• Sep 24th 2009 at 9:30AM
  • 31
Seems like every day brings something new in Formula 1, and lately none of it's been good. Now we hear that our absolute favorite track on the calendar, Belgium's Spa-Francorchamps circuit, is on the brink of having its license stripped for – get this – 17 years.

Why? Because residents didn't appreciate that high-octane wailing brought on by the F1 circus, so the local Council of State instructed the circuit to conduct an environmental impact study. From the sounds of it, someone tried to get the study done the night before it was due, because the Council found it "seriously inadequate and incomplete." Instead of issuing a simple detention, the Council said "No race for you!" until, *gulp,* 2026.

Thankfully, Spa's director, Pierre-Alain Thibault, now says that "the situation has changed" since the original noise complaint was filed, that the circuit has worked with residents and lowered the decibels. Next year's race is provisionally scheduled for August 29, which gives Thibault a fair bit of time to talk to residents and challenge the Council's actions. A day's wrangling has given the circuit some breathing room to address all of the legal issues before it is officially closed, but it looks like they gotta lotta 'splainin' to do before they can guarantee a 2010 race. For the sake of F1 race fans everywhere, we hope Eau Rouge isn't taken from us. Hat tip to Ryan.

[Source: Crash.net | Image: nmajoros via CC 2.0]



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  • 31 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      where are the residences? under the infield trees?
      • 5 Years Ago
      Once local governments and the morons who run F1 eliminate the great circuits this series will be history for me. I only turn on the TV for Spa, Silverstone, Monte Carlo and Monza. I guess Bernie will be happy though when the entire series runs in middle eastern litter boxes where he can extort millions from.
      • 5 Years Ago
      "REPORT: Spa-Francorchamps circuit nearly has racing revoked license until 2026"

      Wait... it has what?
        • 5 Years Ago
        Maybe they'll put glasspacks on them to really annoy the neighbors. That's what we did at least.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Stupidity does hurt. However, democracy being what it is, people are free to exercise their vote.

        So muffle the freakin' F1 circus. HP/weight/etc. limits are already there...put a decible limit on the screamin' machines. Say 110Db at 110ft (symmetrical, that) at all rpm/torque/throttle.
        • 5 Years Ago
        haha that just made my day
        • 5 Years Ago
        Why do people move near world-famous racing tracks and then complain about a weekend's noise? Spa has been there -- one form or another -- for over 80 YEARS! And F1 is running engines for a total of three days. C'mon...

        It's the same thing with Laguna Seca. People build houses next to a *race track* and then proclaim shock "shock I say!" that it gets noisy. For these fools, I hope the noise doubles.
      • 5 Years Ago
      It's one weekend a year you sniveling little....
      • 5 Years Ago
      I don't know the entire situation in Belgium, but here in the States we have problems all the time with people moving next to a track thats been in place for 40 years, and then they want to complain and shut the place down.

      They try constantly in Englishtown NJ, and luckily here in Reading PA, the residents realize that A) Maple Grove pays ALL the property taxes for the township its in, and B) they bring in MILLIONS of dollars in revenue to the county and city.

      People need to realize that these tracks have been here for DECADES, so stfu and deal with it or MOVE. No one forced you to move here, or you did move because there are little to no taxes THANKS TO THE RACETRACK. Jackasses.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Remind me again why we stopped the Germans from taking over Belgium.
      • 5 Years Ago
      In the local monthly autocross here in albuquerque a local neighbor got angry because apparently our cars are too loud, so they brought out the city "sound expert" to see if our cars really were "too loud"....they didnt make a blip on the sensors/meters they were using, even with some of the cars running straight-pipes. that shut her up real quick.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I don't the understand headline
        • 5 Years Ago
        What....wait?
        • 5 Years Ago
        What there to understand is?
      • 5 Years Ago
      The people complaining about the noise coming from the track probably are the parents of some kid's with a citroen saxo "nitro turbonoise" with a 10'' exaust that drives arround the neighborhood just to make...what else...NOISE.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I'm pretty sure they will quickly changes their minds once they see the area's income fall because they no longer host this event.
        • 5 Years Ago
        See "Montreal"

        Bernie will drop the price of entrance if Spa balks.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I've heard similar rumors around Road Atlanta from a friend in the area. Every time I go down there, there are neighborhoods/houses closer and closer to the track. It's probably inevitable that someone will eventually raise a big enough stink to cause issues. There are already "quiet hours" on Sunday mornings (which I really can't complain about), such that only HPDE cars are allowed out on track during NASA events.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Environmental impact report: "From an aerial view, there appears to be a lot of green trees and grassy fields growing in and around the race track, with no sight of roadkill on or near the racing surface. Environmental impact has been determined to be 0."
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