ATCC: Zhuhai unusual gravel pits

Zhuhai International Circuit, China. Thursday 18 October 2001 Gravel? What gravel? When Japanese driver Naoyuki Omo spun and went into the gravel trap in the practice session earlier this morning, he car was virtually buried. Later when the car...

Zhuhai International Circuit, China. Thursday 18 October 2001
Gravel? What gravel?

When Japanese driver Naoyuki Omo spun and went into the gravel trap in the practice session earlier this morning, he car was virtually buried. Later when the car came back to the pits, brown peanut-like "gravel" were cleaned from the silver car's sidepods. Not your everyday gravel indeed.

The gravel used at the Zhuhai International Circuit is one of synthetic nature, and although it looks like the normal gravel albeit it being brown in color, these things are brittle and crumbles when stepped on.

When a car goes out of control and enters these gravel traps, the car is brought to a very efficient stop, with the weight of the car causing it to sinking deep into the pit. Whilst very safe, the only drawback is that when drivers do go onto it, driving out of it and back onto the circuit is almost impossible, as another Japanese driver Tohru Jitsukawa found out.

"I went into one of the gravel traps, but as I tried to go onto the grass and try to rejoin the rest of the cars on the track, I found myself stuck. I didn't have enough speed. If it was the normal gravel trap, I think there shouldn't be any problem driving over it. But with this synthetic one, the car just sinks," said Tohru.

-AFOS-

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