The Circuit of Spa-Francorchamps, on the eve of the first day of free practice of the World Endurance Championship – 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps, is now proceeding to the inauguration of the important major works that took place during the winter break.
Works that concerned renovation of the track on one hand, with the aim of maintaining the highest safety and attractivity standards in order to obtain FIA certifications for car racing and FIM Grade C certification for the grand return of the 24H SPA EWC Motos. There was also a desire to improve reception infrastructure for the general public with construction in the first phase of a new 4,600- seater grandstand located at the top of the Raidillon.
This inauguration took place in the presence of the Vice-President and Minister of the Economy of Wallonia, Willy Borsus, the Minister and President of the Wallonia-Brussels Federation Pierre-Yves Jeholet, the Minister of Sporting Infrastructures Adrien Dolimont and the Vice-President and Minister of the Budget of the Wallonia-Brussels Federation, Frédéric Daerden. Also present were the municipal and provincial authorities, and the organisers of trackdays, races and events taking place at the Circuit.
Melchior Watheleor, Chair of the Board of Spa-Francorchamps:
"With this inauguration, we are making concrete a long process that aims to maintain the highest standards of safety at the Circuit, and to improve its infrastructure, for hosting its customers and its spectators.
Mid-May 2019, the announcement was made with the Discovery Sports Events of the return of the World Motorcycle Endurance Championship to Spa-Francorchamps. This is now confirmed with the 24Hr SPA EWC Motos that will be taking place on 4 & 5 June
I have to render homage here to Nathalie Maillet, who was the initiator of this plan, but also to highlight that the dynamic for launching activities at the Circuit is from now on propelled and facilitated by the Circuit's new CEO, Amaury Bertholomé."
Amaury Bertholomé, CEO of the Circuit of Spa-Francorchamps :
"It's with a lot of pride and emotion that we proceed this day to the inauguration of the track and this magnificent grandstand overlooking the Raidillon.
I have to thank first and foremost the governmental and local authorities present here today whose unfailing support must be emphasised. Then our teams who worked so hard for this achievement. All the companies involved with the work, construction, survey and architects, and their associates. These companies are essentially local which demonstrate the skills and competence present in our region. And finally, our organisers of trackdays, races and events that undoubtedly contribute to the reputation and visibility of the Circuit thanks to the diversity and quality of the days and weekends that they offer to spectators. In fact, we take real pride in welcoming back a championship in motorycle endurance, the 24hr Spa EWC Motos this year, but that must not eclipse the quality and richness of the entire season that takes place here between mid- March and mid-December each year
We can only rejoice that this season promises 26 weekends of racing events and novelties once again and, of course, a full calendar during our 8 months of activities on track. And we are also thrilled to welcome back the public without restriction, whom we expect to attend in great numbers this season.
This year is one of renewal at the Circuit, thanks to the works carried out this past winter but also because of those that will take place over the coming winter break which will see, for example, construction of the stand and terraces on the descent from La Source towards the Raidillon, and numerous other projects to come.
Tourism projects, for example, as we are a sporting infrastructure, an economic device but also a tourist site. This summer will see the opening of a sports and educational trail in the woods allowing people to discover the richness of the fauna and flora at the Circuit, the Circuitsp’Adventure that famiies, children and sportspeople will enjoy. We are also reinforcing our links with the other tourist attractions in the region.
Finally, we will be paying attention to the environment. We must preserve the wonderful jewelbox in which we work. The Circuit of Spa-Francorchamps, located at the heart of the Ardennes forests must be a force for propositions and a pioneer in the field of sustainable development within the motorsports sector. Our aim: to reduce environmental impact and actively promote the sustainable mobility of tomorrow."
Willy Borsus, Vice-President and Minister of the Economy of Wallonia :
"I am very happy to be present here today for this inauguration within a legendary circuit that has hosted and continues to host the major events in motorsports in the world, with a long rich history of passion but also a wonderful showcase for Wallonia in the world. Who in fact does not know the Circuit of Spa-Francorchamps ?
A Circuit that is also a great tool of innovation. As Minister for Research I am also conscious that what is being developed here in motorsports, thanks to a real laboratory of technologies, will go on to benefit everyone. Also it is an economic tool that has my full support. The investment plan presiding over these works is for the short, medium and long term. Thus it's a device performing with a view to the long term that is undertaken for the future today. Investments agreed to by the Circuit and its stockholder Sogepa, with the agreement of the government of Wallonia, allowing the future to be built, thus ensuring its future and I am delighted "