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Building a track?

Discussion in 'Ferrari Discussion (not model specific)' started by benn, Aug 9, 2004.

  1. benn

    benn Rookie

    Nov 11, 2003
    44
    Wellington, NZ
    Full Name:
    Ben N
    For a long time I've had the dream of building a private-road / race track on some farmland out in the country. Does anyone know what kind of costs are associated with building a track? I'm from nz and our roads are built with about 5 inches of gravel and then chipseal (tar and more gravel) on top, so I'd be looking at getting contractors to do this. And it's be a single lane track on flat land (no major earthworks), with minimal cambering. The track would have wider parts for getting some drift on or letting other cars past. Maybe a total of 3kms of track.

    I appreciate it'd be crazy expensive - but how crazy expensive? $100k/KM? $500k/KM? $1m/KM?

    ex-Farmland $2M
    Country House $1M
    6 car garage $300k
    GT3, 360CS, Miura, etc. $2M
    3km of private racetrack... priceless
     
  2. Auraraptor

    Auraraptor F1 World Champ
    Lifetime Rossa Owner

    Sep 25, 2002
    11,390
    MO
    Benn welcome to the site. Please take the time to fill your profile so get to know you better.

    As for the track. Remember intial building is only part of the story. There is also maintaince. Also, make sure you get someone good to make it since you do not want alot of improper bankings or slight depressions in your track.
     
  3. hwyengr

    hwyengr Formula Junior

    Apr 9, 2004
    639
    Chicago, IL
    Full Name:
    Jeremy
    For the pavement type you should be using (PCC (Portland Cement Concrete) base with asphalt surface (Real Bituminous Concrete, not the spray stuff over gravel)), I'd estimate $400k/mi, 26' wide, installed. I would recommend against the sealcoated gravel method of pavement construction. You'll never get the smoothness needed in a track, and you'll be resurfacing every year. At the very least, build a decent aggregate base (not gravel) and hot mix asphalt over the top. You could probably cut the cost down to $300k/mi.

    You will need earthwork. Even if you're not planning on banking the course (which you should), you'll still need to excavate the depth of the pavement and get 1-2% slope across the lanes to get the water off. Assuming you can borrow the earth from someplace else on the property, you could probably grade the track for another $200k total.

    I'd say 10% for engineering, and another 15% for contingency, and for a 3 km track, you're looking at $1.2 mil USD. This, though, doesn't even begin to address the drainage issues, which are site dependant, and difficult to estimate. You're paving over permeable land with an impervious surface. The water that used to just absorb into the earth has to go somewhere. And you want that somewhere to be where its not going to eat away at your track's base. For $1.5-1.75 mil, I'd say you could have a decent little facility.

    Fair warning, I have no idea of the costs of asphalt or concrete in NZ. Those are the raw prices we just paid for the surface of a bridge I inspected up here.

    I'd budget 5-10% annually for maintainence, which would let you replace the entire surface every 5 years or so. Even without heavy loading, asphalt gets damaged by the sun and dries out, causing cracks.

    Edit: Can I use this as qualification for Consultant status? ;)
     
  4. RANTANESIAN

    RANTANESIAN Formula Junior

    Jun 18, 2004
    322
    NYC
    Full Name:
    Rene Antanesian
    Shut up, was upstate this weekend dirt bike riding with a client and i was thinking the same thing. But I was thinking along the lines of getting a bunch of us together and buying a nice plot of land with a lake and about 30 acers. And building a nice road course. With a nice 30 bedroom Castle as well. the cost would be cheap for me due to the fact that i am a builder. What do you think.
     
  5. JSinNOLA

    JSinNOLA F1 World Champ
    Lifetime Rossa

    Mar 18, 2002
    14,761
    Denver, CO
    Full Name:
    John
    Hmmm....a personal Fiorano. I like this idea. I guess you could have a long straight for the plane to land on. You would have to have safety considerations at the forefront of a project like this. Fire safety, access to hosipal nearby, etc...
     
  6. speedy pete

    speedy pete Karting

    Nov 1, 2003
    216
    darkside of the moon
    Full Name:
    Pete B
    hey good timing just bought a catapillar 350 excavator...100,000lbs of steel...$290,000. You can move a amazing amount of earth with this thing. Can I bring it over to the new track site and help out in this fall..Just you guys buy the land,beer and bbq stuff for like four months.
     
  7. netviper

    netviper Formula Junior

    Nov 2, 2003
    659
    Saint Augustine
    Full Name:
    Dave
    I had heard it costs 8 million dollars to build Texas Motorsport ranch and it is not a big track by any means.
     
  8. cab7104

    cab7104 Karting

    Mar 25, 2004
    236
    Rochester, NY
    Full Name:
    Craig
    I think that 1.75 or 2 million seems low, but 8 is high. I am not a professional, but if you figure that with a gravel base, and asphalt to pave our driveway, the cost was a couple of thousand. This is only maybe 200 yards, by 20' maybe. So increase that to 26 or 30 feet, and make it 3280 yards(roughly 3 Km) Not including prep or anything, that makes it like 100K for just the materials, and that is doing it the cheap way. To make it really nice is going to cost more. The cost of 8 million seems to probably be with grandstands, and the outlying buildings, which would not be necessary at a personal track. Just my guess.

    Craig
     
  9. benn

    benn Rookie

    Nov 11, 2003
    44
    Wellington, NZ
    Full Name:
    Ben N
    Hey - thanks hwyengr! That's great info. I think maybe I didn't make my case clearly before. I'm still at the save, invest and develop stage of my plan - my 'private fiorano' is a good 4 or 5 years away. But now at least I know it's actually feasible. I can't imagine anything much more hedonistic than working away in the home office, then taking a break by running out to the garage and laying rubber all the way down to the pit lane of your own private track.

    As for your construction info - I was wondering about the new zealand roading technology - since all our public race tracks are made on the classic asphalt on concrete base. I'd have to get more solid info from constructors as to whether there is a compromise available there for a low usage track... When I get this project finished, I'll send you an invitation for the next time you're down in .nz.
     
  10. Erik330

    Erik330 Formula Junior

    May 8, 2004
    667
    Ohio
    I have actually run the numbers on this. Finished cost: $1 million/mile exclusive of raw land cost and track design (which you CAN do yourself by copying famous corners from around the world) but including civil engineering, grading, paving, run off areas, Armco barriers, striping, etc. Add fencing on either side of the track and you're talking another $50k/mile. Then you add buildings, lighting, seating, etc.

    I sanity checked these numbers with Beaverun in PA and they're pretty close.

    My dream track was comprised of a long straightaway, then a copy of turn 9 at the late, lamented Riverside, another straight downhill to turn 5 at Road America, followed by an uphill straight to a simulation of the Corkscrew at Laguna Seca, another short straight to the Esses at Watkins Glen, a straight to a copy of the Nurburgring Karussell followed by the Carousel at Road America complete with bump at the exit taking you through a long 90 degree right back uphill to a blind left as at Thunder Valley at RA and finishing with a decreasing radius right hander into the long straight. 3 miles more or less (I didn't do the engineering after I realized the cost).
     

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