INFO FOR YOUR FIRST VISIT

Never been to Spa Before? Read the below info before you get here!

ABOUT CIRCUIT DE SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS

Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps according to many people including some of the top F1 drivers is “the best Formula One track in the world”. The track is located in the Ardennes region of Belgium about 12km South East of the town of Spa, well known throughout the world for its health giving springs and beautiful countryside. The circuit has an unrivalled pedigree and history, making it a great location for any motoring activities.

WHAT MAKES UP THE CIRCUIT

The circuit has existed in a number of configurations since the early 1920’s with the current circuit comprising a 7Km loop running in a clockwise direction, with an elevation change of around 100m. The track winds its way through forests and hills rightly earning it the title of “most beautiful track in the world”. Two pit lanes exist at the circuit, namely the F1 (modern) pit lane and the Endurance pit lane. The circuit also contains two of the best corners in the world in Eau Rouge/Radillion and Pouhon and help make this a challenging and rewarding circuit to visit.

WHAT TIME OF YEAR IS BEST TO DRIVE CIRCUIT DE SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS?

The season for Spa is from mid-March until mid-November, although this is being extended by RSR with some winter activities both on and off-track, but this timing is all weather dependent. The busiest months on track are from beginning of May until mid-September, with the track being closed for most weekends during this period due to race meetings such as the World Endurance Championships (early May), Spa Classic, 24 Hours of Spa (end of May), 6 Hours of Spa (mid-September) and not forgetting the Belgian F1 Grand Prix when the track is closed for 3 weeks form mid-August.

The weather is variable at any time of the year around Spa, typical average temperatures range from 2°C/35°F in January to 21°C/69°F in June & July, average rainfall is typically 114mm/4.5 inches in December to 72mm/2.8 inches in August. The benefit of this weather is that it makes the area very green and a beautiful setting for a race track. Start and end of season are typically quieter due to unpredictable weather, however, the track can be enjoyed in most weathers as it is well drained and most corners are predictable no matter if it’s dry or wet.

