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The [hopefully] definitive Spa-Francorchamps circuit thread


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#1 wolf sun

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Posted 30 April 2007 - 23:01

I´m trying to put together a comprehensive list and timeline of the changes Spa-Francorchamps has undergone since its inception in 1924 (1921 actually...shame on me - see below). I know the subject has been dealt with (to differing extent) in various threads, but I think that a) there are some mysteries left unsolved, and b) it would be good to have it all in one place.

To make things a little easier to handle, I´ve come up with a rather nifty ;) (for a musician at least) system of dividing the circuit into sections, so that everyone only needs to refer to the numbers below when posting. Every once in a while that list can be updated with all the gathered information, and hopefully we´ll eventually have what the thread title suggests...

Needless to say, my division of the circuit is up for discussion as well (especially no 15).
Photographic and videographic evidence (where copyright permits) is of course very welcome, as is every minute detail you might know of, even if it has to do with the garden of the house on the right just after Stavelot.

Oh, and I´m also interested in changes made after 1978/9 to the original circuit, even though it has been inactive since then.

So here it is, step forward knowledgeable folks:


1. The start+finish-straight

2. Eau Rouge

2a. L`Ancienne Douane

3. Raidillion

4. Raidillion to Les Combes (Kemmel)

5. Les Combes

6. Haut de la Cote

7. HdlC to Burnenville

8. Burnenville

9. Burnenville to Malmédy

10. Malmédy

11. Malmédy to Masta S

12. Masta S

13. Masta S to Holowell

14. Stavelot

15. The spooky section (up to and including Les Carrières)

16. Les Carrières to Blanchimont

17. Blanchimont

18. Blanchimont to La Source

n18a. Bus Stop

n19. Bus Stop to La Source (new F1 Start+Finish)

20. La Source

21. La Source to Start+Finish


Additionally, there is the "new" section of the circuit:

n5. Les Combes

n6. new Malmédy

n7. Rivage

n8. the (as yet) nameless left-hander after Rivage

n9. Pouhon

n10. Fagnes

n11. new Stavelot

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#2 Tim Murray

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Posted 30 April 2007 - 23:25

Originally posted by wolf sun
. . . since its inception in 1924. . .

I was under the impression that the first motorcycle race meeting was held in 1921 - is this incorrect?

#3 wolf sun

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Posted 30 April 2007 - 23:38

2. moved, widened, different run-offs...what, when, etc. - has the inclination changed?
contrary to popular belief, some say it used to be a lesser challenge in the old days, as it was a slower corner then

2a. - abandoned in 1939 (?), it´s still there, and i think it was used as a bypass to Eau Rouge/Raidillion for everyday traffic, before the circuit´s roads were closed to the public, an ancient toll station used to be there, at the border to Prussia

3. there´s some confusion as to what is Eau Rouge and what is Raidillion - AFAIK Raidillion is the name of the left-hander at the top of the hill, the left-right before is Eau Rouge

4. since when is it called Kemmel? there´s a right-hand kink just before the footbridge, has it always been there? the section up to les combes has probably been straightened when the new circuit was built, GPL for example shows a different layout to today´s. It seems there used to be another kink between the (new) footbridge and Les Combes - a "wobble" in the tree-line has been mentioned, also there is some tarmac to the right of today´s course - photographic evidence coming tomorrow, hopefully (if i can persuade my rather moody scanner).


Ok - tis getting late, more soon...

#4 wolf sun

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Posted 30 April 2007 - 23:43

Originally posted by Tim Murray

I was under the impression that the first motorcycle race meeting was held in 1921 - is this incorrect?


This might well be true, other sources say it was first used in 1922 - probably the popular 1924 date relates only to car-racing. I´m absolutely no expert when it comes to motorcycling though, so clarification would be very welcome!

#5 wolf sun

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Posted 30 April 2007 - 23:50

http://maps.google.c...61,0.173035&t=k


Good point of reference, the wobble can be seen here, too.

#6 wolf sun

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Posted 01 May 2007 - 00:21

You´re right, Tim, 1921 it was!

