A look at the stages of the Spa Rally


Since the birth of the event, the organizer DG Sport remains faithful to the same principles: three events in one – the Jobfixers BRC (Belgian championship), the HBRC (Historiques) and the VHRS (regularity) – on an identical course, technical, varied and natural specials favoring the qualities of piloting, and special conditions granted to the regulars of the ASAF events.

NEWS 2018: the audience will be installed at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit, which will also host the organization centers (technical control, tire marking, refueling, technical and media areas, etc.). The podium, however, will remain on Place du Monument in Spa and will see the competitors parade seven times throughout the weekend. Moreover, the park of Seven Hours in the center of the spa town will host cars Friday for nearly two hours (16:33 to 18:15) after the prologue special and for the night from Friday to Saturday.

SHAKE-DOWN: a first appointment will be scheduled on Thursday, March 8 with the shake-down based on the usual site of Vecqueterre in Spa. Scheduled from 5 pm to 9 pm, this full-scale test will allow competitors to follow in action in several spectacular corners, including the famous bowl and the right-left pif-paf before arriving at Winamplanche.

STEP 1: Five specials will be on the menu on Friday 9 March. Named Eau Rouge (10.94 km) and played Friday from 15:08, the first will offer a profile identical to that of 2017 with a start on the Pitlane F1 “the most beautiful circuit in the world”. Whether they opt for the discovery platform in front of the Endurance stands or Pitbuilding, spectators will get their money!

After a break at Spa, the competitors will compete at 6:20 pm on a loop of two stages to go twice. The Reid-Theux (10.65 km) will be slightly modified compared to 2017 since after the locality Bois Renard, the route will no longer go up to the national road but will turn right towards Becco. The descent towards Jevoumont then the portion leading to “Les Minières” will rally all votes, as well as the pin of the Four Paths where will be installed the bar of the monks of Franchimont.

Then place the ” justice of peace ” of this first day, Mont-Rivage (23.60 km) where alternates the fast, the ” semi-technical ” and the ” technique ” … just short. The first kilometers are fast to the village of Hockai (a refreshment bar will be installed) from where the cape will be placed towards the Cronchamps plateau offering a narrow section, demanding, winding, in a word … selective. From there, return to the ‘historic’ stage of Ster – with the uphill jump – then the circuit bypass road, before the finish installed at the entrance to the village of Rivage.

Both times will be played twice. The 79.03 km speed of this first stage will allow to draw a provisional hierarchy before the setting in parc fermé at Spa from 00h10.

STEP 2: On Saturday, March 10th, hostilities will resume at 8:25 am for a special five loop run twice. Draws within the circuit of Spa-Francorchamps, the first two timed sections will however be 100% rally because they will operate the interior routes whose profile and characteristics are not really suitable for F1 or protos … Beginner at the foot of Pitbuilding, Blanchimont (13.55 km) will join – via the Swaters tunnel – the other side of the track and will hurtle down towards the karting circuit; there, after a pin on the left, the portion named Dakar will wait for the competitors who will find the paddock by the grid of the bottom. This turn will be done three times.

In the wake, the participants will start Combes (15.42 km) at the karting to go up the circuit in the opposite direction (a baffle will be installed after the double … right) to Combes. The passage through the gate will allow them to find the service road to flow to the Raidillon past the chalet EBRT; on paper, this descent may seem easy and negotiate “foot in” but in practice, it looks much more complicated … After the pin of the old customs, a small piece of circuit will lead to the grid of Kemmel for a new descent concluded by a very muscular left pin “opening” to the Double Left, then return to the karting on lap 1 or cap on the arrival at Combes by turning left on turn 2.

After an assist, the crews will head to Fays Show (8.90 km) , a special stage that is made tricky by several peaks and masked turns. A refreshment bar will work near the departure (from where the sight is perfect on a good part of the course) and one can also wait for the big spectacle in the final descent towards Le Rocheux.

Of course, the Clementine (14.51 km) is on the program in an unchanged version compared to 2016 and 2017 except for Spaloumont where competitors will take the right path directly.

Finally, the final special of the loop will be the shortest but also the most exciting of this Spa Rally 2018. For the first time on the program, Le Maquisard (8.07 km) will start over Winamplanche by the climb to provincial horticulture school. At the top, the competitors will attack the hill climb … downhill! Great spectacle guaranteed, as much in the long bends in the middle of the nears as in the last hectometres said of “Small Switzerland” (access by a way since the avenue of the Hammer). From there, they will go right towards Winamplanche to go to the Vecqueterre – and its basin – then the arrival, also very delicate.

At the end of the 120.70 km against the chrono of this second stage (a total of 199.73 km for the fifteen stages), a final podium finish (18.04) will celebrate the winners of the Herock Spa Rally 2018.

From PR. Originally in French, translated by Google