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Circuits of the past

Remember the motor racing circuits of the past!

A lap at the abandoned Nivelles Circuit

A photo tour around the abandoned circuit of Nivelles-Baulers in Belgium. Made in 1998 by Herman Liesemeijer.

Abandoned circuit of Nivelles in Belgium - Main Straight

We start our lap on the Start/Finish straight. Behind the hill on the background was Turn One. Under the two lumps of sand on the left was an additional chicane. On the right you see the exit of the pits and the entry to the shortcut of the Club Circuit.

Abandoned circuit of Nivelles in Belgium - Turn One
Into the first corner.

Abandoned circuit of Nivelles in Belgium - Turn One

Abandoned circuit of Nivelles in Belgium - exit Turn One

The start of the best part of the track, downhill over the 300 meter (1000 Feet) long straight to the Big Loop...

Abandoned circuit of Nivelles in Belgium - short straight to the Big Loop

Abandoned circuit of Nivelles in Belgium - Big Loop
The first one of the Big Loop, a long and fast uphill bend.

Abandoned circuit of Nivelles in Belgium - Big Loop
Look at the bad condition of the surface!

Abandoned circuit of Nivelles in Belgium - Big Loop

Abandoned circuit of Nivelles in Belgium - Big Loop

Turn Three was even longer than the previous corner. This corner was descending first, but went uphill at two thirds of the corner! When the surface would be in good condition you would take this corner at about 160 km/h (100 Mph) with a normal road car. But because of the many bumps I almost bounced off the track here with 120 km/h (75 Mph).

See also my blog post "Grand Prix Revival Nivelles-Baulers 2014".

Abandoned circuit of Nivelles in Belgium - Big Loop

Abandoned circuit of Nivelles in Belgium - Turn Four

Between Turn Three and Four was a short straight, just long enough to change the side of the track to enter the next corner. Then you had to brake hard for Turn Four.

Abandoned circuit of Nivelles in Belgium - Turn Four

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F1 tickets

Abandoned circuit of Nivelles in Belgium - exit Turn Four
Exit of Turn Four. On our right hand the exit of the shortcut for the Club Circuit. The kart track was on our left hand.

Abandoned circuit of Nivelles in Belgium - Chicane
Turn Five was the first corner of a chicane.

Abandoned circuit of Nivelles in Belgium - Chicane

Turn Six lead to the back straight. I parked my VW Scirocco with two wheels on the kerbstones for fun. However, these kerbstones were so hight that you wouldn't ride over it in real life.

Abandoned circuit of Nivelles in Belgium - Back Straight

Abandoned circuit of Nivelles in Belgium - Turn Seven
At the end of the back straight was a quick right left combination downhill!

Abandoned circuit of Nivelles in Belgium - Turn Eight
Here we're reaching the lowest point of the track.

Abandoned circuit of Nivelles in Belgium - Where the extension should start

At this point the track should actually turn left to the second loop which was never built. The hairpin in front was only supposed as a shortcut for the Club Circuit or testing.

Abandoned circuit of Nivelles in Belgium - Turn Nine

Turn Nine was a hairpin that looked similar to the Tarzan Corner at Zandvoort. This was not so strange because the circuit was designed by John Hugenholtz who also designed Zandvoort.

Abandoned circuit of Nivelles in Belgium - Turn Nine

Abandoned circuit of Nivelles in Belgium - Start/Finish Straight
Then accelerating on the 1.1 Km./0.7 Mile long main straight...

Abandoned circuit of Nivelles in Belgium - Start/Finish Straight
And over the hill back to Start/Finish as once Emerson Fittipaldi did.

© Text & photos: Herman Liesemeijer

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