DAYTON, Tenn. — Nokian Tyres P.L.C. has agreed to provide Flatrock Motorsports Park with scrapped tires from its Dayton plant to be used to help reinforce safety barriers at the racing complex under construction in nearby Cumberland County, Tenn.
Nokian Tyres' "zero-waste" factory in Dayon is 32 miles from the motorsports park, which will feature several FIA-certified racing circuits, as well as host events, amenities and entertainment. Under construction since early 2023, the first few facilities at the 700-plus acre, $100 million facility are scheduled to open in 2024.
Race tracks typically bundle tires together to create energy-absorbing barriers in front of guard rails or concrete barriers. The companies did not disclose how many tires Flatrock might need for its various track layouts.
"Our partnership with Flatrock Motorsports Park provides a fresh outlet for us to reuse tire material, in accordance with our practice of recycling or reusing all production waste at our factory," David Korda, Dayton factory operations director, said.
"At the same time, it enhances racing safety at Flatrock and strengthens our support for economic growth in the East Tennessee community."
Jeremy Hale, Flatrock chief operating officer, added: "We are thrilled to partner with Nokian Tyres in our commitment to safety and sustainability. Aligning with a zero-waste-to-landfill global tiremaker is a testament to our collective responsibility to drive change and leave a lasting legacy on and off the track."
Nokian Tyres plans to boost capacity at the Dayton factory from 2 million to 3 million tires per year to 4 million tires per year by the summer of 2024, the company said earlier this year.
The Nokia, Finland-based tire maker added 125 employees at the plant this year in an effort to fill growing demand for all-season and all-weather tires in North America.
Nokian is continuing work on a 600,000-tire warehouse on land adjacent to the tire factory.
Nokian said it is "among the industry leaders in sustainability," noting that the Dayton plant is the only LEED v4 Silver-certified tire plant in the world. Nokian said it recently joined the Tennessee Green Star Partnership and the partially solar-powered Dayton plant has won awards for sustainability and workplace culture.
The first phases of the Flatrock Motorsport Park — a motor club, CIK karting track and real estate — will open in 2024. Plans for beyond that include a grand-prix-style track for major motorsports events and track days, an amphitheater concert venue and distinct lodging and dining.
Nokian Tyres will begin shipping tires to Flatrock "in the coming months."