Pole Position - Updating the Franciacorta circuit for Porsche’s new experience centre
The Autodromo di Franciacorta is a racetrack in Castrezzato, Italy, which has hosted a variety of prestigious motorsport events throughout the years and most recently, the Porsche Festival in October 2021.
In 2019, it was taken over by Porsche to become the eighth Porsche Experience Centre and the largest in the world. Following significant investment, the centre was inaugurated on the 11th September 2021 by several senior team members of Porsche AG, including Oliver Blume, Chairman of the Board of Management and Mark Webber, Porsche Brand Ambassador and former Formula 1 driver.
As part of this new lease of life for the circuit, a full upgrade of the track was ordered and the CarBa construction company partnered with Italian racetrack specialists, Dromo, to design and manage the task – including a full resurfacing design. Having worked closely together before, Dromo again teamed up with Topcon Positioning in order to take advantage of the advanced suite of solutions on offer.
Paving the way forward
The work on site consisted of milling of the surface with a Topcon RD-MC machine control system, and Thermal Mapper, Topcon’s specialist monitoring product, was used to continuously track the temperature of the asphalt that had just been laid. Together, this advanced technology supported the team in creating an exceptional and high-quality end result and helped to keep the entire project on schedule.
“We partnered with Topcon, to get the highest level of precision. Using their machine control solution, we were able to implement our plans perfectly and with complete accuracy and create a track that reflects the luxury and quality that the Porsche brand is known for”, explained Jarno Zaffelli, CEO of studio Dromo.
Creating a smooth surface
The circuit, which was first opened in 2006, last saw work to the track in 2007 with the addition of a new loop and expansion to pit and paddock facilities, as well as amenities such as restaurants, conference rooms and bars. Ahead of the opening of the Porsche Experience Centre, the full 2.52km track was modified and resurfaced over seven days with the Topcon technology playing a key role in ensuring a swift and efficient resurfacing. With a short deadline, accuracy and efficiency were vital, with CarBa and Dromo placing their trust in Topcon solutions to achieve a perfect end result.
We partnered with Topcon, to get the highest level of precision. Using their machine control solution, we were able to implement our plans perfectly and with complete accuracy.
The quick completion was enabled by a seamless collaboration between the contractor, design professionals and solution provider, as well as effective data sharing between the key project stakeholders.
For the milling of the track, the new surface was created using the comparison of the track models and the accurate data gathered for the design phase. This ensured an incredibly precise end result – a vital consideration for safety when dealing with high-speed motor racing, and an increase in durability of the final wearing course. The data was easily shared via the cloud with the milling machines, which were equipped with the latest 3D GNSS machine guidance solution (RD-MC). Combined, the solutions ensured an efficient milling process, which then facilitated a precise grade across the entire circuit.
When it came to laying the new surface, it was crucial that the contractor was able to monitor the asphalt temperature across the entire paving width. Thermal Mapper monitoring solution made this possible, providing key temperature information and data in real time to all stakeholders via the cloud. This essential step helped to identify and avoid any thermal segregation which is caused by temperature differences in the hot mix asphalt mat as it is laid.
“By providing constant updates to the operator, the Thermal Mapper allowed the paving process to be adjusted as it happened. Using the up-to-date information meant the operator could easily change the distance between the paver and the roller, the paving speed and more”, explains Filippo Piccoli, Site Engineer at studio Dromo.
“This was vital in order to detect thermal segregation, which can lead to cracks in the track and low-density asphalt areas. Detecting potential thermal segregation by knowing the asphalt mix’s temperature, and what it is being laid at, prevents damage to the road as it is laid and leads to a durable, lasting and safe surface. This is key for safety, especially at high speeds,” Piccoli concludes.
We have sought out partners who are able to propose innovative solutions and technologies to increase our productivity, thereby simultaneously guaranteeing us the utmost accuracy and quality.
Crossing the line
Racetrack maintenance is traditionally a time-consuming and costly process. By using technology solutions such as RD-MC and Thermal Mapper, the racetrack is resurfaced in the most cost-effective and efficient way possible, giving those in charge of racetrack operation peace of mind, and saving on valuable time and money.
“With the new surface in place, the tracks’ mix of chicanes, curves, and corners are a perfect place to practice driving techniques and we are sure that Porsche, and its customers, will have some fantastic experiences pushing their cars to the limit,” says Ivan Zatti, Machine Control Field Survey Engineer at Topcon.
At Topcon, our paving systems enable digitalization of popular applications such as asphalt, concrete and curb and gutter work. Products such as Thermal Mapper and Intelligent Compaction help to avoid quality issues such as thermal segregation and over- and under-compaction. Site management software such as Pavelink and Sitelink3D provide real-time visibility and reports, and finally an industry-leading workflow solution SmoothRide helps contractors to deliver consistent quality in any size of projects.
To find out more about how Topcon paving solutions can help you digitalise your paving workflows visit https://www.topconpositioning.com/paving.