‘Protecting’ Sepang race circuit

Completed in February 1998 and inaugurated in March 1999, the Sepang International Circuit – now known as Petronas Sepang International Circuit – is a popular sports venue in Malaysia and regularly hosts top-level car, motorcycle and cycling events, such as the Formula 1 Grand Prix (F1), MotoGP, Super GT, World Touring Car Cup (WTCR), and Asia Road Racing Championship (ARRC).

The circuit, designed by renowned architect Hermann Tilke, features 5,543 m, 15 corners and eight straights and two high-speed stretches, with vehicles capable of  reaching a speed of more than 300 km/hr during races.

Special coating system

Last year, Mapei was involved in the preparation work for the Petronas MotoGP Grand Prix of Malaysia 2023. The company provided its Mapecoat TNS Race Track coloured coating system to protect the kerbs and runoff areas around the circuit. This is an acrylic waterborne, rapid film-forming, coloured coating specifically developed for marking asphalt roadways of road racing circuits.

The coating ensures that the areas treated remain durable and resistant to slip and maintain their surface roughness over time, including in wet conditions. The mechanical properties of the film, combined with its high resistance to potentially harmful and aggressive chemical agents (oil and fuel), make Mapecoat TNS Race Track an ideal solution for protecting surfaces which are regularly cleaned to ensure the riders’ safety.

According to Adrian Tew of LLT Specialists Sdn Bhd, the coating contractor on the project, the major advantages of the Mapecoat TNS Race Track are “its easy application (even inexperienced workers for this product were able to apply it easily) and its fast-curing properties, which helped in this project especially due to the short time frame left for application operations. Malaysia’s hot weather had increased the curing time as well, which made this property much needed at that point of time.

“Besides, the product is approved by FIA, the International Automobile Federation, which helped in the specification of the project. Last but not least, Mapecoat TNS Race Track was able to ensure high durability.”

He said the main challenges on the job were “the limited time frame, as the project needed to be completed before the MotoGP event that only left us with a time frame of 10 days, and the exposure of the surfaces to weather agents that were beyond our control.”

The owner of the project also chose the Mapecoat TNS Race Track because its formulation meets all the certification and safety standards required by FIA (Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile) and FIM (Fédératon Internationale de Motocyclisme) for products used to mark out the road surface of motor racing circuits.

Another reason was rapidity, which guaranteed short application times for the coating and, as a result, shorter preparation times for the circuit. In fact, Mapecoat TNS Race Track technology is based on special components that help the product form a film very quickly so that surfaces may be opened to foot traffic much sooner than those with traditional acrylic systems.

What’s more, obtaining the right colour for this application was made possible thanks to the extensive range of colours available and the ColorMap automatic colouring system that allows any colour to be created.

Note: Some products mentioned in this article are available in the Singapore market. Please contact the customer service representative at Mapei Far East or visit the company’s website for more information.

(The article courtesy of Realta Mapei International 101)