• Nov 28, 2009
Following earlier news that the Donington track, which was supposed to take over the British Grand Prix in lieu of Silverstone, had to declare bankruptcy comes a reversal of fortune for the Spa-Francorchamps circuit. The longtime host of the Belgian Grand Prix looked to be in serious trouble with local authorities when nearby residents got fed up with the noise emanating from the track. Government officials threatened to shut down the circuit if the situation wasn't addressed, but now they appear to be singing a different tune.

According to the latest reports, the regional environment ministry has given Spa an exemption from noise regulations in light of the economic benefits the Belgian Grand Prix brings to the region. There are a few conditions, though. First of all, while they're willing to overlook the noise issue for the F1 race (and possibly a few other events), authorities will crack down at other times, even shutting down the track completely during parts of the summer. Beyond that, they've appointed a third party to monitor the noise levels, warning the track owners that their exemption will be up for review again within two years. So, while race organizers and fans can breathe a sigh of relief, it'll be a short breath, proving once again that racing and bureaucrats don't mix.

[Source: Autocar | Image: Vladimir Rys/Bongarts/Getty]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 15 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      "So, while race organizers and fans can breathe a sigh of relief, it'll be a short breath, proving once again that racing and bureaucrats don't mix" It wasn't bureaucrats who complained was it? It would be more accurate to say that racing and residential living areas don't mix.

      If I'm not mistaken, Spa is located in an upscale resort area which has no doubt attracted some well off summer residents who paid a lot to live there so I can understand the complaints. I'm glad that something has been worked out though.
        • 5 Years Ago
        The race track was there decades before the surrounding area was developed. BTW, this news is weeks old.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I think Public Enemy says it better that I can:

      Turn it up! Bring the noise!
      • 5 Years Ago
      VODAFONE MAN
      • 5 Years Ago
      Hooray for people with no common sense.
      • 5 Years Ago
      This race better go nowhere! I absolutely love this track and actually have been there two times. Great place....Raikkonen usually doing great there helps too ;)
      • 5 Years Ago
      I want to live next to the race track but I didn't know racing was so loud! Waaa waa I'm gonna start a petition
        • 5 Years Ago
        The track was opened in 1924, do you really think people who where born there before 1924 and still live there are now whining about noise?

        • 5 Years Ago
        I certainly wouldn't want the GP at Spa to be cut, but that's a pretty ignorant comment.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Ignorant how? The track was there first ...
        • 5 Years Ago
        ...and on the first day God made Spa-Francorchamps. Later being used for the names of towns of men where nobody grows up in, only move to.....
        • 5 Years Ago
        People want everything. When they have some economic stimulus from the track having race days, they complain about the noise. Cut the track and noise, and I bet people will complain about the lost revenue for the area around the track.
      • 5 Years Ago
      This issue is not as simple as it may seem. Up till 10 years ago, parts of the Francorchamps track were public roads and racing was limited to a couple of weekends a year. Now it is all race track and stages events almost every week, not only being noisy but also bringing thousands of people to otherwise quiet little towns.
      • 5 Years Ago
      It won't be the end of racing if race cars had a slight muffler.
      For example, the CART champ cars (with turbos) sounded great but Indy racing league cars have an irritating harmonic.
      I feel sorry for the family that sits on the front row at Daytona w/o ear plugs.
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