High stress areas on the Bugatti Circuit like the Dunlop curve, the La Chapelle and Garage Vert bends were renovated in recent years, but it was necessary to repave the whole surface layer at this stage to have a homogeneous track surface, eliminating transversal joints.

Ghislain Robert, Technical Director of the Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO) Le Mans Resort, said: “The ability of the track to provide excellent grip in all weather conditions is of paramount importance. This is why we decided to use Shell Cariphalte Racetrack. It provides good adhesion to the aggregates, and offers high drainage for the circuit.”

Thus, the 4.185 km surface of the Bugatti circuit was repaved with Shell Cariphalte Racetrack - an asphalt made from a high performance polymer modified binder and specially developed for racing applications. It has a strong resistance against deformation, and has been used on many tracks around the world, like Nürburgring and Hockenheim in Germany, and Ferrari’s own Fiorano test track in Italy.

“Thanks to Shell we were able to develop an asphalt mix that meets our strict specifications, as well as the requirements of drivers and our high standards as the organizers of the 24 Hours of Le Mans race. Aside from Shell’s high-performance bitumen solution, we also used a specific type of aggregate which has very high abrasiveness in order to meet the specifications set by tyre manufacturers”, said Ghislain Robert.

During the renovation carried out by HRC (a subsidiary of Eurovia) from the 10th to 27th of October 2016, more than 50 000 m2 of asphalt were scraped off and replaced. The new track will provide a better grip and a more uniform surface – crucial factors that enhance the performance of racers in competitions such as the 24 hours of Le Mans, the Grand Prix of France Moto, the European Championship of trucks and some other French competitions.

The Le Mans circuit is renowned for being a testing laboratory for next generation vehicles like the prototypes that participate in the 24 hours of Le Mans race.

Pierre Fillon, President of ACO explains, “The last time the Bugatti Circuit was completely refurbished was in 2004. The track was slightly worn, and some parts of the circuit caused discomfort to some riders. This renovation project was entrusted to the expertise of Syndicat Mixte of the 24 Hours of Le Mans circuit.

In addition to supplying its bitumen expertise, Shell is also the official fuel supplier of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, as well as for the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) and the European Le Mans Series (ELMS). This new bitumen is likely to improve the performance and safety of motorcycles and cars on the track, thus contributing to more exciting races here in Le Mans.”

Health and safety, as well as environmental responsibility are core values for the ACO and the Syndricat Mixte of the 24 Hours of Le Mans circuit, the project owner. This is why the new asphalt was treated with Shell Bitufresh, a bitumen additive that has been specially formulated to reduce the odour of bitumen during application.

For more information around the circuit repaving, watch this short video.


Shell Bitumen Global:

Oliver Lim + 65 6477 7499


Notes to Editors

  • Shell is a leader in bitumen technology, and recently published the “Shell Bitumen Handbook, Sixth Edition”, which covers the latest topics in bitumen technology and application.
  • Shell Bitumen operates a network of Regional Technical Centres located in key regions (Beijing, China, Strasbourg, France, and Bangkok, Thailand.) Shell has also established its global bitumen R&D Centre in Bangalore, India.
  • Shell supplies a wide range of high quality bitumen products, from standard-grade bitumen to special polymer-modified bitumen (PMB), which are marketed under the brand name Shell Cariphalte. Shell Cariphalte has been used in a number of iconic projects for applications such as highways, urban roads and porous asphalts for urban drainage systems. It is ideal for use in heavily trafficked locations such as airfields, racetracks and bus lanes. It can be particularly beneficial in heavy duty applications such as rail, ports, bridge decks, crack relief systems or overlaying concrete pavements and expansion joints.
  • Shell is the world’s largest international bitumen marketer, and delivers enough bitumen to pave a one-lane kilometre road every four minutes.

