1961 Belgian Grand Prix

If there is a finer Grand Prix racing circuit than the one at Francorchamps, on which the Belgian Grand Prix is held, it would be hard to name it. Grand Prix racing has always been that class of event and type of driving that is beyond the ability of mere mortals, and calls for supermen. On the Francorchamps circuit, with its lap speed of around 130mph, and plenty of 150mph corners, it presents the Grand Prix driver with the opportunity to show his true ability, and to demonstrate just how much ahead in ability he is over the ordinary driver. This year, when practice began conditions were ideal, being warm and dry with no breeze, and just after 5:30pm on Friday the cars set off from the pits on their opening lap of practice of the 14.1 kilometres circuit.

The organisers had invited sixteen entries to take part, and another nine to qualify for three remaining places, these three to receive full starting money. The remainder could start in the race for a nominal sum of money that would just about pay the hotel bills. The elite sixteen were Phil Hill, von Trips (Scuderia Ferrari), Gendebien, Mairesse, Bianchi (Equipe National Belge), Moss (Equipe Walker), Bonnier, Gurney (Porsche works team), Surtees (Yeoman Credit), Trintignant (Scuderia Serenissima), Brabham, McLaren (Cooper works team), Clark, Ireland (Team Lotus), and Graham Hill, Brooks (BRM). The nine to try and qualify were Ginther (Ferrari), UDT Laystall with either Allison or Henry Taylor, but only one of them, de Beaufort (Porsche works supported), Jack Lewis (Cooper), Marsh (Lotus), Seidel (Lotus), Bandini (Centro-Sud Cooper) and Gregory, Burgess (Camoradi team).

Phil Hill leads Olivier Gendebien, both in Ferrari 156s.

Race Results

Qualifying

Circuit - Spa-Francorchamps

Country

Belgium

Location

Francorchamps, Wallonia

Type

Temporary road course

Length

8.761 (Miles)

Record

Henri Pescarolo (Matra-Simca MS670), 3m13.4, 163.080 mph, Sports Cars, 1973

3,253

Championships

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18,772

Results

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17,864

Drivers

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11,555

Teams

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884

Circuits

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