Once again, this coming Saturday the WEC 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps, second race on the 2017 calendar, will serve as the last rehearsal before the 24 Hours of Le Mans for all competitors in the World Endurance Championship (FIA WEC).
Located away from major roadways, the modest city of Spa was never destined to become famous, other than for its sources of sparkling water. Nonetheless, the construction of a motorsports circuit in 1921 would change all that and the track has long since been a favorite among drivers.
Duly feared before the major overhaul undertaken in the 1970s, the Spa-Francorchamps circuit still possesses some moxy: the Raidillon de l'Eau Rouge, taken from the name of the creek for the red tint the water takes on in heavy rains at the heart of the circuit. The fast track is no cake walk for drivers who refer to it as a "man's circuit"...no offense to women drivers intended.
Since 2012, the WEC 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps has been the last race of the championship before the 24 Hours of Le Mans, which is why certain teams and cars, such as Tockwith Motorsports and Toyota's third TS050 HYBRID this year, will be at the start of the race in the Belgian Ardennes mountains.
Yet, a win at Spa does not necessarily spell victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans just six weeks later! Recall May, 2016 when Audi claimed the top step on the WEC Spa-Francorchamps podium but then encountered significant setbacks at Le Mans in June.
The start of the WEC 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps will be given on Saturday, May 6th at 2:30 p.m. local time.
Photo (Copyright - AdrenalMedia.com/FIA WEC): The GTs in the "Raidillon de l'Eau Rouge" at the start of the 2016 WEC 6 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps.