Welcome to holy ground
On August 12, 2021, the Spa-Francorchamps circuit will celebrate its centenary. Or at least from the very first race on what was not really a race track at the time, but a combination of three traffic axes in the heart of the High Ardennes. If things had turned out differently, it would have been just a fait diverse in motorsport history; a vague memory, such as the Grossdeutschlandring or Rouen-Les Essarts. But things went the way they did, Spa-Francorchamps proved to be a keeper, wrote piles of history and is today one of the temples of motorsport. No sane person would even think of removing this monument from the Formula 1 calendar, and in 2021 no fewer than four FIA world championships will descend on our national circuit. Where else can they say that?
You quickly forget that something that is behind the corner is special. But ask anywhere in the world, everyone considers the 7 kilometers and 4 meters of asphalt in the wooded valley south of the village of Francorchamps to be one of the most beautiful circuits on the planet. Le plus beau circuit du monde even, we often hear ourselves say, more chauvinistic than we are used to as Belgians. In any case, it’s not far from the truth. This is a masterpiece of track construction, draped over a majestically undulating Ardennes landscape, and composed with a rhythm like that of a compelling waltz. And history drips from every spruce, which also determines the heartbeat of Spa-Francorchamps.
We will break this down over 150 pages, full of stories, myths, drama and lots of racing pleasure, published on thick quality paper. We talked to local residents, employees, archivists and gladiators, we dived into old covers and yellowed maps, and we went to sniff the air on the spot. And of course: driving, because that’s what a circuit is for. In the pouring rain, of course, that is part of Spa-Francorchamps as a sauce on the chips.
A quick tour of ‘100 years of Spa-Francorchamps’:
- Extensive historiography over 16 pages, from the 19th century to today
- A walking tour on the old track, and a meeting with a local resident who experienced it all from the front row
- 10 memorable moments from 100 years of Spa-Francorchamps
- Like father, like son: Jean-Michel and Maxime Martin about the motorsport of yesterday and today
- The blinking relationship between Spa-Francorchamps and F1
- A quick tour of the current route, bend by bend, with a Porsche 911 GT3 Cup
- The most exciting 24H ever (1992), with a photo finish at the finish
- Heroes big and small: the most famous riders and the people behind the scenes
- The fastest motorcycle GP in history (1977)
- And now? An essay on the future of motorsport and the track
- Much more: big and small facts, facts diverse, numbers, unpublished photos and personal memories
Our extra edition ‘100 years of Spa-Francorchamps’ will be in the shops from Tuesday 15 June 2021. Or, even easier: order it via our webshop.