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The kink on the Masta straight.


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#1 Spa65

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Posted 27 April 2014 - 22:34

We hear a lot about Eau Rouge being one of the hardest corners in F1. However Stewart himself has said that there was an even more dangerous corner at the old Spa - namely that kink. Are there any anecdotes about that kink that can be shared? I have a couple:

 

Stewart himself saying that he went through flat out in the 3 litre Matra, even though he thought it would be quicker to lift slightly. It was a macho thing.

 

Clark parking beside Gurney (both out of fuel) at the end of the Grand Prix in 1964. (Clark won by luck from 4th, Gurney had been leading.) Gurney commented that the hairs on the back of his head stood up everytime he went through the Masta kink. Clark promptly felt Gurney's hair.

 

Amon taking the kink flat out in the March on the last lap in 1970, gaining 2 secs on Rodriguez. Still not quite enough to win, but I think it was the all time F1 record, even with the chicane before Stavelot.

 

Stewart famously going off in the wet in his BRM in 1966. Trapped in petrol soaked overalls for an eternity, spurring him on to greater things with his safety campaign, to the disgust of the likes of DSJ. So perversely, perhaps this corner helped save many lives.



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#2 Spaceframe

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Posted 28 April 2014 - 13:05

Not another anecdote this one, but Chris Amon's recollection of Spa 1970 as told over lunch to Simon Taylor for MotorSport of June 2008:

 

"At Spa I was leading from Jackie and Jochen, and I could see them get smaller in my mirrors. Then suddenly there was this bloody BRM looming up. Pedro Rodriguez - he'd been eighth on the grid, a good couple of seconds slower than me and Jackie in qualifying. I thought, where the hell did he come from? He just blew by. I stuck with him, and I worked out that the only way I could pass him was by taing the Masta kink flat, and getting him down the hill. It had never been flat up to then, but on the last lap I hung back, and then I went for it. I did get it flat between the buildings - I was that close to the wall - and I drafted by him down to Stavelot. That was when I set the lap record. But on the long drag up the hill he just steamed past again."

 

Phew.... 



#3 Tenmantaylor

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Posted 28 April 2014 - 13:47

Great quote from Chris :up:

 

If driving it in GPL was anything to go by this corner was at least x10 more difficult and dangerous than Eau Rouge. Not only did you arrive faster (at over 190mph in the Eagle) it was a double blind apex lined with fences with houses directly behind them. And the track had very little  camber unlike the corners previous so once you'd committed to an entry speed you were pretty much unable to recover if the car got out of shape. It's quite amazing that the even with it's flaws my memories of the corner being almost flat in GPL as per the real drivers are entirely the same, the fastest way was to partially lift for a split second to help get the front wheels turning in then straight back on the power. Going in flat meant either getting up on the dirt at entry or sliding wide too much in the transition and compromising the exit.



#4 Odseybod

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Posted 28 April 2014 - 15:00

Great quote from Chris :up:

 

If driving it in GPL was anything to go by this corner was at least x10 more difficult and dangerous than Eau Rouge. Not only did you arrive faster (at over 190mph in the Eagle) it was a double blind apex lined with fences with houses directly behind them. And the track had very little  camber unlike the corners previous so once you'd committed to an entry speed you were pretty much unable to recover if the car got out of shape. It's quite amazing that the even with it's flaws my memories of the corner being almost flat in GPL as per the real drivers are entirely the same, the fastest way was to partially lift for a split second to help get the front wheels turning in then straight back on the power. Going in flat meant either getting up on the dirt at entry or sliding wide too much in the transition and compromising the exit.

 

Ah, many thanks.  I was going to mention that this is the scene of some of my best/lengthiest/most devastating GPL crashes, then decided it would be presumptious to put my experiences right next to those of Messrs Amon, Rodriguez, etc.   Trouble is that in the Ferrari, the kink LOOKS as though it should be possible flat - I'll try a hint of a confidence lift next time and see if that avoids quite so much collateral damage to the surrounding countryside :yawnface: .



#5 LittleChris

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Posted 28 April 2014 - 20:03

Came worryingly close to crashing my road car there 15 years ago ( not concentrating properly on a damp road ). Was a bit more circumspect on my last visit 3 years ago  :lol: 



#6 Glengavel

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Posted 29 April 2014 - 06:15

We hear a lot about Eau Rouge being one of the hardest corners in F1. However Stewart himself has said that there was an even more dangerous corner at the old Spa - namely that kink. Are there any anecdotes about that kink that can be shared? I have a couple:

 

Stewart himself saying that he went through flat out in the 3 litre Matra, even though he thought it would be quicker to lift slightly. It was a macho thing.

 

Clark parking beside Gurney (both out of fuel) at the end of the Grand Prix in 1964. (Clark won by luck from 4th, Gurney had been leading.) Gurney commented that the hairs on the back of his head stood up everytime he went through the Masta kink. Clark promptly felt Gurney's hair.

 

Amon taking the kink flat out in the March on the last lap in 1970, gaining 2 secs on Rodriguez. Still not quite enough to win, but I think it was the all time F1 record, even with the chicane before Stavelot.

 

Stewart famously going off in the wet in his BRM in 1966. Trapped in petrol soaked overalls for an eternity, spurring him on to greater things with his safety campaign, to the disgust of the likes of DSJ. So perversely, perhaps this corner helped save many lives.

 

I think there was a mention in TNF recently of DSJ at a GP listening to cars going through Masta and only two didn't lift off - Stewart and Amon.



#7 David Wright

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Posted 29 April 2014 - 21:19

Jeremy Walton wrote the following about the 1972 Spa 24 hour race in his book on the Capri.

 

I was out stooging round in a Group 1 BMW: the blue and white Capri came past me on the straight, into the left right Masta Kink, travelling some 30-35 mph faster.  Into the corner it went, just nudging 160 mph, and the front wheel rose from the ground, a halo of dust, just like the ricochet effect in cowboy films, and Capri tilted right.  By this time it was getting out of my vision, but I could see there was at least one wheel airborne as the driver corrected the 160 mph tailslide ... who was it?  Stuck, who else?



#8 LittleChris

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Posted 29 April 2014 - 21:28

Wasn't 1972 the year of the infamous " body parts at Masta" conversation between Stuck & Mass ?



#9 glyn parham

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Posted 29 April 2014 - 21:41

That conversation was during the 1973 race, after the Dubois, Joisten crash.
Glyn

#10 nmansellfan

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Posted 30 April 2014 - 12:21

Would it have been flat in the 1.5 litre F1 era? By '65 the cars were doing probably 160+mph into there but also had pretty wide tyres compared to previous years.



#11 David Wright

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Posted 30 April 2014 - 20:03

In Doug Nye's BRM Vol 3, it says in 1964 Graham hill had to reduce speed slightly from 157 mph to 152 mph.  Graham believed Dan Gurney was taking Masta flat out in his Brabham. 

 

There is no specific mention of the Masta kink in the report on the 65 event.  The 65 yellow spot tyres offered more grip than the 65 green spots, but the BRMs now comfortably exceeded 160 mph.  The race itself was of course wet.


Edited by David Wright, 30 April 2014 - 20:04.


#12 LittleChris

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Posted 30 April 2014 - 21:44

That conversation was during the 1973 race, after the Dubois, Joisten crash.
Glyn

Surely the Dubois Joisten accident happened at Malmedy not Masta  and I don't remember reading of any marshall being injured / killed ?