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Spa-Francorchamps historic layouts


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#1 Speed Demon

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Posted 20 February 2007 - 11:21

I'm in the process of trying to update the Spa-Francorchamps page on e-Tracks with track maps showing the original circuit's evolution from 1924 to the present day. While I'm fine for the current circuit (including the latest updates) I'm a bit stuck when it comes to the original layout.

I have studied a number of sources - including Dan King's old World Motor Racing Circuit Database and Peter Higham's International Motor Racing Guide - but all seem to differ on when modifications were made and what they were! All of which means that generating reasonably accurate maps is a bit of an impossibility.

According to Peter Higham's book, the circuit opened in 1924 at 9.236 miles. Malmedy was eased in 1934 (9.290 miles) and L'Ancienne Douanne was bypassed in 1939 (9.060 miles). I believe racing resumed in 1947 and Higham says Stavelot was modified in 1956 (8.768 miles). In 1958, some corners were eased (8.755 miles) and the last variation came in 1974 when a chicane was built before Malmedy.

I'm not confident that the details above are absolutely right. Does anyone know different or, better still, possess any track maps which could enlighten?

Calling all Spa experts!

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#2 James Page

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Posted 20 February 2007 - 11:49

I'm afraid I can't help you with much of that info, but the Malmedy chicane was earlier than 1974. It was definitely in place for the 1970 GP. Searching the LAT website for that year's race should give you a sequence of aerial shots of the layout to confirm that - as well as a bunch of pics taken at ground-level there.

#3 Speed Demon

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Posted 20 February 2007 - 14:42

Thanks - had a quick look on the LAT site, but the search function is not the best and seemed to come up with every photo taken at Spa no matter what I put in...

#4 2F-001

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Posted 20 February 2007 - 15:01

There is a recent book that you may like to check out -
"Spa-Francorchamps, histoire d'un circuit de 1896 å nos jours"
R. Bovy, Th. Galle et H. Maudoux
La Renaissance du Livre, 2006

I've only ever seen it on sale in Malmedy and Spa, but no doubt you is available online somewhere.
From memory it was about 35 or 40 Euros. Rather a nice book (in French, though).

It's a large-ish book - more pictures (hundreds of them) than maps or plans - but there is an original plan for the track (as we think of from the 20s) from 1919 where Masta is bypassed entirely by what is now a very minor back road -- and the proposed direction of travel was anti-clockwise. I can't recall if there are other diagrams, but certainly pictures taken during various times of rebuilding.
When I have got my present work-panic out of the way I'll browse it again and any other stuff I have collected (I holiday there quite a lot).

#5 James Page

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Posted 20 February 2007 - 15:37

This is the page you want.

There are a few pics of cars (Stommelen, Siffert and Ickx) at the Malmedy chicane, and if you scroll through the 10 pages, there are lots of aerial shots, too.

Hope it helps a little!

#6 MPea3

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Posted 20 February 2007 - 16:17

I have a WW2 US Army map of the area. You can see a small scan of it here, and I'll scan it full size and post it in the next day or two.

#7 Speed Demon

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Posted 20 February 2007 - 16:20

Thanks for the link James. At first glance the majority of pics are, as you say, of cars at particular corners, but there are a couple of aerial pics showing reasonable sections of track. A good start.

2F-001 - I'll have to see if I can find that book as the pics may be of use.

The corners I'm struggling with in particular are Malmedy, Masta and Stavelot as these are where the majority of changes occurred.

#8 gyle

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Posted 20 February 2007 - 19:33

in 73 there was a fatal accident in the malmedy corner with H.P.Joisten (24hrs of spa),without the chicane ,and therefore in 74 the chicane was built to prevent that such things happens again.

i was a regular visitor of spa from 65 to 72 in stavelot and from 73 in malmedy.
you can find photos of spa on my website (in the photogallery)

here is a link to a french speaking forum (but you have to register )with belgian marshalls from spa and a lot of people living or born near the circuit

http://circuithouse.aceboard.fr

#9 lil'chris

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Posted 20 February 2007 - 23:31

The high speed corner at Stavelot was put in in 1950 I believe. Malmedy chicane was used just for F1 in 1970 but other classes continued to use the real Malmedy curve until at least 1973 when Hans Peter Joisten and Roger Dubos collided at high speed sadly killing both drivers.