Iceland drag race track gets the SmoothRide treatment
Located in northern Iceland, Akureyri is the fourth largest town in the country, with a modest population of 19,000. While the town is known for its stunning scenery, winter sports and whale watching, it also prides itself on being home to one of Iceland’s oldest car racing clubs.
Founded in 1974, The Akureyri Car Club has become a popular fixture on the racing calendar. The club started off hosting off-road challenges which, over the years, evolved into what is now known as Formula Offroad. Originally unique to Iceland, this popular sport has now spread across the globe. Today, the club’s most popular and largest event is the annual Car Days week, with thousands of spectators attending each year to observe the Independence Day car show, drag racing and mud bogging events. With the club continuing to grow in popularity and use, wear and tear meant the quarter-of-a-mile drag race strip was in urgent need of an upgrade.
Creating a smooth surface
When it came to resurfacing the drag strip, the owners needed the job completing efficiently and with minimal disruption. The contractor in charge of the project, Malbikun Norðurlands ehf, turned to Topcon Positioning Group and its advanced SmoothRide machine control technology to guarantee that the track would be entirely smooth and level. When they secured this project, they knew that they needed to get the most accurate equipment available, so they approached Verkfæri ehf – the Icelandic Topcon dealer handling SmoothRide. By using SmoothRide for the entire job, they managed to achieve the best accuracy possible and were incredibly surprised by how easy the technology is to use.
“SmoothRide covers everything, from scanning and design to laying the asphalt, which meant that the entire operation ran seamlessly and without any problems."
Oliver Gustáfsson at Verkfæri ehf, the Topcon dealer for Iceland, said: “SmoothRide covers everything, from scanning and design to laying the asphalt, which meant that the entire operation ran seamlessly and without any problems. The solution is not only extremely accurate, but also estimates volumes, which make a huge difference when ordering the asphalt and managing the project. We are very happy with both the end result and the service from Topcon and their distributor.”
Luca Nocentini, Senior 3D Paving Application Specialist at Topcon added: “SmoothRide was the perfect fit for The Akureyri Car Club drag strip. By using the advanced machine control technology, it was possible to obtain an accurate design of the straight-line track to define what needed to be fixed. The nature of SmoothRide means the entire process is simplified. First, the scanning is completed by instruments attached to the back of a truck, then this data is used to develop the design that the milling machines work from, only shaving off as much material as needed to avoid unnecessary work. Finally, paving machinery paves new asphalt over the top to the exact thickness required for a smooth finish. No wastage, cost effective and incredibly quick – that’s what SmoothRide delivers.”
Topcon’s SmoothRide offers unparalleled levels of smoothness. The technology ensures precise thickness control, while also accounting for differential compaction dictated by the surface, which reduces the number of lifts required. This reduces costs, improves material management and keeps the project on schedule.
In order to provide tight vertical control and precise guidance, the RD-MC system is built on a tried and tested solution – Topcon’s industry-leading sonic tracker. This fusion of technology helps to provide the most versatile solution, by also including a GNSS receiver to accurately position the equipment and resurface variable amounts of asphalt according to the design. The reliable data it collects is also fundamental for the client to obtain precise offers from contractors – saving time, lowering costs, and increasing safety.
“We couldn’t be happier with the final result. Our new drag strip is smoother and safer than ever before, enabling us to increase driver performance and, importantly, safety."
Getting race ready
Racetrack maintenance is traditionally a time-consuming and costly process, with tracks needing to be closed for the work to take place, interfering with race fixtures and events. By using technology such as SmoothRide, the racetrack is resurfaced in the most cost effective and efficient way possible.
Einar Gunnlaugsson, Chairman of the Akureyri Car Club, said: “We couldn’t be happier with the final result. Our new drag strip is smoother and safer than ever before, enabling us to increase driver performance and, importantly, safety. We’re confident the new track will help to elevate our status within the racing industry and encourage even more people to come and watch top quality racing in beautiful surroundings.”
To find out more about Topcon’s SmoothRide technology, visit: