Spa - Rounds 7 & 8
Country: Belgium Capital: Brussels Population: 11 million Currency: Euro Language: Dutch, French, and German Climate: Mild/cool, averaging 5-20°C
Located in northern Europe between the borders of France and Germany, Belgium is home to the headquarters of the European Union, as well as a number of international organisations including NATO. The country has a complex system of governance that reflects its political history, with a number of cultural groups in existence including French, German, Dutch and Flemish speakers but is dominated by the Dutch-speaking Flanders in the North and Wallonia to the South, where French is spoken. The country was originally formed as a Roman province of Gaul in the first century BC, and has since been the subject of several territorial disputes. Belgium is now a federal state after several reforms over the last 40 years.
Spa-Francorchamps - Why Go?
Belgium has a tremendously rich artistic culture, having seen the flourishing of a number of major artistic and cultural movements over the centuries - Jan van Eyck and René Magritte being two of their most famous exports. Modern day Belgium has similar significance as the base for the headquarters of the European Union, with the European Parliament situated in Belgium's capital of Brussels. Belgium also has rich culinary traditions, and its brands of both chocolate and beer are world renowned.
Located in the South East of the country in the Wallonia region, the Ardennes forest is a spectacular location for any visit and in recent history was a key battleground in both World Wars. The neighbouring towns of Spa-Francorchamps, Malmedy and Stavelot are popular locations to stay, the latter containing a museum celebrating the circuit.
Brussels remains the main air terminal in Belgium, with Spa-Francorchamps a 90-minute drive South-East of the capital. Well connected by the A3 and then the A27 highways, there are also rail links to Spa. The Ardennes has its own microclimate and warm sunshine is just as likely as rain, so it pays to pack well! For more information on the circuit click here.
Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps
Length: 7.004 km
Renowned as one of the world's greatest racetracks, Spa-Francorchamps has been challenging drivers since before the Second World War. Located in the Ardennes forest close to the German border, the local roads and topography formed the perfect track that has been a regular on the Grand Prix circuit for decades.
Originally over eight miles long, it quickly gained a reputation as a fearsome venue, with high speed corners and little in the way of run-off culminating in essential changes in the 1970s. By the end of that decade it returned to action and the designers had managed to retain the circuit's character, whilst providing a safe environment.
Retained in that redesign was the Eau Rouge corner, a fast left-right-left combination of bends right in the compression of a valley. With race cars increasingly reliant on downforce, it built a reputation as the best corner in the world as drivers tried to take it flat in the hope of maximising top speed along the Kemmel straight. However, there is an equal challenge in Pouhon, the double left-hander in the middle of the lap and the fast sweeping section back to the pits, culminating at Blanchimont where drivers will be hoping to gain a tow leading up to the Bus Stop chicane.
The long lap and hilly terrain provides a unique challenge as it can often be raining on one side of the circuit and dry on the others. The very best drivers tend to perform well here.
Spa-Francorchamps will host rounds seven and eight of the 2012 FIA Formula Two Championship on 23-24 June.
FRIDAY 22 JUNE
11:20 - 12:05 : Free Practice 1
15:45 - 16:30 : Free Practice 2
SATURDAY 23 JUNE
09:55 - 10:25 : Qualifying 1
14:00 - 14:40 : Race 1
SUNDAY 24 JUNE
10:05 - 10:35 : Qualifying 2
14:15 - 14:55 : Race 2
(NB. All timings are local times and subject to change)
Click here to dowload the complete weekend timetable
Rounds seven and eight of the 2012 FIA Formula Two Championship take place at Spa on 23 and 24 June with races taking place on both Saturday and Sunday. A wide range of support races will also be accompanying F2. Tickets can be purchased online, and are available by clicking here.
Saturday 23 June - Race 1
(UK) Motors TV - LIVE: 12:50
(Europe) Motors TV - LIVE: 13:50
(Worldwide) www.formulatwo.com - F2TV LIVE: 12:50 (UK) 13:50
Sunday 24 June - Race 2
(UK) Motors TV - LIVE: 13:05
(Europe) Motors TV - LIVE: 14:05
(Worldwide) www.formulatwo.com - F2TV LIVE: 13:05 (UK) 14:05
All times subject to change - please check throughout the week for final listings