Installation of a dividing barrier set to transform Manfeild’s main circuit and associated extension track into fully standalone arenas has gone perfectly to plan.
The world-class motorsport venue was closed last week for the implementation of a concrete block buffer parallel to the main circuit’s back straight.
The division is purpose-designed to the highest international standard set by motorsport’s ruling body, the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile.
The new feature creates, from a previously conjoined layout, two distinct areas that offer first-time potential for simultaneous use, an upgrade that in turn opens the door to exciting new opportunities.
It realises in particular a key potential for the 1.48km extension, created in the 1990s, to enact ultimate reconfiguration as a driver-training centre with state-of-the-art features.
The barrier is an impressive sight. It comprises 102 four metre long and 1.2 metre high individual concrete blocks, each weighing four tonnes.
The components’ size and weight has been no impediment. This week’s installation has been a quickfire update – the blocks were already on site so, once the location area was properly levelled, the transfer and placement of the pieces has progressed quickly.
The design presents a high degree of ongoing versatility. The blocks are designed to be easily and quickly moved to partially or wholly re-establish the open area format as required.
This will occur, for instance, for the annual Central Districts Field Days, staged every March and established as a pre-eminent agricultural fair.
The barrier presents an excellent example of prudent recycling and spend.
The blocks were created for the now defunct Hamilton street race, becoming surplus to that requirement when the V8 Supercar circus moved back to Auckland several years ago.
Manfeild Park Trust chief executive Heather Verry says the installation has been a key step toward the eventual realisation of the Trust’s intention to reshape the track extension into a state-of-the-art zone for demonstrating latest automotive safety and accident-precluding technology.
In the meantime, it becomes even better-placed in an immediate use driver training role as a purpose-designed area where all skill levels – from beginner to expert – can be accommodated.
“This is our ‘safe zone’, somewhere away from the public roadscape – a place where drivers can develop full understanding and trust in this technology and also learn limit-handling techniques that might help them avoid having accidents.”
It is also expected to continue as an alternate test ground for motorsport users not wishing to venture onto the main track.
The track reopened to schedule on August 25.
Caption: The Manfeild back straight barrier wall creates, from a previously
conjoined layout, two distinct areas that offer first-time potential for
simultaneous use, an upgrade that in turn opens the door to exciting new