Morning Symphony: The Sights And Sounds From Eau Rouge And Raidillon at Spa-Francorchamps


Morning Symphony: The Sights And Sounds From Eau Rouge And Raidillon at Spa-Francorchamps

The corner names are legendary for reasons. The Corkscrew at Laguna Seca has the radical elevation change and downward curves. The Karussell at the Nurburgring started out as a driver dipping his tires into a drainage ditch for better cornering and is now a half-banked corner that offers up grip from rough concrete. The Esses at Mount Panorama are the downhill curves that freaked out Darrell Waltrip so badly on a ride-along that he was simply left stuttering phrases that normally come from fathers who got dragged onto psychotic rollercoasters by their kids. Going fast in a straight line is fun, no doubt, but if you can hang that speed in a corner that makes you work for it, it’s a high like none other. Nothing is more satisfying than hitting the apex perfectly on a difficult corner on a track and speeding off like a pro.

At Spa-Francorchamps, two corners make up one of the more infamous sections of track in any series: Eau Rouge and Raidillon. Spa on it’s own accord is a legendarily fast track that had a dangerous reputation. During a 24-hour touring car race in 1973, Hans-Joachim Stuck told his co-driver Jochen Mass to “look out for body parts at the Masta Kink”, which were actually present…they belonged to a track marshal. Jackie Stewart hated the track and had campaigned to get drivers to boycott the track. In 1979, the track was redesigned and became safer in a sense, but the Eau Rouge/Raidillon corner setup is still a flat-out hope-and-pray situation for drivers. Eau Rouge is a left-hand corner at the bottom of the hill after the La Source hairpin and the straightaway, and Raidillon is the uphill right-hander that immediately follows. Drivers often push to take the corner flat-out or as fast as possible. If they succeed, they’re a hero for a lap. If they don’t, the usual sequence of events involves the back of the car breaking loose and a massive impact into the nearest wall.

Fortune favors the bold…


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One thought on “Morning Symphony: The Sights And Sounds From Eau Rouge And Raidillon at Spa-Francorchamps

  1. Roger

    I was fortunate enough to be there to watch the Ford GT\’s win on their first outing. The Aston Martins were bad ass cars too. Like going to a NASCAR race except more hillbilly. Drunks walking around pissing in the woods. The beer there was good though.

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