A date for the diary:
Bikers’ Classics 29 June – 1 July at Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium
For many, Le Mans and the Paul Ricard circuits are the home of endurance racing, but for me my favourite circuit is Spa-Francorchamps near Liege in Belgium. The track is an abolute classic and it’s a real shame it no longer features on the calendar of the World Endurance Championship. The sight and sound of bikes racing deep in the forests of the Ardennes in the middle of the night is simply unforgettable.
But at least the track is still active for other events. In August, the Belgian Superbike Championship visits the Spa-Francorchamps circuit and the event features a 6 hour endurance race on the Saturday evening.
And just a couple of months away at the end of June the 2012 edition of the Bikers’ Classics sees the return of big four-stroke superbikes to the circuit together with a huge array of classic racing machinery.
In the past, riders like Paul Smart, Steve Baker, Giacomo Agostini and Phil Read have all appeared. The individual events are billed as ‘demonstrations’ but these guys really don’t hang about, and the climax of the weekend is a four hour endurance race for classic endurance race bikes that starts in the evening sun (hopefully) and finishes in the twilight of the late Saturday evening.
2012 sees Terry Rymer’s debut at the event, exactly twenty years after his memorable “24 Hours of Liège” World Endurance win with his Kawasaki team mate Carl Fogarty.
Rymer won the “24 Hours of Liège” on a factory Kawasaki in 1992 and secured the world championship crown later that year. If you watched ‘Motors’ coverage of the Bol d’Or event a couple of weeks back you’ll have heard Rymer talking about the event. The race was made rather tougher by their third team member, Jehan D’Orgeix, completing just the first few hours on the Saturday afternoon then being flown out of Spa to race at a French National race next day! Foggy and Rymer were left to race back to back from 9pm to the end of the race!
Spa is an easy ride from the Channel coast, and it’s possible to take the motorway virtually to the circuit, which means you can ride there after an early start on Saturday morning and get back late Sunday and still catch most of the action over the weekend. However, there are some much nicer roads if you want to spend an extra day heading out and another heading back and getting a bit of touring in, and I’m putting together a route that you can follow – watch out on http://www.facebook.com/survivalskills over the next few days! Bookmark the page and drop in for the latest news and (sometimes controversial) views from the world of motorcycling and bike training!
And maybe see you at Spa this summer!