When thousands of motorbike fans descend on Silverstone for the MotoGP Bank Holiday weekend (23 to 25 August), they will be watching riders race on a new track laid using materials quarried from a Shropshire quarry.
Those taking part will include Shropshire’s very own Thomas Booth-Amos, who will be competing in the British Moto3 race as part of the CIP Green Power team.
Newport-born Booth-Amos and the other riders will be racing on surface material quarried from Tarmac-owned Bayston Hill quarry, near Shrewsbury, where a team spent three weeks, working 16 hours a day, five days a week, quarrying, washing and cleaning the material before it was transported by road to the famous Northamptonshire track.
It was at Silverstone – home to Lewis Hamilton’s recent sixth historic British Grand Prix victory – that a highly skilled team from Tarmac worked round the clock to lay a bespoke asphalt solution, developed by the circuit design team, Dromo, just weeks before the race was watched by millions of people around the world.
The Shropshire surface was designed specifically to be resistant to the lateral loads and extremes of braking and cornering generated by high-performance racing cars and motorbikes.
Motorsport fan Phil Dukes, a father of one from Shrewsbury and quarry manager, said: “It was great for the team to work on such a high-profile project, knowing that some of the world’s best drivers will be driving on materials we quarried.
“I only re-joined Tarmac in May – for the second time in my career - so to find myself working on this project just 10 days into my new role was fantastic.”
He added: “The new track surface was designed to a really high specification, so it’s no wonder, that 10 years ago, the surfacing materials for the Bahrain Formula One race track also came from the same part of the quarry, testament to the quality which we are able to produce.”
After the material was washed and cleaned, the asphalt surfacing material was delivered to the track, where a team of experts from Tarmac laid the track.