01/09/03 Spa Francorchamps

First European trackday, at what 9/10 F1 drivers claim to be their favourite circuit in the world. I'd been here in 2001 to watch the Grand Prix, and while walking the circuit after the race decided that it'd be a cracking place to come back to with the Westfield.

The trackday was provided by Bookatrack, and a bunch of 5 chums convoyed across for a long weekend involving fizzy beer and suspect steaks. The journey wasn't so bad; it totals 375miles door-to-door, but is split more or less in the middle by the Ferry trip. The route through Belgium and France is relatively easy as it's autoroute all the way.

Our hotel was half a mile from the circuit, so upon arrival, we wandered down to watch the 2nd half of the Spa 1000KM race. The participants included many LeMans prototypes, such as the 2002 Audi LMPs, Diablos, Macca F1s and so on. Amazingly, a Moseler GT car that was in this race turned up to the trackday the following day!

The trackday was fantastic, definitely the best one I've done so far! The circuit was a bit foggy when we first rolled up in the morning (2mins drive from the hotel!) but given the reputation, we couldn't really have asked for better weather. There were 2 heavy showers during the day, but only short, and the circuit dried quite quickly. Turning into Eau Rouge when theres a puddle at the bottom isn't quite the same though!

I did 215miles on the track, which equates to about 50 laps (4.3miles a lap!!), and is probably a personal best. The circuit doesn't feel as long as you'd expect it to though, it doesn't take that long before you're round at the Bus-Stop again. Favourite bends were obviously Eau Rouge, which was just over 100mph in my car (on entry, dropping speed up the steep hill!) and Blanchimont which was a long >100mph left hander. Braking at the top of the Kemmel straight was good fun, and plenty chance to catch up the Viper or Diablo that'd just overtaken you.

Some pics are (c) PicMan.

Back again next year? I think so.....

Bit tight on parking!
Down the pitlane. Sadly, the Team Orange Arrows garage was taken. Pitlane.
Start-Finish Straight Entry to La Source hairpin. Back of the garage. Exit from La Source.
Eau Rouge hidden in the fog.
Bit keen for a trackday. Paddock. Paddock.
Looking out at La Source Rhodri on the run down to Eau Rouge me, on the run down to Eau Rouge me, on the run down to Eau Rouge
Paddock, looking in the Eau Rouge direction. Bazmobile. La Source Hairpin. Convoy break.