SPA: COLETTI IN THE BLACK WITH A LEGENDARY TRACK The World Series by Renault is back on track this weekend at Spa, Belgium, for the second round of the season. After the troubled start of two weeks ago at Alcaniz, Stefano Coletti has now the...
SPA: COLETTI IN THE BLACK WITH A LEGENDARY TRACK
The World Series by Renault is back on track this weekend at Spa, Belgium, for the second round of the season.
After the troubled start of two weeks ago at Alcaniz, Stefano Coletti has now the minimum objective to collect some important points for the classification on a track with which he is in the black since last year, when at the end of August he has been protagonist of a scary accident at the Eau-Rouge at his debut in the GP2 Series. Until that moment, the driver from Monaco, started from the eleventh row of the grid, run one of his best races and was holding the eighth position which would have given him the pole position for race two; the epilogue of the race was different and the physical consequences forced him to skip the subsequent round at Monza.
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 the theatre of one of the most famous endurance races: the 24h of Spa, in the past reserved to Touring cars but recently extended to GT cars as well.
"Spa is one of the most beautiful race tracks for a driver, one in which driving style still makes the difference: it is a circuit that suits my characteristics and last year the weekend would have probably ended with important results if it was not for the accident. In 2007 I felt very well in Formula Reanult 2.0 when, started from forty-fourth due to a problem in qualifying, I managed to finish seventh in a race that I recall as one of the most exciting of my career.
"I believe we have what is needed to be competitive: at Alcaniz a series of unfavourable circumstances took us out of protagonists but I believe this time things could go differently".
-source: stefano coletti