On this page I will take you for a lap on the old Spa-Francorchamps circuit. I show you not only the familiar route, but also the less known sections like l’Ancienne Douane, the chicanes at Malmedy and Masta and the pre-war version of the Stavelot Corner.

Old Spa-Francorchamps map

The old Start/Finish during the VW Fun Cup in 2005

We start our lap at the original Start/Finish straight. Since 1983 the Formula 1 start at another straight because this one was descending too steep.

Old Spa-Francorchamps - Eau Rouge and Raidillon

Until 1938 here was only a left hand corner, the Eau Rouge. Since 1939 the steep right hand corner cuts off the l’Ancienne Douane section, the famous Raidillon (the steep right-hander)!

A remain of the Eau Rouge corner of the pre 1939 version of Spa-Francorchamps

On the photo above you can still recognize that the original Eau Rouge corner was longer.

The l'Ancienne Douane hairpin at old Spa-Francorchamps

Now we follow the pre 1939 version of old Spa-Francorchamps, with the l’Ancienne Douane Hairpin.

The l'Ancienne Douane hairpin at old Spa-Francorchamps
The exit of the l'Ancienne Douane hairpin at old Spa-Francorchamps
Old Spa-Francorchamps - From l'Ancienne Douane to Kemmel
Old Spa-Francorchamps - From l'Ancienne Douane to Kemmel

Old Spa-Francorchamps as a public road

The little road you see on the photo above is a remain of the original road. Until 1995 it had its original wideness but for the enlargement of the run off area at the Raidillon they removed a part of the surface. Till 2000 the l’Ancienne Douane was a part of the public road. Until 1995 for traffic in both directions, and since 1995 only for descending traffic. Because this road was narrowed, increasing traffic had to take the steep climb on the Raidillon!

A great view from the top of the Raidillon

Above a great view from the top of the Raidillon during the VW Fun Cup in 2005. Many thanks to the friendly Marshalls who allowed me to take this picture from their post.

The Kemmel straight. At old Spa-Francorchamps this was a section with fast kinks.

Since 1979 Kemmel is a straight, in the day’s of the old circuit it was a series of fast kinks. The kink before the straight is a remain of that.

Old Spa-Francorchamps - Les Combes

We’re arrived at Les Combes. No, Les Combes is not a chicane. It’s a fast left hand corner at the highest point of the track! Here starts the real old  Spa-Francorchamps circuit.

Old Spa-Francorchamps - Haut de la Cote

After Les Combes it goes downhill to a very fast and spectacular descending section called Haut de la Cote.

Old Spa-Francorchamps - Haut de la Cote
Old Spa-Francorchamps - Haut de la CoteOld Spa-Francorchamps - Burnenville

We’re arrived at Burnenville, a very long and fast right-hand corner. One of the most demanding corners of old Spa-Francorchamps.

Old Spa-Francorchamps - Burnenville

Above a very famous point of old Spa-Francorchamps. The white house at Burnenville. Look how close it is on the track!

Old Spa-Francorchamps - Malmedy

Malmedy

Above the first of the fast left right combination Malmedy. Below the second of Malmedy. The road on the left was often used as a chicane in the pre-war version. The chicane was reused since 1970 after safety questions.

Old Spa-Francorchamps - MalmedyOld Spa-Francorchamps - Malmedy Chicane

Above a photo of the Malmedy Chicane, taken in 2015. See the main article “Spa-Francorchamps Circuit – The history” for more information about this chicane.

Old Spa-Francorchamps - Masta Straight

Blasting full throttle on the Masta Straight! Even now, a dangerous place to take a picture. So that’s the only one I have from the Masta Straight.

Old Spa-Francorchamps - Masta Kink

The Masta Kink

The most famous corner of old Spa-Francorchamps was the Masta Kink. In fact is was a very fast left right combination, so Masta S-Corner would have been a better name. Even after the construction of the Raidillon in 1939, this was the corner the drivers feared most!

Old Spa-Francorchamps - Masta Chicane

But there was also an alternative for the fast Masta Kink, a chicane (picture above). This chicane was constructed in 1975 in an attempt to make the track safer. But after tests it was found more dangerous than the original Masta Kink, and the chicane has never been used!

Old Spa-Francorchamps - Masta Chicane kerbs

Above the kerb of the Masta Chicane. Below the second part of the Masta section, followed by the Holowell Straight.

Old Spa-Francorchamps - 2nd Masta Kink
Old Spa-Francorchamps - Holowell Straight
Old Spa-Francorchamps - Holowell Kink

The old and “new” Stavelot Corner

Above the Holowell Kink. Below the entry to the banked Stavelot Corner (right). Just like the famous Raidillon this was an artificial corner, constructed in 1947, to make the circuit faster. But we will follow the pre-war version (straight) of old Spa-Francorchamps, with the original Stavelot Corner…

Old Spa-Francorchamps - Entry to the banked Stavelot Corner
Old Spa-Francorchamps - Pre-war version Stavelot Corner Old Spa-Francorchamps - Pre-war version Stavelot Corner Old Spa-Francorchamps - Pre-war version Stavelot Corner Old Spa-Francorchamps - Pre-war version Stavelot Corner Old Spa-Francorchamps - Pre-war version Stavelot Corner Old Spa-Francorchamps - Pre-war version Stavelot Corner exit
Old Spa-Francorchamps - Exit Stavelot Corner

Short after the pre-war Stavelot Corner we see on our right hand the exit of the pos-war banked Stavelot Corner (above). Below a photo of the banked corner itself.

Old Spa-Francorchamps - Banked Stavelot CornerOld Spa-Francorchamps - La Carriére

We’re now at La Carriére, a section with fast kinks on the way back to the part we know from the current circuit.

Old Spa-Francorchamps - La CarriéreOld Spa-Francorchamps - La Carriére

Above pictures from 2003 when the road was in a very bad condition since the 90’s. Below you see the same road in 2011 after it was repaved.

Old Spa-Francorchamps - La Carriére
Old Spa-Francorchamps - Old meets new

Above the entry to the current circuit. After the fence the new part connect to the original part, which is now a permanent circuit from here. So it was also more difficult to take pictures on the track.

Old Spa-Francorchamps - Blanchimont

Full throttle to Blanchimont (on the background)! Special thanks to the friendly marshalls whow allowed me to take this picture between two sessions.

Old Spa-Francorchamps - Exit Blanchimont
Old Spa-Francorchamps - New Chicane

The Bus Stop Chicane

After Blanchimont the speed was killed by a chicane since 1981. In 2007 this section has undergone a tremendous renevation with a new chicane. Above the current situation, below the old Bus Stop Chicane in 2005. On the right you see the original road which was used by traffic until they changed the semi street circuit into a permanent race track in 2000.

Old Spa-Francorchamps - Bus Stop Chicane
Old Spa-Francorchamps - Exit Bus Stop Chicane

The left kink before the short straight to La Source. On this site Mercedes Grand Prix driver Dick Seaman had his fatal accident in 1939. Unfortunately, nowadays not longer recognizable since the reconstruction in 2007.

Old Spa-Francorchamps - Start/Finish straight of the Formula One

Above the short straight to La Source, which is since 1983 the Start/Finish straight of the Formula One. On the background the original La Source hairpin. Since 2007 La Source has been moved inside. Below the exit of La Source to the old Start/Finish straight…

Old Spa-Francorchamps - Exit La Source
Old Spa-Francorchamps - Start/Finish

On the old Start/Finish straight ends our lap at old Spa-Francorchamps!

© Text & photos: Herman Liesemeijer

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