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Circuits of the past

Remember the motor racing circuits of the past!

A lap at old Chimay

A photo tour, made by Herman Liesemeijer, around the old street circuit of Chimay in Belgium. And at the end I will show you also the current circuit.

circuit chimay old start finish
We start our lap on the site where the start/finish was from 1926 to 1983.

Here we enter the village of Chimay.

Section La Bouchère.

Hard braking was necessary here because it was the end of a long high speed section.

Exit La Bouchère.

A few fast sweeping corners are leading us to the longest straight...

Which is interrupted by a roundabout now!

circuit chimay salles straight
Pedal to the metal at the "Ligne droite de Salles" (Sales Straight).

circuit chimay virage spirkins
After three km full throttle we enter the fast "Virage Spikins" (Spikins Corner).

After Spikins Corner a right kink. The piece of asphalt on the left is a remain from an additional chicane constructed in 1984.

circuit chimay salles
The first of two banked 90° right hand corners just before the village of Salles. These corners are most likely constructed in 1960.

circuit chimay salles corner

Full throttle upward.

And very close alongside Chapelle de l'Arbrisseau!

A few very fast kinks...

And after a Mile full throttle you had to brake very hard before "Virage Mairesse" (Mairesse Corner). Imagine what would happen if you brake too late for this corner!

circuit chimay old and new
On the right you see the new part of the circuit.

Petit Pont

circuit chimay chicane
Since 1984 the Pilette Chicane reduce the speed at this point.

Turn right at "Virage de Beauchamp", the third angle of the circuit.

And again a chicane, Chicane Bourgoignie, just like the other chicanes introduced in 1984.

Close alongside the houses at Virage Vidal!

The final kink comes in sight...

Who brings us back at start/finish, but we're not finished yet...

circuit chimay demolished control tower
Here was the old control tower!

Since 1984 the section through the village of Chimay was cut by this new section with a new start/finish straight...

circuit chimay new start finish

The new start/finish since 1984.

On the right the entry to the new section, opened in 1996. But before we will enter that we will go straight ahead first...

From 1984 to 1995 here was the first corner leading to the Salles Straight which was 1 km shorter after they cut off the Chimay section. We have seen this roundabout before at our lap!

Back to the entry to the newest section since 1996.

circuit chimay straight
Looks like a nice long straight...

But this straight is interrupted twice by a chicane! The first chicane is called after Guy Nève who died in 1992 after an accident in Spirkins Corner at the old track.

The second chicane is called "Chicane Mairesse", an adopted name from the "Virage Mairesse" at the old circuit. This corner was named after Guy Mairesse who died in an accident at Montlhéry in 1954.

Looks spectacular but because of the chicane it's easy flat out...

And here's the connection with the old circuit where we have been before.

© Text and pictures: Herman Liesemeijer

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