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post #1 of 1 (permalink) Old 08-05-2006, 10:06 AM Thread Starter
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Track Inspection For Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca

Does Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca need to be repaved or is there a less radical solution? The answer won’t be known for a few weeks, according to MRLS CEO Gill Campbell.

During an otherwise stellar Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix weekend, the track surface was the single most glaring disappointment, mostly because it had recently been repaved. The track was littered with bumps-especially from the Corkscrew to Turn 11-and the surface began to break up during Saturday’s AMA Superbike race, notably in Rainey Curve, Turn 9. Riders, in both the AMA and MotoGP, called for a complete resurfacing before next year. Campbell said that the extent of repairs had yet to be determined.

“We won’t know anything for a while,” she said in a phone interview on Friday afternoon, one day after various officials inspected the track. Officials of Monterey County; which is responsible for the park, Bo Beresiwsky; vice president of facility operations, Graniterock’s Pavex Division; the contractor, and the compound designer “all got together and walked the track. They took core samples. We won’t have results of those for probably a couple of weeks.

“We don’t know what caused the problem, the compound or the application of the compound.”

Campbell said that MotoGP series organizers, Dorna, have offered their help and the FIM has offered the assistance of their pavement specialist. “Once we get results from the lab, then we’ll bring in everybody we possibly can to determine what the fix actually is. I don’t know if it’s going to need a repaving, I don’t know if it’s going to need a resurfacing. Until we get the results from the lab, nobody’s going to know.” She added that it will be paved for next year’s race.

Campbell explained that the section of track that broke up in turn nine had been diamond ground to eliminate a bump on the racing line. She said that the FIM inspected the track, Thursday prior to the race and went back and forth deciding if it should be sealed. They were also given the choice of two sealers. Ultimately they did a test patch and decided to use a sealer.

“You combine that with extreme temperature that we experience that weekend, those were the areas that were coming up, not the track itself,” she said. “Those sealed areas, the 152 degrees (recorded track temperature), I’m not sure many tracks, particularly a new surface, could stand up. The ambient temperature that weekend was 20 degrees hotter than ever recorded in the history in Monterey.” Campbell said Monterey reached a high of 107 degrees. “Any time you had an extreme situation like that, I’m expressing an uneducated opinion, when you have a freshly sealed section, you stand that risk.”

Aside from the track problems, “It was a fabulous weekend, it really was,” Campbell said. “Other than the track surface, the thing we had control over for the most part worked well. You never saw a line for concessions. Nobody ran out of food. There was never a line for a porta-potty. The traffic plan worked excellently. The shuttle bus plan got seized up at the end of the day on Sunday and we’ve got the fix for that. We’ve got the fix and we have hired a professional. The heat really affected our volunteer force. And they’re out there all day in that heat.”

Campbell was also pleased by the crowd. They’d projected a drop of 20%, and had planned to voluntarily limit the size of the crowd to 48,000. But it ended up being over 52,000.

“I think we ended up being (down) 12%,” she said. “I was very, very pleased.”

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