Two things can be said about Spa-Francorchamps. One is that the Belgian track is one of the most iconic race circuits in Europe, and the other is that it is one of the most harrowing race courses anywhere in the world.
It is for the second reason that motorcycles do not race there at the international level, and it is for the first reason that it is a great shame that they do not. Things are about to change, however.
With €80 million pledged to making the circuit meet FIM standards, the first phase of Spa-Francorchamps’ renovations have just begun.
Phase one will consist of revamping the track, with runoff areas being enlarged. Gravel traps will also be installed at five corners: La Source, Raidillon, Blanchimont, Les Combes, & Stavelot.
The infrastructure for spectators is also being renovated at Spa-Francorchamps. This means that several grandstands will be refurbished, which includes a new covered grandstand (4,600 seats) that will face the Raidillon corner, with views as far as La Source.
“With the investment we have lined up over the next 10 years, we are showing that dreams can become reality,” said Nathalie Maillet, CEO, Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps. “By starting with a prestigious endurance race, we will achieve the first goal of our ‘Motorcycle Project’.”
“The unveiling of a project to renovate and modernize the Circuit of Spa-Francorchamps is a further step towards the return of motorcycle racing to this legendary racetrack,” added François Ribeiro, Head of Eurosport Events.
“In coordination with the FIM and FIA, Nathalie Maillet and her teams have managed a huge and amazing accomplishment: making Spa a circuit the FIM can homologate without taking away from the features that make this track truly unique, and offering fans and teams even more modern infrastructure.”
“A 24-hour race at Spa will be a major addition to the EWC calendar starting June 2022, and for the following 10 years. We at Eurosport Events are proud to have set the ball rolling for the return of motorcycle racing to Spa-Francorchamps after starting discussions with the circuit’s CEO in 2016.”
While the FIM Endurance World Championship will be the first international race series to return to Spa-Francorchamps, there is the hope that other series will come back to the Belgian track as well.
With the presumed FIM sanctioning that is to come, there are some signs that MotoGP could be next. Hopefully we will hear news of that in the coming months.
Source: FIM EWC