Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium – spectators’ experiences

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Tell us about your experiences of visiting Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium.

You may wish to include:

  • When you visited the track
  • Where you watched from
  • How easy it was to get to
  • How much of the track you could see
  • What support races there were
  • What you liked and didn’t like
  • How much it cost and whether it was good value

Please use the reply box below to leave your comments.

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839 comments on Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium – spectators’ experiences

  1. Andy Kelly said on 17th April 2009, 5:28

    I have finally managed to get my campsite booked. As mentioned above, on advice from other threads on this site I have been trying to get booked in to the Elephant camp site in Francorchamps but was finiding it impossible to make contact with them via their website, even though there is a booking form on there at http://www.francorchamps-camping.com/. Despite my best efforts I could not get it to send once completed so I rang the number supplied, spoke to the proprieter, Michael & eventually got a usable email address from him – all@the-elephant.de – via which he sent me price details etc & I paid by Paypal, all very civilised!!
    So I am now all paid up & ready to go, can’t wait!!
    And hot off the press, despite the terrible start to his season Lewis has just posted fastest time in the 1st practise session at Shanghai, life gets better & better!!

  2. Carol Treurnicht said on 26th April 2009, 21:28

    Hi Andy
    pleased to see you managed to book at elephant campsite-Michael is a nutter but I can recommend the site. The toilets etc are very clean and being small they do everything possible to help if you need something and the walk is about 15 minutes to the entrance. They also now have a shuttle service (godsend if the weather is bad or if your partner has a broken foot like mine did last year!)I have stayed there every time since 2005 and will also be back 2009!
    We go GA as well and its a great track to walk around.

    • Andy Kelly said on 28th April 2009, 10:18

      Hi Carol,
      thanks for that, I can’t wait to go now!! Hopefully we can meet up & sink a few beers (even more hopefully celebrating a Lewis win this time ha ha).
      Andy

  3. Carol Treurnicht said on 27th April 2009, 21:52

    PS to those who tried to book camping recently- the website was down for some reason recently and now works- mega apologies from Michael- he is trying to change providers- any other probs then mail me if I can help as i know the people pretty well!
    If not see you guys there in Aug 09!

    • tony loveland said on 7th May 2009, 19:16

      Hi Carol, I’ve been trying to e-mail elephant but have had no luck so far, I know it’s a pain but do you have another e-mail address for michael as we’re getting desperate to book(and slightly over excited!)any help would be appreciated. thanx, tony.

    • Andy Kelly said on 7th May 2009, 22:07

      Tony,
      have you tried this address mailto:all@the-elephant.de? As discussed, I also had problems contacting Michael but this one does work.
      Good luck
      Andy

    • Hello Carol,
      My partner and I have tickets to Spa this year in Gold 2. We are coming from Australia so would like to have everything booked before we get there as it is a long trip. I have been trying to find some info on accommodation but am finding it quite difficult. We would prefer not to spend an enormous amount of money on a hotel but coming from Australia, we will not be able to bring a tent etc with us. Can you supply us with any camping info – we are trying to hire a campervan but even finding that hard to secure a one way hire. I have tried to email The Elephant but have not received any reply as yet. Do you know if they rent out motorhomes or have any contact with someone who does – we really only need it for the spa part of the trip but understand if it has a minimum 7 day hire. Is this the campsite you would recommend or do you have other suggestions? Thanks for any help you can provide. Janine

  4. Johnny said on 28th April 2009, 13:40

    Guys,

    I know my comments are not about Spa, and it is a bit late in the day, however a mate has now decided he wants to go to Silverstone. Does anyone know where the current cheapest tickets for GA 3 days could be purchased ?

    Thanks

  5. Johnny said on 28th April 2009, 16:02

    Andy,

    Thanks mate, I shall give this a try.

    Johnny.

