Francorchamps soon under construction again

The 3,3 km of asphalt recently laid on the Spa slide were unanimously approved by the pilots. But the Ardennes jewel will not stop there. Other work is planned for the end of the year.

Published on 03/07/2024 à 13:41

Dominique Dricot

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Francorchamps soon under construction again

Photo: Julien Delfosse / DPPI

« A circuit must constantly be maintained, repaired, brought up to date », Regularly pleads Amaury Bertholomé, the boss of Spa-Francorchamps. to say the least. Two years ago, new asphalt was laid between the Source and the Raidillon. And now 3,3 km of “Black” (name of this type of bitumen produced by an Italian company which meets the standards F1 of the FIA ​​and Endurance FIM side) were placed at the top of the Raidillon up to the Brussels hairpin, then on the descent which leads to Blanchimont.

Unanimously, the drivers appreciated this new surface which notably allowed Franck Perera to erase from the shelves the lap record established by Pedro Lamy in 2008 on a Saleen GT1.

The surroundings of the circuit will also experience big changes in the coming months. As already mentioned, the track installations Rallycross, now obsolete, will be dismantled. To think that the former management had convinced the circuit's Board of Directors to release 6 to 8 million euros for this completely useless work... Not only has Rallycross never experienced popular fervor in the Ardennes, but also the discipline on an international scale is moribund.

If we opt for an optimistic vision and do not dwell on the expenditure of public funds, we can rejoice that this arena will soon be dismantled. The vision of Raidillon will be even more beautiful and the floor space will make it possible to recover hundreds of parking spaces. As for the fate of the 4 seats in this barnum, we do not know, for the moment, whether these stands are good for scrapping or will be used elsewhere on the circuit.

New tower, new portico

Among the major works which will begin in November, once the track enters its hibernation, there will be the demolition of the current tower located in the middle of the Endurance stands. Still called Tour Uniroyal, even if this manufacturer has given way to a brand of Korean tires, it is part of the heritage of Francorchamps to the point that lovers of the circuit do not want us to touch it. The announcement of its demolition sparked delicate reactions on social networks. “ We're not going to tear it down for the sake of it, explains Amaury Bertholome. This building is obsolete and no longer meets current security criteria. It is our duty to deconstruct it. But I reassure you: the tower which will be erected in the same place is a very beautiful architectural project. It will have the merit of integrating perfectly into the landscape and being a thousand times more practical. »

Another major project: a portico worthy of the name. “ The main entrance, through which thousands of spectators rush through each year, does not have a reception portico. We will remedy this shortcoming. The one that will be erected will remind us that we are indeed in Spa-Francorchamps. We plan to make it a visual symbol over time. »

As for access roads and campsites, there is little chance that these usual topics of discussion will change in the near future.

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