Track day Spa ‘Open Pitlane’

Track day Spa 'Open Pitlane'Already last year, we covered the Spa ‘Open Pitlane’ track day event, when the F.I.S.C. Legendary Circuits Series organizer went there to visit and have a look of what it was all about.

Such was his reaction, that last Saturday 20 March saw the kick off of the new F.I.S.C. Legendary Circuits Series 2010 motor racing season in a dramatically different way from previous years. This time the season started in a relaxed way, by participating in a track day event at one of the most legendary circuits of them all, the world famous Ardennes circuit of Spa Francorchamps.

The F.I.S.C. crew arrived in Francorchamps late Friday and immediately headed for the circuit where their pit box had to be prepared for the next day. Soon after, one was heading for a well deserved freshening up in the Hostellerie Le Roannay, which is located on the Route de Spa, only 5 min’s from the Spa paddock. Room rates for this occasion are favorable and prices include a grand buffet breakfast, which is really worthwhile coming.

The track day is an open pitlane event, meaning that drivers can go out as they please. A very convenient way for testing your car, whether it be professional or hobby. This year the organizers welcomed some 140 participants, amongst whom the Marcos World Championship Racing Team of Cor Euser (NL).

Saturday morning upon arrival some drizzle and off to the usual driver’s briefing at 08:30H, after which the track was opened at 09:00H. As the circuit is now facing noise restrictions, this meant that engines were not allowed to run before 09:00H at the risk of being excluded from the event. Maximum noise level for this event was set at 107dBa. At lunch break,  from 12:00-13:00H, engines were silenced again.

Probably because of the drizzle and some heavier rain in the morning, it often seemed as if the F.I.S.C. Team had exclusivity using the circuit. During lunch break the sun came out for the first time that day and it remained cloudy with an occasional sun for the rest of the day. Now that the track was quickly drying up, a lot more enthusiasts were attracted to put on a few laps. Some Cup Porsches were definitely overplaying their hand and as a result some had to be recovered by lorry.

As far as we could judge, all safety precautionary measures were taken as if it concerned a motor racing event.  Marshals on all marshal posts, warning lights, doctors and ambulance present, video monitoring of the circuit, recovery lorries and jeeps stationed at different posts around the circuit. High quality organizing at all levels.

Note: the idea is to organize a track weekend later this year involving Spa ánd the Nordschleife. Keep a close eye on the F.I.S.C. calendar.
> Track day Spa ‘Open Pitlane’ (photo gallery)
> Track day Spa ‘Open Pitlane’ (video)
> Track day Spa ‘Open Pitlane’ (video)