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Didn't even smell like normal asphalt. It had this horrible chemical smell that I can only compare to burning plastic. They cut away about 40cm of the surface before they started. Apparently the mixture they used was developed specifically for Philip Island and it is the first time it has been used anywhere. They actually made the asphalt on site rather than truck it in as the mixture worked better that way. A lot finer and blacker than the old surface from what I could see peeping over the fence. I would guess at least a second a lap improvement just by getting rid of the bumps caused by the cars. Hopefully this new mixture will stop the cars causing ripples.