#7 Tim Murray

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Posted 01 May 2007 - 04:57

:up:

Have you looked at these threads?

http://forums.autosp...&threadid=13843

http://forums.autosp...&threadid=51965

http://forums.autosp...&threadid=93058

http://forums.autosp...&threadid=43958

http://forums.autosp...&threadid=33908

http://forums.autosp...&threadid=79123

#8 Barry Boor

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Posted 01 May 2007 - 06:41

May I respectfully add the following for those who may not have seen it before or don't have the book?

Posted Image

This is from the Paul Frere biography and states that it shows Spa as it was in the days before the changes made to Stavelot and various other sections.

I cannot vouch for its accuracy but the gradient section is interesting.

#9 David McKinney

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Posted 01 May 2007 - 06:43

Originally posted by wolf sun
3. there´s some confusion as to what is Eau Rouge and what is Raidillion - AFAIK Raidillion is the name of the left-hander at the top of the hill, the left-right before is Eau Rouge

..and I have always believed Eau Rouge is the left-hander, and Raidillion is the right-hander that folllows it ;)

#10 wolf sun

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Posted 01 May 2007 - 09:30

Originally posted by Tim Murray
:up:

Have you looked at these threads?

http://forums.autosp...&threadid=13843

http://forums.autosp...&threadid=51965

http://forums.autosp...&threadid=93058

http://forums.autosp...&threadid=43958

http://forums.autosp...&threadid=33908

http://forums.autosp...&threadid=79123



Yes, I have, Tim. Unfortunately, many of the picture links are down by now, plus, some questions regarding Spa are still left unanswered, as will become clear when I´ve gone through the whole list.

My intention is not to open a topic that has been discussed extensively before, but rather gathering all the information in one place.


PS - I messed up the Eau Rouge/Raidillion bit once again (probably due to the late hour yesterday). Three bends and two names seem to be confusing to me, apparently...;)

#11 wolf sun

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Posted 01 May 2007 - 09:34

So...

2. and 3. - Eau Rouge is the name of the left-hander at the bottom. The uphill right-hander that follows is Raidillion, and the left-hander at the top of the hill also belongs to to the latter (?) making Raidillion two corners - correct?

#12 wolf sun

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Posted 01 May 2007 - 23:14

5. The layout of Les Combes and the slight right-handed kink before it has remained unchanged AFAIK. A small road leads to some of the farms and villages further south. Does anyone know when this was built? I think the area used to be much more wooded before the construction of the new circuit.

6. On some circuit maps Les Combes is called HdlC, but I think the name actually refers to the section that follows. The layout changed when the circuit became permanent and a new bypass was built, resulting in a junction shortly after Les Combes. This must have happened between 2000 and 2004. Exact date?

7. A kink to the left followed by one to the right - this section can´t have changed too much over the years, as quite a lot of the houses surrounding the area today, especially those on the right-hand side, can be seen on old pictures and films

#13 lil'chris

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Posted 03 May 2007 - 05:42

6 )I've always thought HdlC ( Haut de La Cote ) is the left hander since this I believe translates as "top of the hill" and the entry to the left hander must be the highest point on the whole of the old circuit. I thought Les Combes either was the right hander beforehand or an alternative name for HdlC.

Regarding the new junction, I was pootling around the old circuit in late 2000 and they'd started to lay the foundations at that point for the new road back down towards Eau Rouge so I'd guess it was completed and brought into use in 2001.

7) You can catch a very quick glimpse of this on 9 Days in Summer IIRC. Also the original version of The Cruel Sport by Robert Daley possibly had a couple of pics. I have the most recent version and they don't appear therein.

Chris

#14 wolf sun

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Posted 03 May 2007 - 10:56

5. + 6. HdlC does indeed translate to "top of the hill", so it might well be an alternative name for Les Combes (I´ve always thought that HdlC would be appropriate for a spot where one would have a view over the valley, which would be right after the left-hander). Also, in the book "From Brands Hatch to Indianapolis" (although that one is riddled with mistakes) the left-hander is referred to as "the second Les Combes bend". So you might be right that LC is actually the right-hander before.

