Spa Summer Classic 2020
Various Test Day Dates Available
The Spa Summer Classic has grown in popularity immensely and this year’s Spa Summer Classic will already see its 4th edition of the Spa 3 Hours. Ideally you would want to test one or several weeks in advance, so should you run into problems, you still have enough time to react.
- Although your first day of the Spa Summer Classic weekend is a track day, this will leave you with little or no time to make the necessary upgrades to be competitive in any of the Spa Summer Classic races.
- Spa-Francorchamps is one of the most challenging race tracks, so you better go well prepared.
- Take advantage of an early testing date, which will leave you plenty of time to upgrade your car to Spa standards and in the comfort of your own workshop.
The Spa track days were sold out early last year, so you better act today. Don’t miss the opportunity to register for such comfortable test day.
>> Click the YouTube below and see the Austin Healey 3000 charging through the field in the opening laps of the Spa Summer Classic.
The opening laps of the Spa Summer Classic in an Austin Healey 3000 MkIII. The Healey is doing lap times of about 3:08.500.
Circuit of Spa
Spa Summer Classic is considered to be one of the most challenging events of today. Located in the centre of the Ardennes mountains and surrounded by forest, it is easy to understand why. The fast, hilly and twisty nature of the track and one of the most famous and dangerous sections of any racing track in the world, the Eau Rouge and Raidillon complex, make Spa unique. But also the off camber Bruxelles corner, the double left hander Pouhon and the Blanchimont section add to the experience of racing on a true legendary circuit. Read about the history of this legendary circuit, at the bottom of this page.
- Circuit length is 7.004km / 4.352mls.
- Track map of the Spa Francorchamps Circuit.
- Prepare yourself at home and already have a look at the Spa Racing Line.
Spa | How to get there
Its location makes the circuit very accessible from all sides, whether you are coming from the UK or mainland Europe. Easy to understand that the Spa Summer Classic is an annually returning event on the ‘Legendary Circuits’ Series calendar.
- Travel map with distances to the Spa Francorchamps circuit.
- Book from the widest choice of cheap ferries at www.ferrysavers.com .
- Put this address in your car navigation: Route du Circuit 55, 4970 Stavelot, Belgium.
- Coordinates are latitude : 50.441412 and longitude : 5.967497 .
Driver notes for the Spa Summer Classic
The Spa Summer Classic is one of the best historic/classic events at Spa – Francorchamps and in a comfortable time zone of the year.
Should you be interested to join this event, you best visit the official Spa Summer Classic website.
- Minimum race licence requirement National A or EU licence.
- Licences must always show an EU flag!
- No need to buy an expensive “international or historic” racing licence.
- Two pit stops of 60 seconds standstill are mandatory for all cars.
- Your pit stops must be executed between 30th and 150th minute.
- Two/three driver teams are welcome.
- The drivers of the Spa Summer Classic are invited to take advantage of the long distance stands.
- Although we advise the use of HANS, it is not obligatory for this event.
Winners of all classes are invited to the Winners Rostrum.
About the cars
- Historic Road Sports ánd Touring Cars up to and including 1976.
- You will recognize that period style and originality are key factors.
Reg’s in short
- Max. noise level on the Thursday track day 103 dB [dynamic].
- Max. noise level during the Spa Summer Classic weekend 107 dB [dynamic].
- Transponders can be rented on location.
- Wheels and/or tyres are free [no slicks], but must fit the body.
- Cars are allowed to race without FIA HTP, Vehicle Identification Form or Heritage Certificate, but rest assured that cars race in period style.
- Safety spec as per latest version of art. 5 of the FIA Appendix K regulations [see right column].
The number of cars for the Spa Summer Classic, is always limited to the number of cars which are allowed to race. You therefore will never end up on any reserve list. Once your entry has been confirmed, you are guaranteed to race.
Spa Summer Classic
Spa Summer Classic Track Day – All cars.
Signing on – Safety scrutineering – Qualifying.
Circuit of Spa Francorchamps through the years
For years, the Spa Summer Classic is being organized at the Grand prix circuit of Spa Francorchamps. Its location, in the Belgian Ardennes countryside, makes the circuit very accessible from all sides. Centrally, thus ideally located on mainland Europe and with a large hinterland. Whether you are coming from the UK or mainland Europe, travel distances for most do not exceed the 500km limit. Easy to understand that the Spa Summer Classic can always look forward to big grids and a big visitor numbers.
The original circuit Spa Francorchamps was a triangle shaped course, using public roads, as was customary in the early days of motor racing. The chosen trajectory ran from Francorchamps, to Malmedy, Stavelot and back to Francorchamps again, resulting in a total circuit length of 14,982 km [9.31mls]. Before 1970, there were houses, trees, electric poles, barnyards and other obstacles located right next to the road. Apart from a few straw bales, no further safety modifications were introduced to the Francorchamps road course. As a result, the circuit was virtually identical to everyday civilian use. Former F1 racing driver and later team owner, Jackie Oliver was quoted as saying: “If you went off the road, you didn’t know what you were going to hit”.
