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"groeten uit" Spa


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#1 Boniver

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Posted 29 December 2000 - 17:09

Spa the days before the race

http://www.research-racing.de/spa.htm

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#2 David McKinney

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Posted 29 December 2000 - 21:10

Nice site Boniver.
But surely Eau Rouge corner is the left-hander at the bottom of the hill after the old startline, not the right-hander which follows it?


#3 fines

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Posted 29 December 2000 - 22:06

They have also Rivage and Pouhon confused... mmhh! :not too impressed:

#4 Barry Lake

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Posted 30 December 2000 - 06:52

David

I am amazed at how many people think that Le Radillon is Eau Rouge - even people who have raced there (Wallies in touring cars, admittedly).

Today I was looking through Les Annees Fangio and notice that the apex of Eau Rouge was concreted over to "straighten" the corner (I am not sure if it was done for 1952 but it does look fresh).

In those days there was a degree of honour in having the fastest circuit in Europe - which is probably why they constructed Le Radillon to by-pass the old hairpin bend in the first place.

Both Spa-Francorchamps and Reims had new roads constructed to by-pass tight corners in villages. Spa-Francorchamps' bend was quite sharply banked to make it even faster.

These two circuits, plus Monza and Silverstone, I think, were all involved in these efforts to make their tracks faster.

Does anyone know when the following mods were made to Spa-Francorchamps?

1 The banked by-pass of the village.

2 Le Radillon to by-pass the old hairpin bend.

3 The smoothing out of the apex of Eau Rouge (I think 1952).

4 Any other mods to make the track faster.

How strange, too, that there then came a time when all the efforts went into making the tracks slower.

Can anyone put a date on when "chicanery" became common in the modern era? I know they used to have them at Monza etc in the old days, but I am talking about relatively recent times.

It seems to have gone through phases. Early circuits had long straights. Then there was a trend towards chicanes (1930s?), back to "faster is better" 1940s-1950s (maybe 1960s), and then chicanes came back in again.

#5 Roger Clark

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Posted 30 December 2000 - 08:50

The Stavelot hairpin by-pass was first used in 1950. THe Raidilon by-pass was first used in 1938.

These picture show Eau rouge and Le Radillon as they were in late 1953 or early 1954

Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image




#6 Barry Lake

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Posted 30 December 2000 - 11:31

Thanks Roger.

You and your old magazines and your scanner make a great team!

#7 Boniver

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Posted 30 December 2000 - 11:51

The Raidillon

First there was the virage de l’Ancienne Douanne - it was hairpin bend on the hill
In 1939 - the « Bypassed » - from 380 to 420 m high
In 1958 - the « Bypassed » and « eau Rouge » built more wide
The place was the Raidillon but she say : after l’eau Rouge or « the climb »

In 1983 – the new circuit with changing the Bypassed trace
Eau Rouge , narrow
And the Bypassed more a S curve « the RAIDILLON »

Other change
1925 first GP
1930 little change
1934 Malmedy eased
1939 Bypass

1951 no Stavelot virage
1955 little change of Malmedy and Masta virage
1958 built more wide the start, eau rouge, bypassed and Blanchimont
1970 chicane Malmedy

1983 now short circuit
1986 new start place
1991 la source more wide
1992 change chicane
1994 chicane in the Raidillon
1995 no chicane in the Raidillon


#8 fines

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Posted 30 December 2000 - 16:54

I think Boniver is right, the bypass of the Virage de l'Ancienne Douanne was introduced in 1939, not 1938. Anyway, there was no GP in 1938, only the 24h, so I could be wrong. Also, I'm not sure about the concrete strip, other than having seen it on pics from 1952. But the Stavelot bypass was made in 1950, not 1951, as Roger rightfully claimed.

However, the short circuit was already built in 1979, when there had been a controversial Moto GP, where almost all the stars boycotted the race because of the track's new low-grip surface. I am fairly sure it still had the old Eau Rouge corner back then, which was probably straightened when F1 paid its first visit in 1983.

#9 fines

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Posted 30 December 2000 - 17:03

Originally posted by Barry Lake
It seems to have gone through phases. Early circuits had long straights. Then there was a trend towards chicanes (1930s?), back to "faster is better" 1940s-1950s (maybe 1960s), and then chicanes came back in again.

The first "trend towards chicanes" came probably from the 1933 disaster at Monza, although there had been chicanes at Brooklands in 1926/7, when the RAC GP was held there. Apart from Monza during 1934-38, Montlhéry was also emasculated in those years. Can't remember any other tracks now, but the Long Island "Mickey Mouse" circuit also springs to mind. (BTW, anyone with an explanation of the term "Mickey Mouse circuit"?)

The second trend probably started in 1970, with the Hockenheim chicanes that were envisaged to split up the slipstreaming groups. Monza followed suit two years later, and a number of other tracks thought it a cheap way of slowing down their races.

#10 David McKinney

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Posted 30 December 2000 - 18:04

Those 1930s chicanes were not, of course, introduced as safety measures, but rather as a means of slowing the German cars down and giving the French and Italian teams a chance. Some chance!
"Mickey Mouse", for members who are not native English speakers, is a term used to describe something regarded as a "toy" rather than the real thing, and I suspect derives from the Mickey Mouse watches on sale years ago (1950s? earlier?) which not only looked childish but didn't work very well either. And would of course never be used by grown-ups. A bit like some of the modern circuits....

#11 Ray Bell

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Posted 31 December 2000 - 05:11

Monza also had a row of witches hats in 1962 to narrow the straight in front of the pits... DSJ suggested that it would have been nice if Graham Hill had gone along after winning the race and put some on his head to make a mockery of them...
Other things were tried to slow the Germans in the thirties, and there was an effort to do the same thing in the Argentine in 1951/2 or whenever it was that Fangio drove the pre-war car there.
Before he had the drive stitched up he suggested a tight variation of the circuit be used to cruel Mercedes' way...

#12 fines

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Posted 31 December 2000 - 12:21

Yes, that was in 1951, and Farina was supposed to drive the Merc. Fangio suggested a slow circuit to give his Ferrari a chance and ended up beaten by González...

#13 Boniver

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Posted 31 December 2000 - 13:12

Spa was not the first trend towards chinanes .

In 1937 Van Brauchitsch had a bad crash during the practice as he missed the braking point for the Ancienne Douanne conner and his car go into the woods,
So in 1939 she make a high speed bypass

In 1950 (right not in 1951)
She make from the 45° bend in Stavelot a high speed bend

She like speed in Spa, in 1958 there was the idee to change
La Source in a wide corner, but there was no place ,
the change the road , and it stay by a idea.




#14 Patrick Italiano

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Posted 02 January 2001 - 11:41

Just a little comment to confirm that the Raidillon bypass was constructed in 1939, not 1938. That's confirmed on Francorchamps' site, history section:

http://www.spa-franc.../en/index2.html

I have a picture of the 24-hours 1938 where the Eau-Rouge bend seems still to lead to the hairpin.

May I correct a spelling error to be found in all posts, and even sites?

There's only one 'n' in "douane" in french, thus "Ancienne douane" is the right spelling for the former hairpin.