7. Were the two kinks on the way to Burnenville ever named? Same question concerns 4. btw

8. No obvious changes here. In the middle of the bend there´s a house on the outside, from which a lot of pictures have been taken. Whenever I´m at Spa I think about interviewing some of the people living in these places about their recollections of the circuit´s active years. Unfortunately, my french is rudimentary to the point where I could ask them about certain things, but most probably wouldn´t understand their answers...

- Next up is one of the "mystery" sections of Spa, so I´ll have to post when I have a bit more time...scanner still letting me down, so pics will have to come later.

#15 lil'chris

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Posted 03 May 2007 - 20:53

regarding 14 - 16.

I've always thought the first left hander after Stavelot was called Cottage due to the cottage situated to the right of the track just before the corner.

I've seen the following left referred to as Cheneux presumably after the small hamlet nearby.

The first right hander I've seen referred to as Maison Blanche after the house on the apex of the corner. The following right hander is of course La Carriere (Quarry).

Chris

#16 algis

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Posted 11 July 2007 - 09:38

Making research on Historic Spa, I would like to add:

2. L'Eau Rouge is the brook that was winding its way between the 2 hills. It was still at open air in the beginning of 70s (75?) last time I pass under the track to reach the "Hôtel de l'Eau Rouge" at the end of the pits lane. The track passed over a bridge (it can be seen in many pics). There was another underpass that let the people go to the inside of the "La Source" area and clubhouse; and was located in amont of the pits; behind the grand stands of the other side. I believe the Eau Rouge is now underground.
Raidillon is a French word (Wallon slang?) that could be somehow translated as "short climb up" coming from the French word "raide" (stiff) and was given about the 30~40 when the road has been made straight (well...) to the hill. Before the Raidillon; the track turned left and then right again about the Douanes (border).

14. Stavelot has been made in the 50s (end?) - They connected the two roads that made it at an angle before that. It was banked and forbidden to traffic. It was bordered with high ads panels similar to the ones that were at the exit of "La Source". Spectators were not permitted in the outside of the Stavelot banked curved; but were at about 5 meters in the entry and at the exit. The view from the left hand cow-fields at the exit of Stavelot was gorgeous in sunny weather. And fairy at 24hours events during the night.

From personal recollection; but it is more than 30 years ago...

#17 Seebar

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Posted 20 August 2007 - 14:44

Originally posted by wolf sun
So...

2. and 3. - Eau Rouge is the name of the left-hander at the bottom. The uphill right-hander that follows is Raidillion, and the left-hander at the top of the hill also belongs to to the latter (?) making Raidillion two corners - correct?


Correct.
Posted Image

I took part in a trivia pub quiz last Friday, one of the questions being "what is the name of the famous uphill right-hander in Spa?". Most people found it an unfair question - the whole world calls it Eau Rouge - but ever since the Ancienne Douane was removed, that corner's called the Raidillon.

A friend of mine claims that the Masta kink has been straightened out and gone forever somewhere around 2001. http://www.spa-franc...acces_grand.jpg seems to suggest the same, but I suppose the map isn't detailed enough.

#18 Rob Semmeling

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Posted 20 August 2007 - 15:18

Originally posted by Seebär A friend of mine claims that the Masta kink has been straightened out and gone forever somewhere around 2001.


Fortunately, that's incorrect. The Masta-S is still there. If I remember correctly, there's even a sign with the name of the bend on it, much like at L'Ancienne Douane.

The photo's below were taken by myself in March of this year and might be of interest as well. These are the remains of the chicane at Malmedy:


The entry to the chicane, looking back towards Malmedy

Posted Image


Looking in the other direction, towards Masta

Posted Image

Copyright: Rob Semmeling


And this is how it looked back in the day:

Posted Image

Copyright: Frans Oestlandt / Gyle.be


Unfortunately, much of the old circuit is in poor condition. Then again, most roads in the French speaking part of Belgium are. However, the section from Stavelot to Blachimont has been resurfaced recently.

#19 Rob Semmeling

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Posted 20 August 2007 - 15:26

Here is the L'Ancienne Douane hairpin when it was still drivable, much like most of the current Grand Prix circuit:


Posted Image

Copyright: Rob Semmeling


Must have been ca. 1995-1996. There is a similar sign at Masta, I believe.

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#20 algis

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Posted 20 August 2007 - 15:29

The left-right at Masta might (probably) have been straighten up but it still a left-right:

http://www.motopaedi.../Masta_2007.JPG

Would love to have pictures of it as it was in 1970 :D (anyone?)

#21 algis

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Posted 20 August 2007 - 15:49

@ Rob: We were answering simulatenousely; youre faster :D - I assume the Malmedys chicane is the one put on place for the 1970 F1 GP? If yes; was it before (After Burnenville curve) or After Malmedy curve? Also - Was that chicane in place for the same year 1000Kms (World Sportscar Championship)?

Many thanks for any insight; I am making researches (for my private pleasure) on the track as it was before it has been shortened.

Algis

#22 Rob Semmeling

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Posted 20 August 2007 - 16:28

Originally posted by algis
@ Rob: We were answering simulatenousely; youre faster :D - I assume the Malmedys chicane is the one put on place for the 1970 F1 GP? If yes; was it before (After Burnenville curve) or After Malmedy curve? Also - Was that chicane in place for the same year 1000Kms (World Sportscar Championship)?


Yes, that is correct. The chicane was first used for the 1970 GP. As far as I know, sports- and touring cars did not use the chicane until a big accident in, I believe 1973. The details elude me at the moment.

Here's the chicane in 1970, twice from the air and once from the ground:


Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image

Copyright: LAT


The aerial photo's clearly show where the chicane was located. In essence, it tightened the original Malmedy section. As you can see, the chicane was constructed using a road that ran south at Malmedy. This is where the E42 highway from Verviers to Sankt Vith runs nowadays.

#23 Rob Semmeling

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Posted 20 August 2007 - 16:33

From one of the topics mentioned above:

Originally posted by gyle
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.

Originally posted by lil'chris
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.



#24 algis

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Posted 20 August 2007 - 16:35

Crystal clear Rob; Many thanks :)

#25 bigears

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Posted 20 August 2007 - 17:13

From www.racingsportscar.com: during the 1973 race.

Hans Peter Jonstein

Roger Dubos

I got video footage of Jonstein's BMW sitting beside the track, the BMW was in a bad shape after the accident.

#26 Pedro 917

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Posted 20 August 2007 - 22:01

It's Hans Peter Joisten, not Jonstein.
Here's a rare picture of HP Joisten in his final race :

Posted Image

#27 Pedro 917

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Posted 20 August 2007 - 22:07

Spa, on a gloomy day in 1990 :

Posted Image
Masta straight

Posted Image
The Masta kink lying ahead

Posted Image
Out of the Masta kink
Pictures by my brother Carlos Ghys

#28 lil'chris

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Posted 20 August 2007 - 22:48

Wasn't it during the 50s that the original Malmedy corner was eased and made much faster as part of a programme of works supposedly to ensure Francorchamps kept in contention with Reims as fastest true road track in Europe ?

So the 70's chicane may possibly have followed much more the line of the original corner that Seaman, Lang etc would've raced on during the 30's before these works took place.

#29 Rob Semmeling

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Posted 21 August 2007 - 16:09

"World Motor Racing Circuits" by Higham/Jones lists these changes to the old Spa-Francorchamps circuit:

1924-1933: original circuit, 9.236 miles / 14.863 km

1934-1938: Malmedy right hander eased, 9.290 miles / 14.950 km

1939-1956: the Ancienne Douane hairpin bypassed, 9.060 miles / 14.579 km

1956-1957: Stavelot corner changed, 8.768 miles / 14.119 km

1958-1974: some corners eased, 8.755 miles / 14.099 km

1974-1978: chicane built at Malmedy, 8.755 miles / 14.099 km

1979: new circuit built

Etc.

This list could be a decent starting point but it is very basic, not very comprehensive and may contain errors (as mentioned above, the Malmedy chicane was already used in 1970). The best way to trace back circuit changes is by comparing photos and film footage from various years.

