Rodin Cars, a New Zealand-based manufacturer of the FZED and FZERO single-seater performance cars, has completed a substantial upgrade of its dedicated test tracks. The work includes a full track resurface and the addition of a challenging 130m-radius corner. Similar to Suzuka’s famous 130R corner, the new section of Rodin’s test facility enhances the driving experience with a mix of fast straights, tight and technical chicanes, and now a long sweeping left-hand corner.
The new left turn is followed by a wide-opening radius right-hander that can be taken with a simple down-change and strong commitment, according to Rodin’s track designer. This turn offers a different entry angle to the corner leading onto the main straight when compared with the original – and still usable – configuration of Stage 3.
Rodin’s test track was designed by Rodin Cars founder, David Dicker, who has driven or raced on many major tracks throughout the world. He explains, “I created something I would really enjoy driving on myself. It’s exciting, challenging and exhilarating. I laid out what I thought would be testing for both the car and driver.”
The test track facility is divided into three stages. Stage 1 consists of a 30m radius skid-pad used to fine-tune the balance of a car’s handling. The second stage is an undulating 2,350m 12-turn circuit of dips, blind crests and varying cambers. Finally, Stage 3 is made up of a fast, flat and deceptively challenging 2,438m circuit of seven turns and a 900m straight upon which the Rodin FZED has achieved speeds approaching 300km/h. Stage 2 has now been widened to 10m to allow for a better driver experience.
Alongside the widening of the lower part of the track, the entire length of both tracks has been resurfaced through the combined efforts of JCL Asphalt, Cirtex Industries, and BG Cooke Construction. To ensure the existing track would not crack or move once a new layer of asphalt was overlaid, a bespoke combination of HaTelit C and HaTelit XP and a 40mm AC10 asphalt overlay was used. These materials were imported from Germany and the Rodin project marks one of the largest uses of these materials in New Zealand, with 7,000m2 of concrete and 8,000 tonnes of asphalt mix deployed at the facility.
The 130m radius corner has added a 3,000m2 section to the track and has been designed to challenge drivers, exposing them to extreme levels of G-force. “We added the 130m-radius corner to further develop the Rodin FZED and Rodin FZERO handling at high-speed.” Dicker said, “It’s a challenging corner for both the car and the driver. I’m pretty happy with the track and the customer experience centre now. We have big plans to continually develop this facility further.”
Adjacent the racetrack is Rodin’s customer experience and development facility, which includes a fully equipped race centre with a complete range of telematic and data analysis programs. This data allows the Rodin team to fine-tune each car along with detailed performance data.
This customer experience is available to both existing Rodin FZED customers and to those who purchase the Rodin FZERO.