WEC 6 Hours Spa 2018 - any tips?

WEC 6 Hours Spa 2018 - any tips?

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Vette_1978

Original Poster:

2,960 posts

150 months

Tuesday 19th December 2017
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I've decided to take my lad to Spa for the WEC next year as a flying visit. Tunnel Friday evening, hotel Gent area, race Saturday, hotel booked in Spa and drive back Sunday. So for the raceday, any tips? Are the grandstands free? Any viewing places definitely worth a walk? Is parking an issue at the track? I went to the GP many years back, slept in the car in a field and spent raceday sat on a bank at Pouhon, not the best. I've got tickets sorted and looked at last years schedule so have an idea of what's going on. But anyone with experience, any help greatly appreciated.

//j17

2,916 posts

151 months

Tuesday 19th December 2017
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Went a few years ago (2005) and from memory the only grandstands were the permanent ones on the run down to eau rouge but they were open and free. The whole circuit was open and free so you could just wander the whole way around, stopping and watching for a bit wherever you wanted. Wasn't busy so parking wasn't an issue.

Edited by //j17 on Tuesday 19th December 10:54

Hammond1073

92 posts

39 months

Tuesday 19th December 2017
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Went three years ago. All I can say is it was very cold, very wet, and very poor facilities.

Only advice is prepare for all seasons in one day


vincegail

1,921 posts

83 months

Tuesday 19th December 2017
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Vette_1978 said:
So for the raceday, any tips? Are the grandstands free?
Yes, Grandstands are free, both the ones on the new pitlane/start-finish line and the old pitlane (La Source towards Eau Rouge Raidillon)

Vette_1978 said:
Any viewing places definitely worth a walk? Spent raceday sat on a bank at Pouhon, not the best.
I normally walk around the circuit. 7 kilometres takes me about 6 hours, beer- and viewingstops included smile
So I get to see all viewing spots, most of which are worthwile. Especially Eau Rouge/ Raidillon, Kemmel, Bruxelles (great opportunity for pictures, as the cars go at their slowest there, and closest by), Pouhon or Double Gauche (double left) as it is now called, which is my favourite turn, but seating wise it kind of sucks, but for 30-45 minutes or so it is allright. Then have a few drinks at the roofterrace of the cafetaria of the karting circuit and via Blanchimont and Busstop (RIP) back to start finishline. Please make sure to walk the circuit clockwise, because counterclockwise you'll encounter a very steep hill from Pouhon/Double Gauche towards Bruxelles.


Vette_1978 said:
Is parking an issue at the track?
You have to book parking tickets upfront, or arrive early 10:00-10:30 to be able to park.


Vette_1978 said:
So for the raceday, any tips? Anyone with experience, any help greatly appreciated.
I got very lucky weatherwise 2015, 2016, 2017 but at Spa you're never sure, so prepare for sun, cold and rain!

gt6

1,049 posts

113 months

Tuesday 19th December 2017
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As said all the grandstands are free, and you can walk around the circuit but please do it in the course direction unless you are extremely fit as the hills going the other way will knacker you. As for parking best to park in francochamps itself as once race is ended the car parks become a slow moving traffic jam. Plenty of spaces available around the racing hotel at a reasonable rate.
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Vette_1978

Original Poster:

2,960 posts

150 months

Tuesday 19th December 2017
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Thanks for all advice so far, much appreciated. I'll probably leave the car at the hotel which apparently has parking so fingers crossed, then walk in to the circuit which is just round the corner. Taking the Corvette so will be travelling light, reckon we'll take seats with us so we can rest in between the wandering. We usually do a lap of Silverstone in a couple of hours so maybe get in two laps, one during the supports and one during the race. Will prepare for all seasons and make sure we take our walking boots. Will take in all the spots mentioned, I'm sure my lad will be wanting to get plenty of videos, especially Eau Rouge.

FredericRobinson

1,382 posts

160 months

Tuesday 19th December 2017
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Personally I always walk a circuit against the flow of cars, but that hill is a bit of a slog, you can always cut through the forest back to Eau Rouge from Pouhon if you can't face it.
2 favourite spots of mine, stand as close to the fence as you can get at Eau Rouge and watch with the cars coming over your shoulder and blasting up the hill to Radillon, P1 cars are particularly stunning, and just by the tunnel under the track towards Blanchimont from Stavelot climb up the bank, sit on a tree stump, good view from there.
As for parking, not much use if you're staying in Stavelot, but parking at the other end of the track, by the Stavelot or Les Combes gates is easy and makes for a quick get-away.