#30 algis

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Posted 21 August 2007 - 16:18

Thanks so much Rob; I appreciate the help :)

Algis

(Expatriate Spa/Chimay/Mettet fan)

#31 lil'chris

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Posted 21 August 2007 - 22:05

I'd always thought ( supported by the text on page 63 of Delsauxs Francorchamps 1948 -1960 ) that the banked bend at Stavelot replacing the hairpin was first used in 1950.

The same tome ( page 217 ) notes that 13 bends had been broadened and resurfaced along with the building of a deceleration lane ( unique in Europe and preceding the pits I presume !!) in time for the 1957 production car race.

#32 paulhooft

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Posted 22 August 2007 - 15:40

I recently found this image of the track in 1932


Posted Image

(much better version uploaded on 23-8-2007)

#33 Seebar

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Posted 23 August 2007 - 10:34

Nice pic there, great find!

Does anyone have a clue about how the lefthander leading on to the Kemmel straight was called? I'm assuming that, already having made the ascent at the Ancienne Douane, the lefthander leading on to the Kemmel straight would not have been called Raidillon.

Apart from that, I always thought Kemmel is a strange name, seeing how the letter K is rarely used in French. Could it have been named after Kemmel, a village in West Flanders? Its claim to fame is de Kemmelberg (mount Kemmel - at 156 metres the highest point of the province) and a French war cemetery. Probably too far-fetched, but then again, who knows.

#34 scheivlak

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Posted 23 August 2007 - 10:57

Originally posted by Seebär
Nice pic there, great find!

Does anyone have a clue about how the lefthander leading on to the Kemmel straight was called? I'm assuming that, already having made the ascent at the Ancienne Douane, the lefthander leading on to the Kemmel straight would not have been called Raidillon.

Apart from that, I always thought Kemmel is a strange name, seeing how the letter K is rarely used in French. Could it have been named after Kemmel, a village in West Flanders? Its claim to fame is de Kemmelberg (mount Kemmel - at 156 metres the highest point of the province) and a French war cemetery. Probably too far-fetched, but then again, who knows.

I don't know, but remember that we're almost right on the Walloon/German language border here.
Before the Treaty of Versailles (1919) Eupen and Malmédy were German!

#35 subh

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Posted 23 August 2007 - 11:48

Originally posted by wolf sun
Additionally, there is the "new" section of the circuit:

n7. Rivage

n8. the (as yet) nameless left-hander after Rivage

n9. Pouhon


The nameless left-hander? Interestingly, certain motorcycle racing yearbooks have something to say on that. I will have to look at this later and report back, but I have the programme for the 500cc Grand Prix of 1982, I think it is, and this confirms it. The circuit map has a completely different set of names for the corners on the new section. They are all named after European cities, such as London, Copenhagen, etc. This pre-dates the F1 return, but yearbooks from a few years on still use these corner names. More later...

#36 Rob Semmeling

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Posted 23 August 2007 - 12:15

Found a scan from a book with some additional info. Unfortunately I can't remember from what book this quote is:

"Malmedy was eased considerably in 1934 and in 1939 the hairpin at the Virage de l'Ancienne Douane, which followed the Eau Rouge-lefthander after the start, was by-passed completely, giving the cars a very fast run up the hill to Les Combes and onto Malmedy. This reduced the circuit lenght by 364 metres (398 yds) and was expected to increase lap speeds considerably."

It's obvious from looking at photos many bends were reprofiled at least several times and probably a lot more than we realize, especially Eau Rouge/Raidillon. Other bends have also changed quite considerably through the years, including La Source and the Bus Stop Chicane. I think we're only scratching the surface in this thread.

Subh is right about the bends being named after European capitols. Fortunately, they never caught on.

#37 subh

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Posted 23 August 2007 - 18:28

Originally posted by subh
The nameless left-hander? Interestingly, certain motorcycle racing yearbooks have something to say on that. I will have to look at this later and report back, but I have the programme for the 500cc Grand Prix of 1982, I think it is, and this confirms it. The circuit map has a completely different set of names for the corners on the new section. They are all named after European cities, such as London, Copenhagen, etc. This pre-dates the F1 return, but yearbooks from a few years on still use these corner names. More later...