  6. Carol Treurnicht said on 28th April 2009, 20:12

    Hi Andy
    great site- keep it up! Now all set for Spa- yeah great to sink a few beers or whatever- the local pub is quite something there too- its been in the same hands for over 50 years and great- 2005 all drinks were one € (put up the prices in 2008 to €1,20 but a huge laugh!)Belgium is also known for its beers- try the Val-Dieu- its great!
    As for Lewis- ok for you to support him but I am a Renault gal and partner staunch tifosi- but who the hell cares in Spa!

    • Andy Kelly said on 1st May 2009, 16:19

      Hi Carol,
      hopefully our 3 teams will be fighting for podiums with this seasons big boys by the time Spa comes round!! One things for sure, this year is so much more exciting than previous years so we are guaranteed a brilliant weekends racing, which will be made even better by meeting up with you guys in the local hostelry (especially at those prices). We are bringing an F1 virgin with us this year so he is in for a real treat.

      Keep in touch, hope Michael’s website problems are resolved & see you in August
      Andy

  7. tony loveland said on 5th May 2009, 23:19

    Hiya, my girlfriend (unfortunately a vettel fan!) and I are coming to spa this year, yeah! and are grateful for andy’s advice. We are coming in our small camper,which is about the size of a combi van, do they allow this type of van on sites near to the track? we don’t need to plug in so no extra facilities required, any experiences would be good.It’ll be good to see alonso win close up ! With grojean who’ll be his team mate by then! bring it on…. thanx

    • Carol Treurnicht said on 8th May 2009, 22:12

      Tony
      your girlfriend is fine if she supports Vettel- he is certainly one to watch!
      Yeah bring your camper- no problem. You can decide if you need power or other extras or not.
      Showers cost €3 and toilet usage €2 per day- but young Marcel does his stuff mopping and cleaning the whole time! (Last year it was a mudbath!) so don’t forget waterproofs or Spa can be miserable because rain and fog are guaranteed at some stage of the weekend!
      And yeah- I also hope Grosjean is in the car by then……..enough to see Flavio shaking his head at Piquet in the gravel again today…..(funny at Spa on the loudspeakers they call him Piquette……)

  8. Andy Kelly said on 5th May 2009, 23:40

    Hi Tony,
    the site we stopped at last year http://www.campingf1.com/index.html definetely accept camper vans as there were loads there, this is about 10 miles from the circuit plus a 2 mile walk to Blanchimont. I would also think that the Elephant do too http://www.francorchamps-camping.com/ as they appear to be very accomodating (see comments from Carol above)which is 15 minutes walk from the main entrance. Have you been to Spa before? If not your in for a treat!!
    Andy

    • tony loveland said on 6th May 2009, 23:24

      Thanx andy, I,ve e-mailed the elephant and i’ll let you know how I get on. we’re keen on not walking too far! Will probably go over on the wednesday and relax and see if we can see first practice on thursday.Bronze tickets don’t cover this, is it still possible to get in? Been to f1 before (guests at silverstone) and have raced mercedes v8′s, and super rods (cosworth) in europe, but always wanted to go to spa. Thanx again,tony.

  9. Andy Kelly said on 7th May 2009, 1:05

    Hi Tony,
    we are going on the Wednesday too & doing the same as you. Our tickets in Gold 8 are for Friday onwards so am guessing it’s free entry on the Thursday. Apparently we can get access to the pitlane & see the cars in the garages etc. Also a good time to see the drivers surveying the track.
    Andy

    • tony loveland said on 7th May 2009, 23:35

      Hi andy,
      yes, i’ve tried that address, i’ll re-send tomorrow for luck, if not I’ll go with one further away (groan).Sounds good for thursday, it’ll give me a chance to check out your vantage points and put my towel down! Getting excited now, been trying to get those nice Renault jackets into the conversation whenever possible…..(might be able to hide in the pit garage!) I’ll let you know how I get on with booking,
      Tony

  10. Andy Kelly said on 7th May 2009, 23:41

    Tony,
    good luck mate. That address does work, maybe Michael is away? He does answer his mobile (number is on the web)& speaks good English. From last years experience the walking from other places is bad news!! Must admit the Renualt gear is top notch even though I’m a Mclaren fan & the Renault shop etc in F1 village was brilliant with simulators etc & the test driver doing talks & stuff. Mind you, that was when ING had some money so it may be downscaled this year ha ha!!
    Andy