//j17

2,916 posts

151 months

Wednesday 20th December 2017
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Regardless of which way you decide to walk you should definitely go 'with the cars' from Eau Rouge up to Raidillion if you've only ever seen Spa on TV before, just to get how steep it is.

FredericRobinson

1,382 posts

160 months

Wednesday 20th December 2017
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And when you do you can stop off at the East Belgian Racing Team bar / café at Radillion, where they take cash, not the horrid tokens they want in the other food & drink stalls

Great Dane

2,168 posts

94 months

Friday 22nd December 2017
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Been going there for over 30 years.... best place IMHO to watch start finish is the grassy knoll on the outside on the entry to La Source next to the white villa - but don't slip because there is a bit of a drop... During race is rubbish..... several musts... frites with Sauce Americaine or Andalouse not mayo.... there is a very decent Pizza place in the town.... and the belgian beer bar is good and cheaper

Great Dane

2,168 posts

94 months

Friday 22nd December 2017
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and bring SOLID footwear

Mountain Man

29 posts

10 months

Saturday 23rd December 2017
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Not been for WEC but been to the 24 hours for the last couple of years. My favourite spot is the inside of Bruxelles, the cars breaking coming the hill and then the view over to the other end of the circuit is amazing.

I would disregard the naysayers. Yes it isnt the smartest circuit, but the place is just full of heritage, you can just sense it. Also watching from the Kemmel Straight is a must

Mountain Man

29 posts

10 months

Saturday 23rd December 2017
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Also, you wont be able to walk from Spa, thats a seriously long way. Francorchamps absolutely but Spa is a very very long way to walk

Great Dane

2,168 posts

94 months

Saturday 23rd December 2017
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Mountain Man said:
Also, you wont be able to walk from Spa, thats a seriously long way. Francorchamps absolutely but Spa is a very very long way to walk
That is literally a 'no go'..... bike yes with an effort that long climb up to the airport with do you in either way

Vette_1978

Original Poster:

2,960 posts

150 months

Thursday 28th December 2017
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Great Dane said:
That is literally a 'no go'..... bike yes with an effort that long climb up to the airport with do you in either way
We're staying in Francochamps, looks a few hundred metres to the entrance. Just need to decide on how far to drive on Friday. Got a place near Ghent, but think it might be worth an extra hour on the road.

FredericRobinson

1,382 posts

160 months

Thursday 28th December 2017
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Remember that it's a half 8 finish to the race

Vette_1978

Original Poster:

2,960 posts

150 months

Thursday 28th December 2017
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FredericRobinson said:
Remember that it's a half 8 finish to the race
Aye, we're staying Saturday night, so a short wander back to the hotel and then drive back home Sunday. He's got to get a few long races under his belt before I consider Le Mans so this will be a good taster.

FredericRobinson

1,382 posts

160 months

Thursday 28th December 2017
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Oh, Ghent on the way out, well an hour further on and you may as well keep going and push on to Francorchamps if you can get in the hotel, or if your looking for something convenient there's an Ibis in the services at Heverlee just the far side of Brussels, quiet spot, I often stay the night there in my camper.

Mountain Man

29 posts

10 months

Friday 29th December 2017
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Be aware Franchorchamps isnt exactly packed with places to eat. There is a decent pizza place and a couple of places on the road up the hill, but its not exactly a big village

If its still there, there is a great frites stand on the roundabout at the La Source exit, I didnt use that exit at all the 24 hours last year so not sure if its still there, but if it is, its the best place to frites and andalouse sauce I've found.

One place I like during the 24 hours weekend is the pits roof, particularly of the old pits, which has a fantastic view down the hill and up through Eau Rouge.

There is a restaurant over the entrance of the new pits, which has stunning view of the chicane and pit straight, but its pricey. Although I must admit having a comfortable seat and coffee saved me at the sun came up at the 24 hours this year

simonhole

91 posts

106 months

Friday 29th December 2017
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having been to Spa 6 hrs last year,be aware of the dreadful traffic around Brussels,and also Antwerp, i would be finding out about roadworks in both Cities,and you need to be very paitent and be prepared to sit in jams for a long time