COMPARISON: RSRSPA PREMIUM TRACKDAYS VS. STANDARD TRACKDAYS VS. PUBLIC DRIVING PDE

RSRSpa Premium Trackday

Standard Trackdays

Public Driving PDE

Trackday Format Trackday Format Trackday Format
​- Open Pitlane (Access the track at any time) – Can vary depending on the organiser. Could be any of the following:
– Open Pitlane (Access the track at any time)​
– Sessions (Drive for a fixed amount of time, with breaks in between. You can’t join in mid-session if you miss the start.)
– Groups (Cars are arranged into groups. Only one group allowed on the track at a time)
– 25 Minute Sessions with a 5 minute break between each session (Drive for a fixed amount of time, with breaks in between. You can’t join in mid-session if you miss the start.)
– Each Run will follows the Safety Car for the first lap
– Maximum of 5 runs per car possible (Pack of 4 runs + extra run)
Entry Numbers Entry Numbers Entry Numbers
– Limited numbers of cars per event. Maximum of 100 entrants meaning lower numbers of cars on the track at any one time. – Can vary depending on the organiser. Entry numbers can be upwards of 150+ cars, which can cause traffic congestion on track. – Each session can have up to 90 cars. There are 13 sessions in a day, meaning there are hundreds of cars around waiting for their session.
Entry Fee Entry Fee Entry Fee
– €795 for one car and the first driver. (Shoulder season days: €695 and peak season up to €895) – Can vary depending on the organiser. Lower cost, shoulder season trackdays with more people can start from €400, to double day trackdays in high season for over €2800. – A single 25min session costs €100.
– A pack of four 25min runs costs €290, with the 5th extra session being €90.
Type of Person Attending Type of Person Attending Type of Person Attending
– Like-minded drivers on track ensure a good standard of driving and sportsman-like etiquette
– First timers and amateurs are watched closely and coached by instructors, and are therefore brought up to speed quickly.
– Anyone and everyone. – Anyone and everyone.​
Overtaking Rules Overtaking Rules Overtaking Rules
– Left side only, in corners or in straights, with sportsman-like behaviour encouraged. – Can vary depending on the organiser.
– Some will allow overtaking only on one side, or only on the straights, or only when the person in front lets you past – leaving you at the mercy of the other users on track.
– Either side, but only on the straights.
Restrictions Restrictions Restrictions
– Road registered and Race Cars allowed.
– Cars must be capable sports cars with a reasonable amount of horsepower.
– Race Car entries are limited to keep a good balance of speed on track.
– Street tyres, Slicks, full wets allowed.
– Can vary depending on the organiser.
– Normally only Road registered cars, with road legal tyres
– Any type of car – small modified hatchbacks, “boy racer” cars.
– Can be limited to a certain make or type of car (Porsche, Lotus, Italian etc.)
– Road Registered Cars only, street legal tyres only.
– Any type of cars – small modified hatchbacks, “boy racer” cars.
Safety Safety Safety
– Every entrant must attend a mandatory safety briefing before being allowed on track.
– Guided convoy track walk before the pitlane opens to point out information and cautionary points of the track (Included in entry price)
– RSRStaff Safety members full time at Race Control to manage traffic. (Risk Detection)
– Can vary depending on the organiser if a safety briefing is required. Most require this.
– Some organisers allow paid for convoy laps to start.
– Briefing done in French, mandatory to be allowed on track.
– First lap is behind a safety car with no overtaking allowed, getting everyone on to track before free driving commences (which can take up to 5-10 minutes of driving time.
Additionally Included Additionally Included Additionally Included
– Runs from the F1 Pitlane.
– All day catering included.
– Lunch at the Pit Brasserie restaurant included.
– Private pitboxes available for hire.
– Champagne tasting from Piper-Heidsieck and snacks at the end of the day.
– Can vary depending on the organiser
– May run from the Endurance pitlane or the F1 pitlane.
– May include catering, or cost to purchase lunch.
– Runs from the Paddock beside the Endurance Pit Lane
Benefits Benefits Benefits
– Get to learn the track in a better environment, with less cars on track, sharing with better all-around drivers.
– Maximise your track time.
– The best way to learn the circuit.
– Guided Trackwalk gets newcomers to the circuit up to speed quickly.
– Depending on the organiser and the day, you might get some good time on track. – Low point of entry cost for getting on track
– A good way to experience the circuit casually.

WHY SHOULD I DO AN RSRSPA PREMIUM TRACK DAY?

Alongside being the best driving academy at circuit de Spa Francorchamps, we at RSRSpa organise some of the most premium trackdays at this legendary track! Our events include all day catering services, a premium hospitality area to keep you and your guests warm throughout the day, a lunch buffet on the top of the F1 paddock with an amazing view of the track and to wrap it up a Champagne tasting at the end of the day. Before all this begins, Ron Simons – ex racing driver and proud owner of RSRSpa – takes you on an amazing trackwalk all around the F1 GP track. Investigating and explaining about the details on some of the world’s most demanding corners, this is a service that truly has to be experienced. If you want to find yourself amongst self minded people, with all inclusive services, professional instructors on the spot to tutor you for as much as you like, mechanical support and a vast car rental fleet on site then this is the trackday for you. No sessions, no restrictions, no time limit, no worries, no rush. Just driving time and fun until the end of the day.

CAN I DRIVE MY OWN CAR?

Absolutely! RSR are happy to welcome drivers and their own cars on any event (as long as the car fits within the specified regulations for the day).

WHAT CAR SHOULD I HIRE ON MY FIRST VISIT?

If not bringing your own car, your choice of track car rental depends a lot on your experience behind the wheel, on other tracks and of course your experience on Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps. Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps is the fastest track on the F1 calendar and has a mix of high speed straights and corners as well as slow speed corners. If it’s your first time at the track we would recommend one of our Renault Megane RS300’s as these are powerful enough for the straights yet safe and predictable in the corners, also depending on the weather they can be as quick around the circuit as many more powerful cars. If you’re determined to drive one of our more powerful cars on your first visit then we insist that you have mandatory tuition with these cars.

SHOULD I DRIVE A MANUAL OR AUTOMATIC CAR?

Although changing gears for yourself can bring a sense of satisfaction that no automatic can truly match. Changing gears manually also includes a certain risk in case of operation error; in particular mis-shifting into the wrong gear).

