Famed Race Track Spa-Francorchamps Getting Major Safety Upgrades this Weekend

In the heart of Stavelot, Belgium, Spa-Francorchamps has resided as one of the most important racing circuits ever created. This weekend it's getting some huge upgrades.
Updated Eau Rouge 6 photos
Crash at Spa-FrancorchampsCrash at Spa-FrancorchampsCrash at Spa-FrancorchampsSpa-FrancorchampsSpa-Francorchamps
Motorsports fans can rest easy, though. No changes will be made to the track, the gradient, or the turns themselves. No, all the construction will address two main concerns... safety and spectators.

Over the past three years, many accidents have occurred at the course. The most dangerous of which tend to happen at Eau Rouge, the most famous turn at the Belgium track. It and its immediate follow-up turn, Raidillon, will see major adjustments to its runoff area.

In August of this year, racing driver Jack Aitken slid into the barrier during the transition between turns. The crash was so violent that it's amazing he made it out alive. He had no regrets about how he attacked the corner, though, saying...

"To be honest, I think that I would do exactly the same if I come to this situation once again. Eau Rouge is part of Spa and I personally would never want any change to this corner... The only thing that could have help us is gravel on the left side." he went on to say.

While there are other concerns at Spa-Francorchamps, his thoughts sum up the largest one. Of course, that gravel will be there next time, thanks to the upgrades happening this weekend. Some major facets of the track scenery have to go away for these upgrades, though.

The famous Chalet at that turn will is being demolished and relocated. Once it's gone, the gravel will take its place. The fence, of course, will be further back. Behind that, a new set of grandstands will house more spectators. It should be one of the best views of the turn ever seen.

In addition to those adjustments, more gravel traps will be in place before the start of the next season. Gravel effectively traps cars so long as they're not going too fast. In the case of Spa-Francorchamps, it will keep cars from bouncing back into the racing line, as seen in Aitken's crash.

It's great to see safety and spectatorship improving at this hallowed ground. It's just icing on the cake that the track itself will remain unaffected.


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