A lap at old Spa-Francorchamps

On this page I will take you for a lap on the old circuit of Spa-Francorchamps.
I show you not only the familiar route, but also the less known variants like the old l'Ancienne Douane, since 1939 cut-off by the Raidillon, and the chicane at Masta.


We start our lap at the original Start/Finish straight. Since 1983 the Formula 1 start at another straight because this one was descending too steep.


Until 1938 here was only a left hand corner, the Eau-Rouge. Since 1939 the steep right hand corner cuts off the l'Ancienne Douane section, the famous Raidillon!


Here you can still recognize the original left hander!


Now we follow the original track with the l'Ancienne Douane Hairpin.


The little road you see is a remain of the original road. Until 1995 it had its original wideness but for the enlargement of the run off area at the Raidillon they removed a part of the surface. Till 2000 the l'Ancienne Douane was a part of the public road. Until 1995 for traffic in both directions, and after 1995 only for descending traffic. Because this road was narrowed, increasing traffic had to take the steep climb on the Raidillon!


A great view from the Raidillon and the start/finish straight (Thanks to the Marshalls who allowed me to take this picture from their post).


Then over the Kemmel Straight, which wasn't a straight original but a section with fast kinks, to Les Combes...


No, Les Combes is not a chicane. It's a fast left hand corner at the highest point of the track!


After Les Combes downhill. The start of a very fast and spectacular descending section!


Haute de la Cote


At high speed to Burnenville.


Burnenville


The famous house at Burnenville.


The first of the fast left right combination Malmedy


The second of Malmedy.


Blasting full throttle on the Masta Straight!


The famous Masta Kink. In fact is was a very fast left right combination.


But there was also an alternative for the fast S-corner, a chicane. This chicane was constructed in 1975 in an attempt to make the track safer. But after tests it was found more dangerous than the original corner and the chicane has never been used!

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Today you can still find the curbs of the chicane!


The second part of the Masta section.


And full throttle again at the Holowell Straight.


The fast kink at Holowell.


Right the entry to the banked Stavelot Corner. Just like the famous Raidillon this was an artificial corner, constructed in 1947, to make the circuit faster...

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But we follw the original pre 1947 section!


On the junction we turn right!


On the right hand the exit of the Stavelot Corner.


The first one of a series of fast kinks at La Carriére.


Long time the surface of this part of the track was in a very bad condition...


But today there's a brand new surface!


After the fence the new part connect to the original part, which is now a permanent circuit from here.


Full throttle to Blanchimont (on the background)!


Exit Blanchimont.


After Blanchimont the speed was killed by a chicane since 1981. In 2007 this section has undergone a tremendous renevation with a new chicane. Above the current situation...


The old chicane in 2005. On the right you see the original road which was used by traffic until they changed the semi street circuit into a permanent race track in 2000.


Than trough the left kink, before 1981 without chicane, to a short straight...


That short straight is since 1983 the Start/Finish of the Formula One. On the background the original La Source hairpin. Since 2007 La Source has been moved inside.


Exit La Source to the old Start/Finish straight...


Where our lap at old Spa-Francorchamps ends!

© Text: Herman Liesemeijer
Photos: Herman Liesemeijer & Vera Lodder (Photo Kemmel Straight)

                  

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