A photo tour around the abandoned Nivelles circuit in Belgium. Made in 1998 by Herman Liesemeijer.

Map Nivelles-Baulers circuit

Abandoned Nivelles circuit in Belgium - Main Straight

We start our lap on the Start/Finish straight of the abandoned Nivelles circuit. Behind the hill on the background was Turn One. Under the two lumps of sand on the left was an additional chicane. On the right you see the exit of the pits and the entry to the shortcut of the Club Circuit.

Abandoned Nivelles circuit in Belgium - Turn One
Into the first corner.

Abandoned Nivelles circuit in Belgium - Turn One

Exit Turn One at the abandoned circuit of Nivelles-Baulers in 1998

The start of the best part of the Nivelles circuit, downhill over the 1000 Feet (300 m) straight to the Big Loop…

Abandoned Nivelles circuit in Belgium - short straight to the Big Loop

Abandoned Nivelles circuit in Belgium - Big Loop
The first one of the Big Loop, a long and fast uphill bend.

VW Scirocco in the first bend of the Big Loop in 1998 at the abandoned Nivelles circuit
Look at the bad condition of the surface!

Abandoned Nivelles circuit in Belgium - Big Loop

Abandoned Nivelles circuit in Belgium - Big Loop

Turn Three of the Nivelles circuit was even longer than the previous corner. This corner was descending first, but went uphill at two thirds of the corner! When the surface would be in good condition you would take this corner at about 160 km/h (100 Mph) with a normal road car. But because of the many bumps I almost bounced off the track here with 75 Mph (120 km/h).

See also my article “Grand Prix Revival Nivelles-Baulers 2014“.

Second bend of the Big Loop in 1998 at the abandoned Nivelles circuit

Abandoned Nivelles circuit in Belgium - Turn Four

Between Turn Three and Four was a short straight, just long enough to change the side of the track to enter the next corner. Then you had to brake hard for Turn Four.

Abandoned Nivelles circuit in Belgium - Turn Four

Abandoned Nivelles circuit in Belgium - exit Turn Four
Exit of Turn Four. On our right hand the exit of the shortcut for the Club Circuit. The kart track was on our left hand.

Abandoned Nivelles circuit in Belgium - Chicane
Turn Five was the first corner of a chicane.

Abandoned Nivelles circuit in Belgium - Chicane

Turn Six lead to the back straight. I parked my VW Scirocco with two wheels on the kerbstones for fun. However, the kerbstones of the Nivelles circuit were so hight that you wouldn’t ride over it in real life.

Abandoned Nivelles circuit in Belgium - Back Straight

Abandoned Nivelles circuit in Belgium - Turn Seven
At the end of the back straight was a quick right left combination downhill!

Abandoned Nivelles circuit in Belgium - Turn Eight
Here we’re reaching the lowest point of the Nivelles circuit.

Abandoned Nivelles circuit in Belgium - Where the extension should start

At this point the track should actually turn left to the second loop which was never built. The hairpin in front was only supposed as a shortcut for club races and testing.

Abandoned Nivelles circuit in Belgium - Hairpin

Turn Nine was a hairpin that looked similar to the Tarzan Corner at Zandvoort. This was not so strange because the Nivelles circuit was designed by John Hugenholtz, who was also the circuit director of Zandvoort from 1949 to 1974.

Abandoned Nivelles circuit in Belgium - Hairpin

Abandoned Nivelles circuit in Belgium - Start/Finish Straight
Then accelerating on the 0.7 Mile (1.1 Km) long main straight…

Abandoned Nivelles circuit in Belgium - Start/Finish Straight
And over the hill back to Start/Finish as once Emerson Fittipaldi did.

© Text & photos: Herman Liesemeijer

Thoughts on this subject

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