In a paddle shift / automatic car there isn’t the same danger of changing into the wrong gear. The computer controls which gears are possible, and when you want the car to go in a lower gear, the computers first calculate if the revs do not exceed the redline. In the case it would exceed the redline, it simply does not allow the selection of the lower gear.

In a manual car there is no such protection. For example: if you are in 3rd gear at the rev limiter and want to change up to 4th gear but instead hit 2nd gear, the car will be damaged due to human error. This not only affects the engine, but also the gearbox, clutch, drive-line, drive shafts and more! In the case of an mis-shift leading to an over-rev you will need to pay for the damages.

When is it NOT advisable for you to drive a manual / stickshift car?

  • When you don’t drive a manual car on a daily basis on the road.
  • When you normally drive a Right Hand Drive car (and the car you want to hire is a Left Hand Drive Manual).
  • When you normally drive a Left Hand Drive car (and the car you want to hire is a Right Hand Drive Manual).
  • When you have NEVER driven a stick shift car on a race track before.
  • When you have had problems before with clutches, gearbox and drivelines on cars.

When one or more of the above is true, then we strongly advise you to switch to a paddle shift car. You can always contact us for advice beforehand. Automatic cars allow you to get down to the business of concentrating on driving on track, not on the task of changing gears in a potentially stressful situation.

If you’re in any way unsure or nervous, then the best thing you can do is pick an automatic car. This way, you can get on with the job of driving and handling traffic, without needing to concentrate on the (sometimes stressful) task of changing gear.

CAN I TAKE MY "NORMAL" RENTAL CAR ON THE TRACK? (HERTZ, EUROPCAR, AVIS ETC)

In short, while there is nothing physically stopping you, it is not a good idea. The ‘normal’ rental car companies often have GPS trackers, especially in the high end cars, which could then mean you are liable for (in the best case) new brakes and tires), or no insurance coverage in the case of an accident. You may also be banned from hiring from any and all rental companies for life for this.

See more about this on this page here: https://www.rhinocarhire.com/Car-Hire-Blog/September-2019/Can-you-take-a-rental-car-on-the-Nurburgring.aspx 

WHAT IS THE MINIMUM AGE TO RENT A CAR FROM RSR?

Our car rentals start from 18 years of age and over. Generally, the renter’s age is not key but a driver’s license and the right attitude is! It also depends on the sort of day (weather, traffic levels, track day, road tour or PDE) and experience. What we need to be assured of first however is that you are up to the job. We can do this by organising some private instruction or by starting you off driving in the lower powered cars first.

HOW OLD DO PASSENGERS NEED TO BE?

Passengers need to be a minimum of 18 years of age. Younger passengers will not be allowed to ride along in the cars. Taxi Laps passengers must also be a minimum of 18 years of age.

WHAT SORT OF LICENCE DO I NEED TO HIRE A CAR FROM RSR?

RSR requires a full driver’s licence from your country of nationality. An international driver’s licence isn’t required.

WHAT HAPPENS IN A CRASH?

Keeping in mind that this is this is motorsport, which automatically carries it’s own danger – essentially, if you cause damage to the car, you pay to repair that damage. For a full run down of the processes and steps you can take if you want to reduce the risk, please take the time to read the following document:

We strongly recommend organising third party track insurance when you rent one of our cars. Motorsport is dangerous by nature and high-end sports cars carry a significant value for which you are responsible.

CAN I GET ADDITIONAL INSURANCE?

Third party insurance has to be organised by you, as it requires information that only you can provide. Some of our recommendations are below, as many of our customers have used their services and they are familiar with the needs for hiring a car with us. For more information and a quote, please contact the respective company directly.

Keep in mind that the below companies are only recommendations, and there is no connection or liability between the listed insurers and RSR. You are free to choose other companies. Before hiring insurance, do a thorough analysis and be aware of all terms of the contract, in particular the excess (franchise) conditions and exclusions on the final value to be paid to you.

In the unlikely case of an accident, you still have to pay RSR directly for the damages to the car, even if you are insured by another company – but then there is the possibility to claim some of your money back from the company you were insured with afterwards!

RSR preferred insurance providers

Other insurance providers

Please note: Additional insurance is best done ahead of time as it may not be possible to organise on the day of rental.

Hotels and Restaurants at Spa

To be sure you stay in Belgium will be as comfortable as can be, we put together a list of recommended restaurants and Hotels. We know from our own experience what the best place are to eat or sleep. If you still need advice, don’t hesitate to give us a ring.