Here is the information I promised. The programme for the 1982 Motorcycle Grand Prix has a map of the new Spa circuit. The old sections have the same names that we all recognise, but the new ones are named as follows:

Amsterdam and Bonn for the left-right chicane Malmedy.

Bruxelles for Rivage.

Copenhague for the corner otherwise with no name.

Dublin and Londres are two corners that we know collectively as Pouhon.

Luxembourg and Paris for the right-left Fagnes chicane.

Rome and Liège for the double right Stavelot.

Interesting? These corner names are shown as late as 1989, in the Motorcycle Grand Prix Year volume.

#38 pkenny

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Posted 23 August 2007 - 22:08

Scheivlak is right. Malmedy is part of the German speaking part of Belgium - 1% of Belgian's are native German speaking. I had a colleague from Malmedy and she is a native German speaker.

I drove the old circuit again last month - during the F1 test session. The Masta kink remains much as the photos from 1990 show. Still unbelievable. I think that there is a milk truck stop to the side of the original entrance but to my non-expert eye it seems the same.

The return part of the circuit from Stavelot is in really bad condition - given that it is now no longer leads anywhere, since the modern circuit was enclosed.

#39 wolf sun

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Posted 02 September 2007 - 22:33

Which is rather strange, as it has been resurfaced sometime between autumn `04 and autumn `05!

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#40 wolf sun

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Posted 02 September 2007 - 23:55

Posted Image

This picture has been taken from roughly the same spot as Rob´s (Malmédy chicane looking towards Masta) in October 2006.
AFAIK the exit of the chicane was located right behind the spot where you can see the solitary tree. In the background you can see the "new" road diversion, the part to the right leading on to the roundabout and the motorway, the part to the left being the one-way, single-lane route from Stavelot to Malmédy.
Apparently, this part of the circuit has changed beyond recognition since its active days. The following left-right combination (visible in the LAT aerials, and appearing somewhat exaggerated in GPL) apparently used to be located near the road diversion, but where exactly?
I´ve always thought that the one-way road from Stavelot to Malmédy was part of the original layout, but, comparing period pictures with today´s, that doesn´t seem to be the case.

#41 paulhooft

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Posted 03 September 2007 - 07:45

[IMG]http://img413.images...shistev9.th.jpg[/IMG]



Spa-Francorchamps: Histoire d'un circuit de 1896 à nos jours
par R. Bovy, Th. Galle et H. Maudoux. Ed La renaissance du livre. 2005. En français. 310x250.
Couverture cartonnée+jaquette (hardcover) . 210 pages
price 39,50 €

This is a very nice book about the History of Motor and Motor Cycling Racing at Spa Francorchamps.
It has a much more proffessional look.., than some of the other books about Spa-Francorchamps..
It is in French, however it is packed with intresting photos and results, and very worthwhile.
A great pity it was not translated (yet..)
It is for sale at Editions Palmier for 39,30 Euro

#42 Rob Semmeling

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Posted 19 September 2009 - 10:47

In the past few weeks I finally managed to do some proper research about changes to the Spa-Francorchamps circuit. A detailed describtion of how the circuit has evolved since 1921 can now be found in the "Rennen! Races! Vitesse!" PDF file available on my website http://www.wegcircuits.nl, which covers Dutch, Belgian, German, and Austrian racing circuits.

This is by far the most accurate and detailed overview of circuits in these countries.

I can also confirm the 'Kemmel' section was not straight originally, something that was not remedied until the construction of the new circuit in 1978.

#43 VDP

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Posted 19 September 2009 - 12:49

Nice job Rob

In fact the Spa Francorchamps circuit changed also in 1922 and 1924, without changing the lenght of the circuit !!!
Belgium is surealist. The main change before adding a new kerb raidillon was done in 1933 and not in 1934.

