Motor racing at Silverstone has been kept on track – thanks to a specialist construction contractor based in the Midlands.
Expert operators from D-Drill, which is headquartered near Coventry with offices around the UK, were called into the world famous racing circuit because it had issues with water lying on the track.
If the issue couldn’t be resolved, then it would have had serious implications for the race calendar at the track, which hosts a range of events including the Formula One British Grand Prix.
The duo from D-Drill – Lionel Whittemore and Kurt Elson – devised a solution with Tarmac and Silverstone to use floor sawing techniques to drain the water away and to use vapour blasting to remove paint from kerbs and barriers.
They spent several days at Silverstone and used a Husqvarna D4800 floorsaw to create the cuts that would channel the rainwater away from the track surface.
Lionel Whittemore, branch manager of D-Drill in Coventry, said the company had been approached because the client knew D-Drill could offer a solution.
He said: “Firstly, as a lifelong fan of F1, it was a brilliant experience working at Silverstone and I feel honoured to have been part of the modernisation and maintenance of such an iconic track.
“It is no exaggeration to say that racing would have been severely affected and possibly cancelled had the work not been done so we came together with the maintenance team to devise a solution to clear the track of residual rainwater lying in certain areas.
“We were there for several days. We’d make some cuts and then the team at Silverstone would flood the track to make sure the water was effectively draining away before we’d continue working.
“There was a stipulation from Silverstone Ltd that we had to be careful not to do any damage to track because we didn’t want to adversely affect racing conditions.
“By the time we concluded our work, 97 per cent of water had been successfully redirected from the track and 100 per of paint had been removed from the kerbs and barriers where required.
“The project was so successful that extra cutting works have been arranged to be carried out on additional areas of the track and pit lane.
“We had great feedback from the client and I’ll be watching closely when the British Grand Prix takes place in 2020!”
Lee Howkins, track manager of Silverstone, said: “We are extremely happy with the work that D-Drill carried out and will be asking the team to return to do more.
“We were very impressed with the competence, attitude and professionalism of the operatives who worked on site.”
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