Hotels – Francorchamps (2 min. / Circuit)

Hotel De la Source
Route du Circuit 22
4970 Francorchamps
+32 87 79 58 00
www.hotel-de-la-source.com

Hotel Le Relais de Pommard
Rue de Pommard 220
4970 Francorchamps
+32 87 27 54 24
www.spa-francorchamps-hotel.com

Hostellerie le Roannay
Rue de Spa 155
4970 Francorchamps
+32 87 27 53 11
www.roannay.com

Chateau de Francorchamps
Rue du Clozin 21
4970 Francorchamps
+32 87 27 53 29
www.chateau-francorchamps.be

Hotels – Stavelot(10 min. / Circuit)

Le Val D’Ambleve 
Route de Malmedy 7
4970 Stavelot
+32 80 28 14 40
www.levaldambleve.be

Hotels – Spa(10 min. / Circuit)

Hotel L’Auberge de Spa
Place du Monument 3-4
4900 Spa
+32 97 77 48 33
www.auberge-spa.be

Radisson Blu Palace Hotel
Place Royale 39
4900 Spa
+32 87 27 97 00
www.radissonblu.com/en/palacehotel-spa

‍Radisson Blu Balmoral Hotel
Avenue Leopold II 40
4900 Spa
+32 87 79 21 41
www.radissonblu.com/en/balmoralhotel-spa

Manoir de Lebioles 
Domaine de Lebioles 1/5
4900 Spa
+32 87 79 19 00
www.manoirdelebioles.com

Silva Hotel
Route de Balmoral 33
4900 Spa
+32 87 79 32 50
www.silvahotelspabalmoral.be

Hotels – Pepinster(25 min. / Circuit)

Chateu Charles 
Rue Chalseche 71
4860 Pepinster
+32 476 360 050
www.chateaucharles.be

Restaurants – Francorchamps(2 min. / Circuit)

Grill Steak House Le Relais de Pommard 
Dinner – Steak
Rue de Pommard 220
4970 Francorchamps
+32 87 27 54 24

Acqua Rossa 
Lunch – Dinner – Italian
4970 Francorchamps
+32 87 22 00 00
www.acquarossa.be

Pitlane Lodge Restaurant
Lunch – Dinner – Meat/Local
Rue de Spa, 129
4970 Francorchamps
+32 477 02 00 00
www.pitlanelodge.be

Hotel De la Source
Dinner – International
Route du Circuit 22
4970 Francorchamps
+32 87 79 58 00
www.hotel-de-la-source.com

Restaurants – Spa(7 min. / Circuit)

L’Auberge de Spa
Dinner – International
Place du Monument 3-4
4900 Spa
+32 87 77 48 33
www.auberge-spa.be

Cafe de l’Europe
Lunch – Dinner – International
Place Royale 4
4900 spa
+32 87 22 11 27
www.cafedeleurope.be

L’Olivier Pizzeria
Lunch – Dinner – Italian – Pizza
Rue Royale 25
4900 Spa
+32 87 47 58 50
www.lolivier.info

L’Art de Vivre
Lunch – Dinner – French
Avenue Reine Astrid 53
4900 Spa
+32 87 77 04 44

La Tonnellerie a Spa
Dinner – French
Parc des 7 heures 1
B-4900 Spa
+32 87 77 22 84
www.latonnellerie.be

Le Chalet Suisse
Lunch – Dinner – Cheese Fondue Special
Route de Balmoral 35
4845 Sart Les Spa
+32 87 77 57 16
www.chaletsuisse.be

Restaurants – Stavelot (10 min. / Circuit)

Le Val D’Ambleve Restaurant 
Lunch – Dinner – Romantik, Gourmand, Degustation
Route de Malmedy 7
4970 Stavelot
+32 80 28 14 40
www.levaldambleve.be

La Charbonnade Restaurant
Dinner – Meat / Steak
Rue devant l’Etang 11
4960 Malmedy
+32 80 33 95 34
www.lacharbonnade.be

Sparta Restaurant Grec
Lunch – Dinner – Greek
Avenue des Allies 23
4960 Malmedy
+32 80 33 91 11
www.lesparta.be