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Wed 16 Sep 2009 04:00 AM

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Race to the finish for F1 circuit

Heavy machines will have plenty to do until the official opening of Abu Dhabi’s racetrack.

Race to the finish for F1 circuit

Heavy machines will have plenty to do until the official opening of Abu Dhabi’s racetrack.

The new F1 circuit in Abu Dhabi should just about be opening for business by the time you read this. However, the development has seen more twists and turns than the track that is about to open. Fortunately the project has been helped by some of the largest machines in the country, with both purpose-ordered and rented plant, cranes and machinery seen on site.

Recently, one of the strongest mobile cranes, a 500-tonne Liebherr LTM 1500-8.1 was brought in for a series of lifts, while putting together the bridge that spans the circuit. At the same time a pair of high-capacity Lintec batching plants were specially brought in to provide the 4200m3 of readymix needed each day on the site.

Meanwhile, ten cranes ordered for the adjacent ‘Ferrari Experience’ theme park are working morning, noon and night to get the development finished. Set to become a landmark for passengers flying into Abu Dhabi International Airport, the developer claims that the 200,000m2 project will be the word’s largest indoor theme park featuring lots of fun things, including a motor museum and theatre, plus attractions including a kart track and a ‘Ferrari driving school experience’.

Construction is well advanced on the elongated Y-shaped structure with cranes including 10 Liebherr 130 EC-B 6 Flat-Top cranes; bought because the quick-release fastenings make pinning the jib and counter-jib considerably easier. Equally, the cab can likewise be attached and removed using quick-release fastenings, should the site manager desire.

With much of the steel matrix and supports for the tiled roof already installed, work is continuing on erecting the steelwork for two coaster rides and other similar lifts.

The cranes, lifting typical loads of 5-6 tonnes, all feature 58m or 60m jibs and are all rail-mounted on tracks ranging between 6 and 120m - giving total access.

The cranes also feature hook heights of between 28m – 48m.

Apart from the F1-related attractions, there will also evewntually be a Warner Bros theme park, three golf courses, equestrian centre and polo field, seven hotels, restaurants and gardens plus a water park and, of course, a giant shopping mall.

Theme Park

However, it is the F1 race circuit which is currently generating the most interest.

Working ‘round-the-clock’ is a race in itself to get the ‘Experience’ ready in time for the F1 Grand Prix on November 1st, given the delays and material shortages that have happened through the 29 month contract.

Having the F1 series race in the UAE will justify the hard work, though.

Building work now completed, commissioning work now underway

All building works for infrastructure which will support the eagerly awaited Grand Prix race due to take place November 1st 2009 have been completed and are now being tested and commissioned.

Mr Talal Al Dhiyebi director of planning and infrastructure at

said that “People don’t realise the amount of infrastructure that has been invested in this project because it is all behind the scenes. The networks will be able support all developments on the island and cater to future projects.”

Cope with the region’s high temperatures, frequently in excess of 40ºC and frequent sand storms; requiring just regular ‘blowing’ of the radiator and filters to keep clean.

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