Plans have been unveiled for a major redevelopment project at the Spa-Francorchamps motorsport circuit, home of Formula One’s Belgian Grand Prix.
Details of the €80m (£61.5m/€67.7m) project have been announced ahead of the return of motorcycle racing to the circuit in June 2022, when the new FIM Endurance World Championship 24H Spa Motos event will make its debut. The renovation will form part of a 10-year investment plan designed to support the modernisation of the historic circuit.
The circuit will provide €21m of its own funds for the project, with €29.5m to come from a bank loan and a further €29.5m to be invested by Sogepa, the Wallonia government’s investment company.
The work will focus both on the track itself and the wider infrastructure of the circuit. Track modifications will see run-off areas enlarged and gravel traps installed at the La Source, Raidillon, Blanchimont, Les Combes and Stavelot corners.
Central to the infrastructure plans will be a covered grandstand at the Raidillon corner. The stand will feature nearly 4,600 seats and provide panoramic views of La Source, the Endurance zone and the Raidillon.
Five boxes will be set up along the length of the stand and will have a total capacity of 1,050. A further 4,144 new seats will be added in the Endurance stand, while two new boxes will overhang the stands.
The work will add a total of 13,000 seats, doubling Spa’s permanent seating capacity.
Melchior Wathlet, chairman of the board of directors at Spa-Francorchamps, said: “Today we are going to tackle the future of a historic circuit, or should I say we are launching the process which makes Spa-Francorchamps the historic circuit of the future. The diversification strategy is on track.”
It was announced last year that Spa would be hosting an FIM EWC event from 2022 as part of an agreement with Eurosport Events. The circuit is required to make certain changes to the track in order to meet FIM safety standards.