Circuit Spa Francorchamps from speed course to circuit
The circuit Spa Francorchamps circuit hosted its inaugural race in August 1921, but this race had to be cancelled, as only one entrant registered for this event. The delayed first motor car race was then organized in 1922. Two years later, the circuit Spa Francorchamps already hosted the famous 24 Hours of Francorchamps. One year later, the circuit hosted its first ever Grand Prix.
The old circuit Spa Francorchamps was essentially a speed course where motor racing cars managed much higher average speeds than on other race tracks. This made the circuit Spa Francorchamps very popular from the start. Back then, the Belgians took great pride in having a very fast circuit, and to further improve average speeds, the former slow uphill U-turn at the bottom of the Eau Rouge creek valley, called the ‘Ancienne Douane’ was cut short. This short cut resulted in a much faster sweep up the hill, called ‘Raidillon’. Until the turn of the century, the circuit of Spa Francorchamps was still a public road. At Eau Rouge, traffic travelling south, was still invited to use the famous uphill corner. Traffic travelling north, on the other hand, had to use the old road and U-turn behind the grand stands, rejoining the race track at the bottom of Eau Rouge.
The old race course continued through the now-straightened Kemmel curves to the highest part of the circuit, then went downhill into ‘Les Combes’, a fast, slightly banked downhill left hander towards the village of Burnenville, passing this village in a fast right hand sweep, towards Malmedy.
After Malmedy, up the Masta Straight, where the cars would reach top speed before having to negotiate the ‘Masta Kink’, a high speed left-right chicane situated in between some farm houses. The ‘Masta Kink’ was one of the most fearsome sections of the circuit Spa Francorchamps, requiring skill and bravery in equal measure to get it right. Jackie Stewart once described this kink as perhaps the hardest corner on any racetrack, he had raced on in his motor racing career; even more so than Eau Rouge. A good exit speed, out of the ‘Masta Kink’, was vital as it was followed by the 2,4km [1.5mls] Holowell Straight, which brought you to the little town of Stavelot. Here used to be a sharp hairpin at the entrance into the town itself, which was later bypassed by a quicker, banked right hand corner.
This was the turning point back to Francorchamps. The track now blasted through an uphill straight section, with a few kinks, called ‘La Carriere’. Then going through two amazingly fast left-handers, the still existing Blanchimont corner. Moments later braking very hard for the ‘La Source’ hairpin, and on to the downhill start and finish section.
Circuit Spa Francorchamps notorious for fatal accidents
Through the years, the circuit Spa Francorchamps became notorious for fatal accidents, as there were many deaths each year at this extremely fast circuit. Tragedy struck in the 1960 Belgian GP, when Chris Bistow wrecked his Cooper T51 on lap 20, while fighting to stay in front of the Ferrari of Willy Mairesse. Only five laps later, it was Alan Stacey, while lying sixth on Lotus 18 Climax, who got involved in a deadly crash, after being hit in the face by a bird. Bristow and Stacey died in close proximity and within a few minutes of one another. They both crashed at ‘Burnenville’, the same extended fast right hand bend in which Stirling Moss was severely injured the previous day.
In the 1960’s, ten racing fatalities occurred, which ultimately resulted in a boycott of the 1969 Belgian Grand Prix. The F1 drivers demanded such extensive safety changes, that the Belgian GP had to be dropped that year. When Armco barriers were introduced to the circuit Spa Francorchamps in 1970, deaths became less frequent, but the safety level still was not satisfactory to the F1 world, while drivers were still managing average speeds of over 240 km [150+mph] during the race. For the 1971 race, the track owner and authorities did not meet the mandatory safety requirements, and the race was once more cancelled. Eighteen F1 World Championship Grands Prix were run on the circuit Spa Francorchamps’ original configuration, before the revised circuit was banished to the history books in 1979. The official lap record of the old triangle-shaped circuit is 3:13.4, which translates into an average speed of 262km [163mph]. This record is held by the French driver Henri Pescarolo, racing a Matra in the 1973 Spa 1000 km World Sportscar Championship. F1 would not return to te circuit Spa Francorchamps until 1983 on the modern track, we know today.
The Spa Summer Classic is offering a safe environment for motor racing today
With the introduction of a new circuit safety level, came the awareness that safety not only comes from a safe circuit. Safety upgrades to the cars and drivers equipment were the next step. And organizers, clubs and drivers soon realised that drivers’ attitude plays an equally important role in today’s safety experience. Happy to arrive at a Grand Prix circuit, where circuit staff, roadbook the organizer and the ciruit are all up to GP standards.
When arriving at Spa Francorchamps, keep in mind that you are part of the game and also must contribute to make it a safe weekend for all.