its natural-terrain road course on Tuesday afternoon.
Ohio-based Kokosing Construction Company, Inc. began initial repair work the week of October 16th, followed by milling the existing track surface on Monday, October 23 and completing the paving of the final asphalt surface layer on Friday, October 27.
Kokosing Construction Company, Inc., Kokosing Materials, Inc. and Advanced Materials Services, LLC used their respective expertise as part of a collaborative effort on the project. The planning and research part of the process began in 2022, with a layer placed in Turn 1 as part of a test to evaluate a specific asphalt mixture for 2023.
The last repave at the Lexington, Ohio-based circuit started in fall 2005 and was completed in spring 2006.
“We were blessed with outstanding weather last week for the crews to complete this major project in a relatively short amount of time,” said Kevin Savoree, co-owner, president and chief operating officer of Green Savoree Racing Promotions.
“It was a tremendous accomplishment and collaboration between Kokosing Construction, Kokosing Materials, Advanced Materials Services and our own track operations team to make it happen. We look forward to getting race cars on it for the first time next spring!”
Photo by: Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course
Approximately 100 people that contributed a combined total of 5,000 hours, with 15 trucks removing 6,000 tons or thereabouts of the old track material. Additionally, it took 30 trucks to deliver 6,000 tons of the new asphalt mixture.
The replaced track material is being recycled and regraded to create additional paddock and parking surface areas on the Mid-Ohio property.
The project encompassed 11,550 feet of surface paving, 3,500 feet of various turn reinforcement, 500 feet of full depth repair in the Keyhole and Turn 12 areas and 300 feet of transverse joint repair.
Following a milling of the racing surface, the second step of the process for Kokosing featured asphalt repairs and reinforcement of high stress areas which required additional milling depth.
The final stage saw two pavers place the asphalt surface layer at 40-foot width around the entire circuit, working in a side-by-side pattern to avoid a centerline joint throughout the track’s 2.258-mile, 13-turn or 2.4-mile, 15-turn layout.
“Plans for the 2023 project started in 2022, immediately after completing the resurfacing of Turn 1,” said Bart Moody, vice president of asphalt estimating and engineering at Kokosing Construction Company, Inc.
“Logistical challenges had to be overcome to produce the mix and perform the work with limited time and access. A full-time truck coordinator was in constant communication with material trucks to ensure they entered and exited the track at the correct locations as work progressed. Crews worked extended hours in order to maintain the schedule that made use of unseasonably warm weather for October in Ohio.” Aggregates were sourced locally from Olen Corporation’s Upper Sandusky and Fredericktown plants. Durable aggregates were selected to withstand the loading applied to the track, and a highly polymerized asphalt binder was produced by Kokosing Materials, Inc. to withstand the high temperatures and stresses.
The asphalt mixture used was tested at the Kokosing Materials Asphalt Plant and at the track for a variety of properties such as asphalt content, gradation and density.
“The stresses on a racetrack, especially road courses with tight turns, are much higher than those typically seen on conventional asphalt pavements,” said Graham Hurley, project engineer at Advanced Materials Services, LLC.
“The much stiffer PG 88-22 asphalt binder used counteracts the shear stresses imparted on the track surface by race cars, which prevents any ravelling that may occur. Additionally, the specifications used for this project were much tighter than a traditional highway specification.
“The target minimum softening temperature for asphalt binder and the target in-place density values were both set higher than conventional specifications for vehicular traffic. Kokosing successfully met these higher conditions with ease.”