  11. Ann G said on 8th May 2009, 8:43

    Hi all,
    it’s been v useful reading all this as I’m taking my two sons this year, aged 15 and 12 so I became alarmed at thoughts of camping with the possibility (probability) of hordes of drunken revellers all around – have booked into a simple hotel about 30 mins away. So, now for the tickets – help! Do I go completely mad and shell out over £1,000 for Gold 1 (as my son wants) and even then maybe find we’re not seated together – or do we just go for it, have Bronze and get there really early…. I see that some people take BBQs, how about say a small pop up beach tent in case of rain, would that seriously p people off? Otherwise I guess a picnic mat and a big sheet of plastic…
    Any advice guys? Ta :-)

  12. Carol Treurnicht said on 8th May 2009, 22:00

    Hi peeps
    sorry had a probelm with bats in my home so not been around a while……..
    Try this email
    f1_reservation@francorchamps-camping.com
    If it does nto work then let me know and I’ll call Micahel directly as they seem to be having problems with their provider and the site keeps failing!
    My email
    carol.treurnicht@arcor.de
    (Told Michael I am starting a booking agency here and expect a free croissant next visit!)
    I got my confirmation couple of weeks back.
    As for campers- no problem they take tenst, parking campers- whatever- but its nice because there is little or no crime and easy to get to the track.
    At Ann G
    my recommendation to you is go bronze- if we meet up before race day we can bag you some space as we get there latest 7am! If you do that then don’t order tickets- you can get them anytime at the gate without the service charges and worrying if they get to you in time- my heart attacks last year as they got to me Tuesday when i was leaving Weddesday.
    If you have weekend tickets you can get in from Thursday onwards- worth it for the pitlane walk on Thrusday afternoon.
    I also hope to see some of the big guys up there by then! And good luck to Vettel!

  13. Carol Treurnicht said on 8th May 2009, 22:04

    Ps- please excuse my spelling- eek- apologies for that- typing quicker than my poor old brain was thinking…….

    • Andy Kelly said on 10th May 2009, 20:19

      Hi Carol,
      you are doing a sterling job drumming up business for the Elephant, Michael definetly needs to provide you with croissants & Val-Dieu for the whole weekend & give you the best pitch!! Sounds like it’s going to be a great weekend & we have what is fast growing into a great bunch!!
      Keep up the good work,
      make sure Michael reads this page,
      can’t wait for August!!
      Andy

  14. Catherine H said on 10th May 2009, 15:19

    Hi Carol

    This will be our first visit to Spa as well and we’re trying to decide where to camp. You make the Elephant sound great and the fact you can walk to the track sounds great. I was just wondering a couple of things – how lively is the campsite? We like a good atmosphere, but as ultimately we’re there for the racing I’m quite keen on a good nights sleep as well, and worry about a campsite so close to the track being quite rowdy? At Silverstone we tend to camp at the sites a slightly longer walk from the track as it is a little quieter.

    Also, we have quite a big tent – do you get a reasonable amount of space around your tent, or are everyone very close together?

    Any advice would be great! Thanks

  15. tony loveland said on 10th May 2009, 22:27

    andy and carol,
    thank you both for your help in getting us sorted for the campsite, we’ve booked and are ready to go. We’ll be the ones in the orange and ivory toyota camper with us looking over excited! come and look us up if you’d like,we can debate who’s the best driver in f1- Alonso obviously…. see you there Tony and Deb

    • Carol Treurnicht said on 10th May 2009, 22:48

      Tony and Debbie
      great news- look forward to seeing you there.
      We are the mixed camper with the huge Ferrari and Renault flags – and I am the idiot running around in an asturian flag ………
      We will be arriving Wednesday.Let’s just hope the weather is a bit kinder to us this year—–last year it p’d down the whole time!

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