After several years of steady deterioration, the surface at Phillip Island is about to get fixed. According to reports from Australia, work commences on resurfacing the iconic Australian circuit on Tuesday morning, and over a period of two days, the track will receive a fresh layer of asphalt, for the first time since 1998.
The new surface is to be laid over a flatter substrate, with 40mm of the old tarmac already having been removed to make way for the new asphalt. The aim of the project is to remove the bumps which have accrued over the years, as the track has taken punishment from MotoGP, World Superbikes, Australian V8 Supercars and the many track days and other events which happen at the circuit nearly all year round. Casey Stoner was brought in to consult on the project, the former MotoGP champion telling the media in October that he had advised the company which bumps to remove (most of them) and which bumps to leave in as they added to the circuit's character.
Some 5000 tonnes of asphalt are to be layed over the next 48 hours or so, at a cost of some AUD $3 million. The resurfacing project leaves the layout completely unchanged - and rightly so, as the track is loved by just about every single racer who competes there, on two wheels or four - but should give the track a vastly improved surface with most of the bumps gone. Track records should fall once racing returns to the circuit, with the World Superbike riders the first to get a crack at the improved circuit on the weekend of February 24th.