Royal Dutch Shell plc

Royal Dutch Shell plc is incorporated in England and Wales, has its headquarters in The Hague and is listed on the London, Amsterdam, and New York stock exchanges. Shell companies have operations in more than 70 countries and territories with businesses including oil and gas exploration and production; production and marketing of liquefied natural gas and gas to liquids; manufacturing, marketing and shipping of oil products and chemicals and renewable energy projects. For further information, visit www.shell.com

Cautionary Note

The companies in which Royal Dutch Shell plc directly and indirectly owns investments are separate legal entities. In this press release “Shell”, “Shell group” and “Royal Dutch Shell” are sometimes used for convenience where references are made to Royal Dutch Shell plc and its subsidiaries in general. Likewise, the words “we”, “us” and “our” are also used to refer to subsidiaries in general or to those who work for them. These expressions are also used where no useful purpose is served by identifying the particular company or companies. ‘‘Subsidiaries’’, “Shell subsidiaries” and “Shell companies” as used in this press release refer to companies over which Royal Dutch Shell plc either directly or indirectly has control. Entities and unincorporated arrangements over which Shell has joint control are generally referred to “joint ventures” and “joint operations” respectively. Entities over which Shell has significant influence but neither control nor joint control are referred to as “associates”. The term “Shell interest” is used for convenience to indicate the direct and/or indirect ownership interest held by Shell in a venture, partnership or company, after exclusion of all third-party interest.

This press release contains forward-looking statements concerning the financial condition, results of operations and businesses of Royal Dutch Shell. All statements other than statements of historical fact are, or may be deemed to be, forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are statements of future expectations that are based on management’s current expectations and assumptions and involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results, performance or events to differ materially from those expressed or implied in these statements.

Forward-looking statements include, among other things, statements concerning the potential exposure of Royal Dutch Shell to market risks and statements expressing management’s expectations, beliefs, estimates, forecasts, projections and assumptions. These forward-looking statements are identified by their use of terms and phrases such as ‘‘anticipate’’, ‘‘believe’’, ‘‘could’’, ‘‘estimate’’, ‘‘expect’’, ‘‘goals’’, ‘‘intend’’, ‘‘may’’, ‘‘objectives’’, ‘‘outlook’’, ‘‘plan’’, ‘‘probably’’, ‘‘project’’, ‘‘risks’’, “schedule”, ‘‘seek’’, ‘‘should’’, ‘‘target’’, ‘‘will’’ and similar terms and phrases.

There are a number of factors that could affect the future operations of Royal Dutch Shell and could cause those results to differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking statements included in this press release, including (without limitation): (a) price fluctuations in crude oil and natural gas; (b) changes in demand for Shell’s products; (c) currency fluctuations;

(d) drilling and production results; (e) reserves estimates; (f) loss of market share and industry competition; (g) environmental and physical risks; (h) risks associated with the identification of suitable potential acquisition properties and targets, and successful negotiation and completion of such transactions; (i) the risk of doing business in developing countries and countries subject to international sanctions; (j) legislative, fiscal and regulatory developments including regulatory measures addressing climate change; (k) economic and financial market conditions in various countries and regions; (l) political risks, including the risks of expropriation and renegotiation of the terms of contracts with governmental entities, delays or advancements in the approval of projects and delays in the reimbursement for shared costs; and (m) changes in trading conditions.

All forward-looking statements contained in this press release are expressly qualified in their entirety by the cautionary statements contained or referred to in this section. Readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. Additional risk factors that may affect future results are contained in Royal Dutch Shell’s 20-F for the year ended December 31, 2015 (available at www.shell.com/investor and www.sec.gov ).

These risk factors also expressly qualify all forward looking statements contained in this press release and should be considered by the reader. Each forward-looking statement speaks only as of the date of this press release, 15 November 2016. Neither Royal Dutch Shell plc nor any of its subsidiaries undertake any obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement as a result of new information, future events or other information. In light of these risks, results could differ materially from those stated, implied or inferred from the forward-looking statements contained in this press release.

We may have used certain terms, such as resources, in this press release that United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) strictly prohibits us from including in our filings with the SEC. U.S. Investors are urged to consider closely the disclosure in our Form 20-F, File No 1-32575, available on the SEC website www.sec.gov.

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