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Shell's Eco-Marathon

Description of Works
The Shell Eco-marathon brings together university engineering students from around the world to compete in vehicles they have designed and built to be the most fuel efficient. 

FM Conway was commissioned by Imagination, the company managing the event on behalf of Shell, to build the track for the race held at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford for the third consecutive year since 2016. 

Services used on this project Major Projects Surfacing
Delivering Innovation

The design of the race course saw the FM Conway team link existing roads at the southern end of the Olympic Park by laying temporary trackway plates across grass lawns and resin-bound surfaces, totalling 4,500 sq m.  

Terry Gough, Contract Manager at FM Conway, explained:
“The track needed to be both strong enough to take the weight of the two 25-tonne cranes that would be used to assemble the stadium for the event and smooth enough for the extremely lightweight vehicles which would be taking part in the race.

"The course was varied, with long straights leading on to Z-shaped sections of track. To create these sharp bends, we laid fanned metal plates infilled with ply wood. With the track plates in place, we then laid Type Four recycled asphalt planings from our state-of-the-art asphalt recycling plants to form the sub-base for the track. Our surfacing department created a large stockpile of planings on site to minimise the installation time.  A 60mm binder course was laid on top followed by a 35mm surface course." 

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All of the planings were recovered after the event and returned to our asphalt manufacturing plants for recycling.

Terry Gough - Contract Manager at FM Conway
Challenges and Solutions

While the focus for those competing was on energy efficiency over speed, the FM Conway team was under tight time constraints, with just over a fortnight to construct the entire track.  The project was made more complicated by the fact that the spectator stands for the event would be constructed simultaneously at the site to ensure the deadlines for the race could be met.   

Perhaps the biggest challenge for FM Conway during the track construction works was logistical.  With only two access ways to the site and multiple works ongoing simultaneously, constant cross-team liaison was required to revise work areas and ensure the health and safety of all those on site.

James Slatford, Production Manager at Imagination, commented on the project:
“We were operating under tight time constraints on this project.  However, Trevor Cole from FM Conway was on hand at all times to make sure the programme for the works was on track and the team met this challenge with flexibility and enthusiasm, completing the build both speedily and efficiently.”  

James added: “Thanks to the hard work of all involved, the 2016 event was a great success.  Over 30,000 visitors attended over the four-day period to watch 200 teams compete.”