Spa Francorchamps, Belgium
As a boy travelling Europe with my parents, I have fond memories of Trips to Germany, where my father would detour en route to drive down part of the famous Spa Francorchamps circuit, which was on a public road in years gone by.
As we would enter the village of Francorchamps, I’d always beg him to stop at the sharp left-hand corner in town to see all the miniature cars at the circuit shop. It’s still there today, and every time I visit Spa Francorchamps I park my 911 across the street to take a quick look inside.
Back in the day, the public road led to the world-famous La Source corner, where you would drive down the hill by the old Formula 1 pits and grandstands. Shortly before entering Eau Rouge you would have to take a sharp left again, which led around the steep part of the track.
After a right-hand hairpin you’d go further up the hill, entering the Kemmel straight after Eau Rouge. At the end of It, you left the track before the Les Combes S-bend to go down the public roads.
When leaving the E42 freeway, the same route (N640, Rue de Sart) can be taken. At the end of Rue de Sart, take a left onto Rue de Spa (N62), which leads into the village. Go left onto the Route du Circuit (N62), and soon you will be parallel to the Kemmel Straight.
After Les Combes you end up at an old part of the track, again named Route du Spa. This changes into Rue de Neuville, and later on Rue de Chefosse (N68). This is also called the Masta Straight, with the famous Masta Kink that would interrupt the ultra-fast straight between farm houses and light poles.
Latitude: 50.4372° N, 5.9714° E
Length of drive: Five miles
Points of interest:
The Kemmel Straight
The old ‘circuit shop’
Food and accommodation:
Friterie de Masta
Hotel de la Source
At the end of the Masta Straight just before Stavelot, a right-hander, formerly called Holowell, can be taken onto Route de ‘l Eau Rouge. It will dead-end at a gate where personnel can enter the race track. The track can be seen from here, and it’s a cool stretch of historic asphalt to drive on.
If this isn’t enough, the Nürburgring is only a 90-minute drive through Germany’s Eiffel region. If you would like to visit two of the best tracks in the history of auto racing, take your chance. You won’t regret it.