It was the 2nd of October 1948, on a converted World War Two airfield near the village of Silverstone, Northamptonshire, the Royal Automobile Club hosted its first Grand Prix on a new circuit. The winner of this inaugural race was Luigi Villoresi in a Maserati, who recorded an average speed of 72 mph and claim the first prize of £500. Over the intervening years the Silverstone circuit has developed into the UK’s best loved motor racing venue.
In 2009, planning permission was granted to owners, the British Racing Drivers Club (BRDC), for a new pit and paddock area at Silverstone. Around £35 million has been spent over the last two years on the Silverstone Wing, shown above and a new circuit configuration which included the relaying of the surface. The focal point of the redevelopment is the 390 metre long “Wing” that runs between the famous Club and Abbey corners. The spectacular yet functional structure was designed by Architects at Populous, a highly respected global practice. Above the 41 garages at ground level, Populous have created quiet, climate-controlled V.I.P. spectator galleries and a media centre with vistas of the pit lane and the circuit beyond – the “Wing” provides top class facilities for racing teams, media and guests during Blue Riband events. The building also houses 4000m² of glazed exhibition space, a 2000m² conference centre and a 100 seat auditorium.
The Silverstone master plan incorporates re-designed spectator facilities, corporate grandstands, commercial outlets, a technology park, an educational campus and hotels that will eventually provide a year-round leisure venue to rivalling any in the UK.
The Silverstone Wing was officially opened on the 17th May 2011 by The Duke of Kent and the BRDC president, Damon Hill. The presentation ceremony was attended by key figures from the world of motor sport.
Three Hauraton products were supplied for installation in and around the Silverstone Wing complex. To provide the surface water drainage requirement RECYFIX® HICAP® and FASERFIX® KS channels were used with FASERFIX® SERVICE CHANNELS installed to facilitate on-site cable management.
RECYFIX® HICAP® CHANNELS high capacity surface water slot drainage channels
To provide the surface water drainage requirement in the racing teams’ vehicle park located behind the complex, RECYFIX® HICAP® 200, 300 680mm standard units were supplied. A total of 894 metres were installed in a cascading system. All the RECYFIX® HICAP® channel and inlet adaptor components used are made from the company’s 100% recycled polyethylene / polypropylene. Not only is no prime polymer used in the manufacture of RECYFIX® channels but it is the shredded recycled material, not reformed pellets, that is fed directly into the injection moulding machines providing even more energy savings. Having a F900 loading category, the ductile iron inlets, are highly resilient to the twisting forces imposed by the racing teams’ support vehicles. Affording a superior overall hydraulic performance, the HICAP® system allowed the projects contractors’ flexibility in road surface design and installation, reducing the number of channel runs normally required to drain a given area. This reduction meant less underground excavations, materials and vastly reduced installation time. As there were fewer runs required, the surfaces strength was not compromised whilst future maintenance and cleaning will also be reduced. To further reduce installation times, end-of-run caps and pipe connection sockets were also supplied with other connection points moulded into the sides and bottom of each channel.
FASERFIX® KS CHANNELS fibre reinforced concrete surface water drainage channels
500 metres of FASERFIX® KS 100mm channels were installed in the area overlooking the pit lane. These were fitted with Class C250 and E600 ductile iron HEELSAFE gratings treated with a corrosion resistant coating (KTL).This treatment is absorbed by the ductile iron allowing Hauraton to give a life time guarantee for the grating. A further 168 metres of KS 150mm channels were used at other locations in and around the circuit. KS channels are made from the company’s fibre reinforced concrete and feature metal protection along their top edges, not only does this detail provide exceptional wear resistance and increased load bearing capability, unlike some products on the market, the channels are so strong, even prior to installation, they are able to endure the rigours of site work.
FASERFIX® SERVICE CHANNELS for on-site cable management
An essential requirement for any venue hosting national or international events such as Silverstone, safe cable management is essential to facilitate team, multi-media communication and TV broadcasts from the world’s television companies.
The 1000 metres of FASERFIX® 200mm SERVICE CHANNELS installed, feature SIDE-LOCK®, a patented boltless system that allows the non-slip Class E600 ductile iron covers to be removed quickly and re-fitted easily during cable laying and removal. Once a 500mm long cover is positioned over the channel, foot pressure is simply applied. A loud click is then heard which confirms the cover is securely locked. The cover can be removed using a large screwdriver inserted into a discreet leverage point. The system has proved to be 90% quicker than any other fixing method available. In practice, 10 metres of cover can be removed in about 90 seconds with just 70 seconds to replace all 20 covers.
Given that Silverstone was Hauraton’s biggest UK project of its type, the company’s Project Engineer, Peter Dicken was allocated to support the contractors.
“Motor racing at this level involves a massive effort from all those involved. With cars reaching an average speed of 143 mph, the performance levels achieved are not just down to the drivers and their back-up teams – to go fast, the quality of the track and support facilities are crucial. Having been involved in similar projects overseas, notably the Yas Marina motor racing circuit in Abu Dhabi, our company were able to reassure the project’s engineers and contractors our products would meet their highest safety standards. For example, we were able to give the engineers involved in the design of the pit lane the strongest assurances that our channels would comply with the performance criteria demanded in terms of operational safety, materials, handling and longevity”.
Tim Connolly, Hauraton Sales and Marketing Director comments about the project,
“We are pleased that the Silverstone Wing project has been such a success and delighted to have contributed to its rapid progress; the build programme, from start to finish took 54 weeks. We are happy the main contractor, Buckingham Group Contracting Limited reported all our products were easily installed and that there were no breakages on site”.
Silverstone Wing complex – Facts and Figures
- Project: Silverstone motor race track, Pit lane and Paddock building – The Silverstone Wing.
- Client: British Racing Drivers Club – Silverstone Circuits Limited.
- Authorities: Aylesbury Vale District Council and South Northants District Council.
- Architect: Populous.
- Main Contractor: Buckingham Group Contracting Limited.
- Hauraton Project Engineer: Peter Dicken, Mobile 07768 33385 firstname.lastname@example.org
Surface water drainage systems and Hydraulics Design Support: Hauraton Limited
- Silverstone Wing measures 390 metres in length.
- Tallest part of the building measures 26 metres (above ground).
- Height of the ‘Fin’ on the Silverstone Wing measures 30 metres (above ground).
- The roof area spans 9,700 square metres.
Approximate floor space for ‘functional areas’:
- 41 garages covering 6,200 square metres.
- Media Centre covers 2,780 square metres.
- Spectator and hospitality zones cover 8,200 square metres.
- Race Control covers 950 square metres.
- 3,450 cubic metres of concrete used in construction.
- 1,200 tonnes of steel erected.
- 8,000 tonnes of tarmac was used on site.
The following Hauraton drainage channels were installed at Silverstone:
- 200m of RECYFIX®HICAP® 200 – water volume per metre 79.0 litres.
- 169m of RECYFIX®HICAP® 300 – water volume per metre 171.4 litres.
- 525m of RECYFIX®HICAP® 680 – water volume per metre 443.0 litres.
- 168m of FASERFIX®
- 500m of FASERFIX®
All RECYFIX® HICAP® channel and inlet adaptor components are made from the company’s 100% recycled polyethylene / polypropylene. Channels fitted with Industrial Loading Class F900 ductile iron GGG-50, 14mm slot inlets.
The following Hauraton Service channels were installed at Silverstone
- 1000m of FASERFIX®200 Service Channels featuring SIDE-LOCK® ductile iron covers.
The build programme, from start to finish, was 54 weeks (end of April 2010, to Spring of 2011)