Spa-Francorchamps opens the Eau Rouge grandstand to spectators

Spa-Francorchamps opens the Eau Rouge grandstand to spectators

The new Raidillon Eau Rogue grandstand, which opened yesterday, will be open for spectators to experience the FIA World Endurance Championship 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps this weekend.

The Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps began construction in late 2021 as the circuit sought approval from the Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme so that bike racing could resume.

The Belgian track has not been declared safe enough for bike racing due to short run-off areas and some curves (for example, Speaker’s Corner), with the last world championship race taking place in 1990.

The 24 Heures de Liège, part of the Endurance World Championship, was the last cycling race in 2001, but bikes, which were the first vehicles to compete on the legendary 4.352 mile circuit, have not touched the tarmac since.

A new grandstand with a capacity of 4,600 spectators has been permanently erected at the top of the Raidillon / Eau Rouge as part of the improvements to obtain FIM certification. 

The new seating area allows spectators to see cars leaving La Source and follow them through Raidillon and Eau Rouge before they disappear down the Kemmel Straight.

The seats will be on high demand ahead of the Formula 1 race in August, but viewers at the WEC event this weekend can get a sneak peek at the views from the grandstand.

The distinctive white chalet that sat atop the corner complex was removed to make space for the new seating area as part of the grandstand installation. Some admirers will be disappointed by this news.

The €25 million upgrades added 13,000 additional seats and improved the circuit’s safety in response to several horrific crashes in the past (specifically in the Eau Rogue area). The project is set to be completed just in time for the circuit’s centennial active racing season.

“These works represent, in figures, apart from our own teams, 250 people working over 5 months, over a hundred machines, more than thirty businesses.” CEO of the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps Amaury Bertholomé said.

“We’re speaking about a lot of work in a very short timeframe: renovation of all the run-offs, new gravel traps, re-surfacing of some parts of the track (after La Source, to the Raidillon and to Speaker’s Corner) and construction of a brand-new grandstand at the top of the Raidillon – 4,600 places, reception areas and a breathtaking view.”

“It’s a huge worksite that is opening up at the environmental level. What energies will we have for motorsports in the future?”

“We must respond to our customers’ needs. Our operating permit predates all these developments and must be adjusted to fit. Of course the Circuit will still accept the combustion engine but hydrogen, biofuels and electric must also have their place.”

“This may be the case in winter for those not impacted by noise levels such as electric and or bicycles. We must also reduce our carbon footprint. A more global reflection has already begun on the production of our own green energy on our site.”

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