Spa-Francorchamps will have five gravel traps added to it as part of an €80million investment ahead of bike racing’s return to the Belgian Grand Prix venue in two years’ time.
The circuit has revealed a major renovation project that has begun following last year’s announcement that the motorcycle world endurance championship will race there in 2022.
La Source, Raidillon, Les Combes, Stavelot and Blanchimont will have extended run-off and gravel traps installed to help the cicuit get FIM Grade C homologation without modifying the layout.
Extra grandstands will be erected throughout the circuit, most notably a 4,600-seater structure on the outside of Eau Rouge.
More than 13,000 seats will be added in total, doubling the circuit’s seating capacity.
Spa circuit boss Nathalie Maillet says it is a 10-year investment, while chairman of the board of director Melchior Wathelet described it as apart of the track’s diversification strategy.
In line with that, a bid for a MotoGP round at Spa has been mooted over the last year.
Grand prix motorcycle racing has not taken place at Spa in the MotoGP era. The world championship last raced there in 1990.
However, while it has been linked with a return, no serious proposal has been outlined for how to make it work safety-wise without amending the layout – which is explicitly being avoided for 2022 with the planned run-off and gravel changes.