1961 Belgian Grand Prix
- Sunday, June 18, 1961
- Grand Prix de Belgique
- F1 World Championship
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).
SEFAC, or the Scuderia Ferrari as we know them, had the same three cars as they used at Zandvoort, all with 120 degree V6 engines, and they had painted an older 60 degree V6 car yellow and lent it to the ENB for Gendebien to drive, though the Maranello mechanics were looking after it. The ENB had two of their Emeryson-Maseratis for their other two drivers, while Moss was driving Walker’s Lotus-Climax with new slimmer bodywork similar to that on the UDT-Laystall Lotus-Climax.
Temporary road course
Henri Pescarolo (Matra-Simca MS670), 3m13.4, 163.080 mph, Sports Cars, 1973
First Race1925 Belgian Grand Prix