2022, a season turned to the future, both on and off the track

NEWS - Press release

22.03.2022
2022, a season turned to the future, both on and off the track
2022, a season turned to the future, both on and off the track

The Circuit of Spa-Francorchamps 2022 season resumed on 16 March. More than ever, it offers a calendar that’s packed full of races and events at the heart of the facilities both on and off track with infrastructure that was renovated during the winter break.

The works

This major project started at the end of last season. The works, costing 25 million Euro, are the first phase of a comprehensive investment strategy that will continue from the end of the 2022 season.

Melchior Wathelet, Chairman of the Board: “Works that have been taking place all winter have revealed a track this spring of 2022 that remains identical but with safety strengthened. Our track has been subject to various adaptations in order to receive the double approval from the FIA for motorsport competitions and Grade C from the FIM for motorcycle competitions. Finally, a new grandstand has been built at the top of one of the most famous corners in the world.”

The aim of the Circuit’s strategy is to diversify its activities on the track. And that’s been accomplished with the return of the legendary 2-wheel race: the 24H Spa EWC Motos. It is also about more overall reinforcement of track safety and upgrading of existing facilities for the general public.

Amaury Bertholomé, CEO: “These works represent, in figures, apart from our own teams, 250 people working over 5 months, over a hundred machines, more than thirty businesses, and this is important, with a large part of these local Walloon companies whose expertise and proficiency are to be emphasised. We’re speaking about a lot of work in a very short timeframe: renovation of all the run-offs, new gravel traps, re-surfacing of some parts of the track (after La Source, to the Raidillon and to Speaker’s Corner) and construction of a brand-new grandstand at the top of the Raidillon : 4,600 places, reception areas and a breathtaking view. It will be accessible to the public for the World Endurance Championship at the beginning of May. In the Endurance area, in the descent from La Source towards the Raidillon, the stand and terraces will make their re-appearance in 2023.

The season on track

The calendar offers a huge variety of events and meetings to the public sure to delight a great number of people, demonstrating once again the Circuit’s attractiveness: 26 weekends of various events or meetings on offer, and not forgetting over 150 days of incentives (Trackdays, After Six, etc.).

Amaury Bertholomé, CEO:  “I’m delighted we are once again able to welcome our fans in normal conditions and celebrate our motorsports. In terms of new items, we will of course welcome the 24H SPA EWC Motos on 4 & 5 June. An international motorcycle championship making its reappearance on the Ardennes track. Finally this year we will be hosting the WES Spa-Francorchamps UCI E-Mountain Bike World Cup on 3 and 4 September 2022 on track, but not quite as it will be taking place in the forest! Our renowned wooded expanses are the ideal terrain for a World Cup electric mountain-bike course. Another phase in the diversification of the Circuit. On one hand we are hosting cycling, a sport other than motorsport, and on the other, it is an electric round, another technological development. And of course we have the great classics: The Belgian F1 Grand Prix, the 24 Hours of Spa, the WEC, ELMS, DTM, Benelux World RX of Spa Francorchamps, the weekend of  “oldtimers” with the 6 Hours or the Spa Classic, the 25H Fun Cup , the 24H2CV, and so on.”

Let us underline that Spa-Francorchamps hosts local players in motorsports as well as major international players and, of course, all the FIA track championships.

The off-track season

The Circuit is a major centre of attraction in Wallonia. In 2019, over 10,000 people took our guided tours and that’s not even counting the visitors who came through the Circuit gates to wander around. Team building, seminars, and so on that companies offer to their customers and/or employees in an exceptional framework for their B2B events. Also, the success of  track introductions and Public Driving Experience events has not waned. This is a sector the Circuit intends to develop further this year.

Also, the public will discover the CircuitSp’Adventure this summer. The Circuit of Spa-Francorchamps, located at the heart of the Ardennes forest, is often regarded as the most beautiful circuit in the world. However, few people are aware of the wealth of its flora and fauna. The public will be able to explore this lesser-known aspect of our site. Who could have imagined, for example, that crayfish chose to live in the Eau Rouge river? Circuitsp’Adventure is intended to be an entertaining and educational ramble at the centre of the Circuit. It will delight families, nature lovers, athletes and more besides.

The future

Reception of the public is paramount and central to our preoccupations. Improvements will be made in regards to orientation on the Circuit, sanitary facilities and the sound system. For our track customers and also for the general public, the paddocks are currently being rearranged for a better flow within them. The red paddock is being renovated and the courtyard will regain its place with better access.

Emblematic buildings such as the former Customs or the t’Serstevens villa must reclaim their  lustre from yesteryear and boost what the Circuit can offer. Analysis of their reappointment will be carried out with private partners.

Also, from now on, the Circuit is signed up to a real green deal. Motorsports are developing, like society, and the Circuit must participate in this development, aligning with the momentum reached by sporting federations such as the FIA and the FIM.

Amaury Bertholomé, CEO: It’s a huge worksite that is opening up at the environmental level. What energies will we have for motorsports in the future? We must respond to our customers’ needs. Our operating permit predates all these developments and must be adjusted to fit. Of course the Circuit will still accept the combustion engine but hydrogen, biofuels and electric must also have their place. This may be the case in winter for those not impacted by noise levels such as electric and or bicycles. We must also reduce our carbon footprint.  A more global reflection has already begun on the production of our own green energy on our site.

A lot has already been achieved in regards to the management of waste water and drainage. The Circuit must keep its uniqueness within a green oasis, and forest management is another area of attention (3 hectares of broadleaf woodland will be replanted on the Circuit).

Let’s finish with more news: our e-shop will be launched shortly so you’ll  be able to acquire our new special edition Monopoly and the website and Circuit App will also be revamped.