Friday, September 22, 2017

A New/Old Francorchamps Track for CFR at Congress of Gamers

10 cars going through La Source on turn 2
on the modern version of Francorchamps
I've gotten into the habit of creating variations of existing tracks for the races I've run at Congress of Gamers and Winter Game Fest -- held in my hometown of Rockville, MD.

This year I decided to do an older version of the famous race track situated in Francorchamps, Belgium.  This is an OLD track that dates back to the 1920s.  It started life as a 14 mile long monster connecting the towns of Spa and Francorchamps.  That track was last used by F1 in 1970.

It would be 13 years before F1 returned to a much shortened track akin to what is used today.  In the years between then and now, there was some tinkering to the track that resulted in the modern version first used in 2007.

I modeled the 2007 layout for Championship Formula Racing earlier.  It is an interesting track in that it is very long and looks like it would cater to race from the back strategies.  But in real races it tends not to as discussed in my recent categorizing of tracks post.

My hypothesis is that the quick run into La Source thins the field and gives front of the pack cars a boost they never quite lose in most races.  Thus my interest in the 1983 version of Francorchamps.

1983 was the first F1 race on the new, shortened Francorchamps and is the only F1 race on that track that used the old start / finish line which was located just AFTER La Source.  This is where the start / finish line had been for the entire previous history of the track.

I left most of the track the same as very few changes seem to have been made from 1983 to now.  The two places big changes had been made were at La Source and the Bus Stop.  In the end I was able to get two new tracks out of this because in 1985 F1 returned to Francorchamps and the only change from 1983 was that the start / finish line was moved to its current location.  This layout stayed in affect roughly through 2005 and the advent of the modern layout.
Lets look at a couple of the non-start/finish line changes.  La Source looked a fair bit wider back then.  So I made it 3-wide and re-profiled it in general.

1983 / 1985 version of La Source.
You can see the back of the starting grid just after the corner.

2007 / modern version of La Source

The bus stop has gone through a lot of changes over the years.  This version is roughly right for the time period (they made so many changes, I am not likely to make versions of them all).  This older bus stop is a little faster and splits up the back straight differently than the current version.

1983 / 1985 version.  Note how much closer to the kink in the back straight it sits.
The couple extra spaces are effectively on the other end of the corner.

2007 / modern version of the Bus Stop.

I am excited to run this track October 7th at Congress of Gamers to see if behaves more like a race from behind track than its modern cousin.  I hope to see some of you out there.

CFR Race at Congress of Gamers, Fall
October 7th, 2017
9:30 am teaching demo and set-up
10:00 am race start


  1. FYI: The '85 version links to the '83 version. Wish I could be there - have fun!