If you want to know how wide was the track, you have to take the road to a small village nearby called Ster, you have only to look on it with the tree and take off asphalt

Robert

#44 Rob Semmeling

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Posted 19 September 2009 - 13:08

In fact the Spa Francorchamps circuit changed also in 1922 and 1924, without changing the lenght of the circuit !!! Belgium is surealist. The main change before adding a new kerb raidillon was done in 1933 and not in 1934.


I found no changes for 1922 and 1924, Robert. Of course that's not to say there may not have been small improvements. In fact, the circuit may well have been improved from year to year, but the significant changes are all accounted for.

I presume by 'main change' you mean the new layout at 'Malmédy'? I believe 1934 is correct in that case, of course if you can convince me otherwise I'm all ears!

#45 wolf sun

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Posted 19 September 2009 - 22:49

Rob, hats off once again, for your impressive work on wegcircuits.nl!

Out of curiosity, how/where did you finally find the facts about the Kemmel kink(s)?

And a few more questions/mysteries that bug me:
1. The section between Malmédy and Masta (as seen in the photograph below), where the road splits...that must have been constructed when the motorway was built - which, as I've found out was relatively recently, the bit between Spa and Malmédy being opened as late as 1995. I'd love to see pictures of that section taken either shortly before, or during the construction of the motorway junction.
EDIT: Going through this thread again I've just discovered that the road diversion was already in place in 1990... :well: more confusion :confused:

2. If I remember correctly, and I might have stated that before, in 'In-car 956' the 'new' section between Les Combes and Blanchimont features white lane markings. Why's that? Has that bit ever been open to normal traffic? Or did they paint the lines to preserve the 'road circuit' look?

3. And, once again a minor detail: What is that little strip of tarmac to the right of the original Les Combes entry?




#46 Rob Semmeling

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Posted 20 September 2009 - 09:11

Out of curiosity, how/where did you finally find the facts about the Kemmel kink(s)?


Turns out the circuit has a well-kept archive. I found several maps and photographs there. A 1977 map combines the old and new circuit and shows how the new, straight Kemmel diverges from the original bend section.

Another map of the new course indicates the 'tracé actuel' and 'nouveau tracé', as well as a 'tracé rectifié' between 'Kemmel and Les Combes. It also says: "Le raccord s'effectue entre le nouveau circuit et l'ancien par un trançon dont le tracé va être rectificié sur près de d'un kilomètre."

Then there are on-track photos from 1949 and 1962. It's evident from these why Kemmel wasn't photographed more often, because there was really no room for spectating, it probably wasn't even allowed.

If I remember correctly, and I might have stated that before, in 'In-car 956' the 'new' section between Les Combes and Blanchimont features white lane markings. Why's that? Has that bit ever been open to normal traffic? Or did they paint the lines to preserve the 'road circuit' look?


You're right, but why these lines where there I don't know. I am not aware this section was open to traffic, but who knows.

And, once again a minor detail: What is that little strip of tarmac to the right of the original Les Combes entry?


Little strip of tarmac at Les Combes.... what do you mean??


#47 wolf sun

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Posted 20 September 2009 - 10:22

Thanks Rob, that's quite a find!

Re Les Combes, I meant the aubergine-shaped bit visible in the picture below:

Posted Image

As to the archive (you've got me excited here): Is it located at the circuit? Difficult to get access to it? :wave: (You know what I'm on about here)

...so that only leaves the Malmédy mystery...

#48 Rob Semmeling

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Posted 20 September 2009 - 12:20

Have sent you a PM, Wolfgang.

#49 wolf sun

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Posted 05 October 2009 - 21:00

I' ve just come across this website - well worth a look or two for the pictures of Spa-Francorchamps alone, but there surely is more to be discovered than the page I linked to (I found more pictures of the circuit by typing in different keywords).

PS - I never knew that Stavelot bend used to be called 'Virage de Chefosse'!

#50 Rob Semmeling

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Posted 02 April 2010 - 10:49

Check out this totally awesome complete (!) onboard lap of Spa-Francorchamps in 1962:

http://blog.sonuma.b...-lucien-bianchi