A few days before Autumn one of the best historic race events in the world takes place in Belgium at the Francorchamps circuit near Spa. This year 15th edition was one of the best ever, the weather was outstanding and the race classes were better then ever especially for the touring car enthusiasts.Some 600 cars took part in 11 different races over the weekend, with over 1000 drivers. For the Formula One 2007 Grand Prix the track layout of Spa-Francorchamps was changed. The renovation started in November 2006 and finished in May 2007, costing around 8,85 million Euros. The Bus Stop chicane was re-designed again and it has been returned into a right hander and left hander including the pit lane entrance. The new entrance has drawn criticism for being too tight for the entry speed drivers will likely approach it at.The La Source hairpin is much wider now, allowing more space for the new pit/paddock complex and the new layout gives the bonus of higher cornering speed. To many of the drivers the new circuit layout feld marginally slower than before but the track still demonstrates the importance of driving skills more than any other in the world.
European Desk 99
The normally quiet backroads that lead to Linas Montlhery, in the southern districts of Paris, were uncharacteristically busy over the weekend of October 6th and 7th this year. The traffic was unusual too in that a fair amount of it consisted of classic Citroens dating back to the 1920s. The occasion was an anniversary celebration of outstanding speed and distance records set by the marque in the early 1930s.
Tradition was almost broken this year, the much loved weekend in the heart of the Cotswolds came within a whisker of being cancelled. The serious flooding that had so decimated this area of the country had left farmland waterlogged and widespread damage to property. One of the worst aspects was a lack of water over wide areas. This included the villages around Prescott. It was not until a few days before when a few days of dry weather gave the ground chance to recover, that the Club decided to go ahead with the meeting.
During the drive from my bed and breakfast address to the circuit on Friday-morning at nine there were plenty of reasons to be cautious about the day ahead. There was a thick fog (in some parts there was only 30 metres visibility) in the whole area. The cars ready for practice for the Historic 400 kilometres Marathon on the Nordschleife were queued up for hours but unfortunately had to be driven back to the parking lot at 12.00 h. when the organisation decided that the 400 kilometres race was cancelled and two hours later also the practices on the Grand Prix track were cancelled until further notice. Finally the complete day’s program was cancelled. A big disappointment for all drivers but an understandable reaction from the organiser. A new timetable for Saturday and Sunday was announced at 17.00h.