Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps
Designed by Jules de Their and Henri Langlois Van Ophem, the original 9.3 mile course wound through public roads between the Belgian towns of Francorchamps , Malmedy and Stavelot. Over the years, the Spa course was modified several times and today it has been shortened to 4.3 miles and is a fast and hilly route through the Ardennes where speeds in excess of 330 km/h can be reached. Since inception, the place has been famous for its unpredictable weather. Frequently drivers confront a part of the course that is clear and bright while another stretch is rainy and slippery.
Drivers and fans alike love races at Spa-Francorchamps. A dull race at Spa is very rare, and most drivers today say that the course is the most challenging race track in the world.
The most famous part of the circuit is the Eau Rouge/Raidillon combination. Drivers race, having negotiated the La Source hairpin, down a straight before being launched uphill into a sweeping left-right-left collection of corners (the first of which is the actual Eau Rouge bend, the rest of the climb being called Raidillon) with a blind summit. The challenge for drivers has always been to take Eau Rouge-Raidillon flat out. However, some say this is now very easy thanks to modifications made to the circuit, and the technology of modern Formula One cars.
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