Noise row hits Spa classic

The Spa Classic Six Hours was almost cancelled the day before qualifying when a noise dispute over the classic Belgian track erupted. Only frantic negotiations with local and national officials allowed the meeting to go ahead, with final permission granted on the eve of qualifying. Most teams were already at Spa when the go-ahead was given.

The problem centres on noise generated through weekday use of the track and has been brought to a head by the Green Party, supported by a few local residents.

A senior Belgian minister finally signed the papers needed for the event to run, but further legal negotiations over the noise issue are expected.

“Since the complaint was made, the situation has changed,” circuit boss Pierre-Alain Thibaut told Belgium’s Le Soir. “The track has worked hard to reduce noise pollution and our relationship with local residents has improved.”