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Floreffe - a little known Belgian track


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#1 LittleChris

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Posted 29 February 2004 - 00:30

Does anyone have any info on this little known Belgian circuit ? I first became aware of it in one DSJ’s Continental Notes in Motor Sport circa 1975 and thanks to Dan Kings website finally traced the route of the track about a month ago. I know it was used for the Belgian Motor Cycle GP and closed in 1956, but was it ever used for car racing ? As part of my ongoing project to film contemporary in-car laps of various classic European circuits, I took my video camera over to Belgium last week but sadly and due to my own incompetence, suffered technical problems which means that I failed to record any footage of Floreffe as well as Chimay and Mettet ( yet again – for the 3rd time ). Fortunately my other half had her digital camera and she took about 35 picures which I'll send to Dan in the near future . All I can say with regard to Floreffe is: What great circuit ! It’s about 8.5 miles of which two legs are relatively straight but definitely not flat with a third leg that meanders uphill through a wooded valley/village.

Chris

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#2 neville mackay

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Posted 29 February 2004 - 14:47

Floreffe was never actually used for the Belgian motorcycling GP - that was always held at Spa - but it did host a series of non-championship events in the late 1940's and early 50's. Fergus Anderson, the two-times 350cc world champion, was killed there in 1956 when the streamlined "dustbin" fairing on his 500cc BMW touched the ground as he leant too far over on a corner.

#3 LittleChris

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Posted 29 February 2004 - 21:15

Thanks for the info Neville. There is a photo on Dan Kings website of a memorial to Fergus Anderson in the village of Buzet, but look as we might, we couldn't find it when we visited.

Chris

#4 Marcov

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Posted 01 March 2004 - 21:48

Originally posted by neville mackay
Floreffe was never actually used for the Belgian motorcycling GP - that was always held at Spa - but it did host a series of non-championship events in the late 1940's and early 50's. Fergus Anderson, the two-times 350cc world champion, was killed there in 1956 when the streamlined "dustbin" fairing on his 500cc BMW touched the ground as he leant too far over on a corner.


No. Floreffe was used for the motorcycle Belgian GP in 1936. It was the first and last time. About the fatal accident of veteran scottish mortorycle worldchampion rider Fergus Anderson, at the moment I have this version. He would have made a driving mistake during a slowing lap, hit the kerb (perhaps with the streamlined "dustbin" fairing, as you say) of the foot-path and crashed fatally.
The plate on the site of the fatal accident was put in May 1996, for the 50th year of his tragic and not forgotten death. There was also his daughter.

#5 Alan Lewis

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Posted 03 March 2004 - 22:22

Taking this off thread a tad (forgive me), but is there anywhere on Ye Web that gives information on pre-1949 motorcycle Grands Prix (like Belgium 1936)?

"Pre-Championship" car Grands Prix data is everywhere - in all media - but I don't think I've ever seen anything about the two-wheeled equivalent, except, inevitably, for the TT.

APL

#6 danielking

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Posted 04 March 2004 - 00:45

Originally posted by Alan Lewis
Taking this off thread a tad (forgive me), but is there anywhere on Ye Web that gives information on pre-1949 motorcycle Grands Prix (like Belgium 1936)?

"Pre-Championship" car Grands Prix data is everywhere - in all media - but I don't think I've ever seen anything about the two-wheeled equivalent, except, inevitably, for the TT.

APL


This page may be a good start: http://www.chez.com/...re-sommaire.htm ;)


LittleChris's photo tour of Floreffe is now available at: http://www.racingcir...fe/ch2004a.html

#7 Alan Lewis

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Posted 04 March 2004 - 20:46

Originally posted by danielking


This page may be a good start: http://www.chez.com/...re-sommaire.htm ;)


LittleChris's photo tour of Floreffe is now available at: http://www.racingcir...fe/ch2004a.html


Daniel, truly you are a saint in human form. I must have missed this in the past because my French is as poor as a poor thing that's just been made homeless and had its shoes nicked.

But the wife has an MA in it. Now, if I can just persuade her to do a few hours translating...

APL

#8 Paul Rochdale

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Posted 05 February 2007 - 12:09

According to John Surtees' book JOHN SURTEES: WORLD CHAMPION, Fergus Anderson's fatal crash at Floreffe happened on 6 May 1956. Surtees was leading the race on his MV and Anderson on a works 500 BMW was slowly catching him. Anderson had just broken the lap record but then skidded on melting tar, clipped a kerb before striking a wall in the village of Buzet.

I have been unable to make head nor tail of the links which presumably show a memorial plaque to him in the village.

Fergus Anderson had been living for six years with his wife and family in the beautiful village of Mandello del Lario, on the shores of Lake Como, and close to the Moto Guzzi factory where he had been Works Team Manager until shortly before his death, and so far been unable to locate his grave.

#9 Mark A

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Posted 05 February 2007 - 22:09

You can find the racingcircuits.net link HERE

#10 Paul Rochdale

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Posted 06 February 2007 - 09:13

Thank you so much for that link, Mark. I tried to get the website yesterday but none of the images appeared. In fact I thought I'd read somewhere that the site was 'lost'.

Floreffe looks daunting with the buildings so close to the road and those ominous metal telegraph poles - as Fergus Anderson sadly discovered.

Incidentally I read somwhere that Anderson drove HWM F2 cars for a season (1950?) but haven't discovered how successful he was. Presumably as he was a successful works Moto Guzzi GP rider at the time, he chose to stay on two wheels. And Anderson, a Scot, was born in Croydon? Really?

#11 Rosemayer

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Posted 06 February 2007 - 18:08

Looks a little like the Isle of Man but with more trees.But it takes a very brave man to race a motorcycle on any track like that.

#12 gdecarli

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Posted 07 February 2007 - 01:25

Thanks for your contribution about these circuits. I have just update my website (in English, Italian page is available too), by adding some links and info you posted here.

Ciao,
Guido

#13 Graham Clayton

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Posted 13 July 2009 - 05:00

As this appears to be a motorcycle track, would the moderator consider moving the thread across to the "Motorcycle Racing Nostalgia" forum?

#14 speedman13

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Posted 13 July 2009 - 09:41

Fergus Anderson is buried in Namur Belgium.