Spa: Matteo Bobbi preview

OBJECTIVE POINTS AT SPA WITH THE WEATHER AS UNKNOWN Less than a day is remaining before the beginning of Spa-Francorchamps ' weekend, second round of the Le Mans Series 2009. Matteo Bobbi, after the success at Barcelona in the season opener, ...

OBJECTIVE POINTS AT SPA WITH THE WEATHER AS UNKNOWN

Less than a day is remaining before the beginning of Spa-Francorchamps ' weekend, second round of the Le Mans Series 2009. Matteo Bobbi, after the success at Barcelona in the season opener, will be on track behind the wheel of the Lola B09/08 of Racing Box Team, racing on Michelin tyres. The objective is to get some more points that will be crucial for the title fight that sees Bobbi at the lead with his team-mates Thomas Biagi and Andrea Piccini.

The history of Spa-Francorchamps is long and fascinating. The Belgian track was opened at the beginning of 1920s as a triangular street circuit about 14km long, one of the longest, fastest and most demanding of the world. A track whereby champions made the difference, especially after the layout chances operated at the end of 1930s, that also introduced a very fast and steep uphill left-right hander that would become one of the most famous turns of motor racing, the Eau Rouge followed by the left hander turn of Raidillon.

After World War II, the track started housing the newly born Formula One world championship, becoming one of the most important test benches for the drivers. Spa has been theatre of several accidents, sometimes causing fatalities; in the second part of 1960s the track was adapted, as much as possible, to the new security standards.

At the end of 1970s, the direction board of the track decided to build a new semi-permanent track while using some ordinary roads too. The new track, just short of 7km, was opened in 1979 and in 1980, a double chicane named 'Bus stop' was inserted between the Blanchimont and the hairpin La Source.

Several run off areas were extended and renewed in 2004, particularly the Eau Rouge one, pit exit was moved and thanks to the construction of a new road, the track became permanent one.

In 2007, the Bus stop chicane was modified as well as the La Source hairpin. The main straight was made longer and boxes were renewed too. Those modifications made the track slightly longer as it is now 7,004 km.

Spa is nowadays one of the best tracks in the world, often offering spectacular races thanks also to an unforeseeable weather. It houses not only Formula One, but also all the major racing series. It is theatre of one of the most famous endurance races: the 24h of Spa, in the past reserved to Touring cars but recently to GT cars.

Matteo Bobbi:

"Races six-hours-long are unavoidably full of contingencies and in a championship made by five rounds only it is crucial to finish always in the points to aim at the title. Team worked very carefully on the car and we feel more prepared than what we were at Barcelona: weather forecast talk about rain throughout the weekend, conditions that we never experienced and that could play as an additional opponent".

-credit: mb

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About this article
Series European Le Mans
Drivers Andrea Piccini , Matteo Bobbi , Thomas Biagi