New Finnish track designed to thwart track limit abuse

Alex Wurz, whose company has helped design Finland's new KymiRing that will host MotoGP in 2018, says the circuit is being deliberately tweaked to thwart abuse of track limits.

New Finnish track designed to thwart track limit abuse
Maverick Viñales, Team Suzuki MotoGP
Andrea Dovizioso, Ducati Team
ACO President Pierre Fillon and Alexander Wurz at pit out for the start of the session
Cal Crutchlow, Team LCR Honda
Dani Pedrosa, Repsol Honda Team
Eugene Laverty, Aspar MotoGP Team
Tito Rabat, Marc VDS Racing Honda
(L to R): Alex Wurz, Williams Driver Mentor / GPDA Chairman with Stoffel Vandoorne, McLaren Test and Reserve Driver

The Austrian's Test & Training International company is working with the KymiRing's owners to design the 4.560km track and create a Road Safety and Driver Trainer Centre.

While the initial layout for the circuit has been finalised, Wurz has said that amid ongoing debate in motorsport about track limits, a big effort is being made to ensure that the run-off areas do not become a matter of controversy.

While Wurz is aware of the safety demands required for modern circuits so run-offs are necessary, he is equally a big campaigner for the sport to remain spectacular.

"Neither fans nor drivers and riders like the abuse of track limits and the ongoing discussions about potential advantages," explained Wurz.

"Whilst safety is paramount in racing and our modern society, we have to protect racing and its emotional aspect. With the KymiRing we took great care to design the corners and their exits so, whilst not jeopardising safety, track limit abuse is not a benefit."

Hybrid solutions

Wurz said that he was evaluating hybrid solutions for the run-off areas that should deter drivers and riders from taking liberties in their bid for quick laptimes.

"The run-off areas are already calculated and defined in their shape, however we still are planning what type of run-offs we place at each corner," he said.

"We are working on some hybrid versions which combine the benefits of asphalt and gravel at different parts of the-run off.

"Equally we would like to use grass, not just for the visual effect but as a natural deterrent for track limits.

"Our aim, in having clearly defined corners and lines, is to limit any advantage through track limit abuse, thus reducing the need for ongoing discussion."

Rollercoaster track

Wurz has ensured that the landscape around the KymiRing, which is north east of Helsinki, has been fully utilised to create a spectacular layout.

"The moment I saw the property it was clear that the KymiRing would be a unique and special track," he said.

"Whilst the landscape is rather challenging for the design, together with Timo Pohjola (KymiRing CEO) we took great care to work organically not just with the rollercoaster track layout but also with the spectator areas.

"Our priority was to change the least amount of this beautiful topography but instead embrace it to create a stunning track flow and equally minimise the earthwork to reduce construction costs. It was important that the KymiRing be instantly recognisable to the TV viewer as inherently Finnish."

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