Ifs Motor Sport readers’ favourite circuit and ifs Frankers too
THE POLL ON THE MOTOR SPORT WEBSITE TO discover your favourite Grand Prix circuit of all time brings back memories of two trips I did around Europe for the magazine at the end of the last century.
In no particular order, I recall going to Reims, Rouen, Monza, Spa, Zandvoort, Clermont-Ferrand and the Nurburgring, and I even went to the Klausenpass. Of them all, Spa sticks in my mind. I race there at least once a year and always take a few minutes to drive the old circuit, all of which save the corner at Malmedy is still there. There are parts of other circuits that seem horrendously dangerous, none more so than the downhill section past the pits at Rouen. But there is none not even the ‘Ring on which the idea of actually racing is so consistently beyond the imaginings
of yellow-bellied amateurs like me. So far as I can see I’d start screaming at the entrance to Burnenville and stop only at the exit of Blanchimont and then only to gather breath to howl through an unsanitised Eau Rouge. Actually I have mixed feelings about the place. To illustrate how lethal it was, of the eight British drivers
who contested the 1960 Belgian GR only half survived unscathed. Chris Bristow and Alan Stacey died and Stirling Moss and Michael Taylor suffered horrendous, and in Taylor’s case, career-ending injuries. But happy thoughts abound too: of Rodriguez and Siffert banging wheels in Porsche 917s, and Jacky Ida lapping at 163mph in a Ferrari 312PB. One day they’ll close the road from Malmedy to Stavelot and allow old racing cars to drive around the track again. But until
then, just get in your car and drive out there, sit outside the chip shop on the Mosta straight and think of the fastest Grand Prix and sports cars coming through the kink with scarcely a lift. You will barely believe it.
Spa polled more votes on our website than Monaco, Monza and the Nurburgring combined. Quite right too.