All the maintenance, repairs, housekeeping and building works at Killarney International Raceway are carried out by a crew of less than 20 people, who accomplish an extraordinarily varied set of tasks, under stringent budget constraints, almost unnoticed by competitors and motorsport fans alike.

Before each event, the circuit’s tyre barriers, demarcations and marshal points are set up for that particular discipline – be it Main Circuit, Drag Racing, Short Circuit, Rallycross or any one of a number of specialised events.

The circuit is cleaned with blowers, the verges are sprayed to stop weeds breaking up the edge of the tar and eventually destroying the track, the grass is mowed all round the circuit as well as in the spectator areas as necessary, and the run-off areas are scarified to make them soft and energy-absorbent – an important safety factor when cars run off the circuit in the heat of battle.

The maintenance team are also responsible for constructing, installing and maintaining the tyre barriers around the circuit, and for casting, painting and installing the concrete ‘Jerseys’ that provide movable safety barriers where needed around the circuit.

During most events the crew are on standby to empty refuse bins and carry out running repairs to the infrastructure, while each event is followed by a complete clean-up and maintenance check. Given that Killarney hosts approximately 200 events a year, it’s not unusual to have a motorsport event on a Saturday followed by a cycling or charity event the next day – and that means the maintenance crew are on the job while the rest of us are still sleeping on Sunday morning.

Every Wednesday afternoon the maintenance staff set up the infrastructure for #RobotRacing or Street2Strip, and every Thursday morning the circuit has to be ready for testing or private hire before 9:00am.

Perhaps the least-known aspect of the maintenance crews’ responsibilities is the never-ending fight against water leaks. As we all know, the Killarney complex has been built up over the years; most of the water supply system is now more than 50 years old and subject to unpredictable leaks and breaks.

Each of these has to to be traced, dug up and repaired – which can be a problem when the leak is under a building or, worse still, under the circuit (both of which have happened recently). The maintenance team is also busy with an ongoing project to use harvested rainwater for flushing toilets and watering the grass in the spectator areas and around the Clubhouse.

Painting all the buildings and the safety infrastructure around the circuit is a never-ending project – by the time the team has finished painting all the walls, fences and roofs, it’s time to start again!

In between all of this, they also find time for building projects ranging from small drains to huge grandstands, as well as repairing fences and walls around the complex, especially when members of the public crash their cars through the wall along Potsdam road, which happens more often than you’d think. In many ways the maintenance staff are the unsung heroes of Killarney – always busy in the background, making things work. Even during the current lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic a skeleton crew have been busy tracing water leaks, repairing and upgrading various facilities, and patrolling the complex to help prevent vandalism and theft, as in the recent photograph above.