Francorchamps story at Autoworld Brussels
A child's memory! Instead of the shopping centre, there used to be a meadow, where people followed the race or partied. There used to be a breeze block wall between the track and this zone and there was no talk as yet of security rails or FIA fencing... Opposite, there were the strange "pit lanes", with the track side open to every wind, not really a pit lane at all! Already, there was the magic of the inaccessible! Like this Uniroyal tower crowned by a huge clock beating out the hours of motor sport from another era.
Only those older and with greying hair can see these images in the mind's eye.
You will be able to discover, taste, touch, this heyday of Francorchamps at Côté du Cinquantenaire in Brussels. For those who love classic cars, particularly those produced in Belgium, Autoworld is a veritable Ali Baba's cave. However, we remain on the highways and byways of town and country.
There was no royal way for Francorchamps and its history. However, for several months now, the connection has been made. So, part of the heart of Francorchamps can be found in one of the most majestic of the capital's buildings, thanks to the almost life-size replica of part of the old endurance pit lane and the Uniroyal tower. With just a little imagination you can hear the vroom vroom of the engines. So much so that the Autoworld management felt the need to have a fresh wind blowing in the world of motor competition.
By passing through a long tunnel, a bit like the one passing under the track at Francorchamps, one comes to this competition space where rally and Formula 1 cars are displayed in a wonderful "track" décor with a panoramic photo of the banked bend of Raidillon. It's also possible to look at a magnificent collection of scale models in numerous display cabinets.
Such a site could not have been imagined without a glance at the most famous title-holder cartoon driver, Michel Vaillant, to whom is dedicated a sort of super photography studio, a world at the border of both reality and cartoon with, at its centre, a F1 Vaillant.
Tempted to visit? For more information: Esplanade du Cinquantenaire – 1000 Brussels
Open every day, even Mondays, from 10am to 5pm (6pm Saturday and Sunday)
Admission Price: €9/adult; €6/senior & student; €4,5/child from 6 to 13 years; free - less than 6 years old. Information: www.autoworld.be or +32.2.736.41.65.