Someone’s going to have to change the name of Spa-Francorchamps’ iconic Eau Rouge, because this weekend, a deluge turned the track into a rushing river of brown, muddy water. Something tells me no one is probably going to be racing in that.
This phenomenon is a bit difficult to describe in words, so the best I can do is simply allow you to view the video and see this chaos for yourself.
Many kudos to Lotus Cup Europe team ES Motorsport, a regional European sports car team, for filming the videos and capturing pictures of the chaos. Spa is a track whose elevation changes and rainy races are a staple of its races—which means that, when a heavy storm goes wrong, it can go really wrong. The clip above reminds me of qualifying at the 2015 United States Grand Prix, when I watched the pouring rain cascade down Turn One and settle into the pit straight. Except in Spa’s case, there are a few solid inches of water and no hope of getting cars on track any time soon. As a result, the event was cancelled. It appears that no one brought their canoes to the event.
This third clip is actually pretty terrifying. Water was pouring down the grandstands and directly into the track’s famous straight, which turned it into a whole entire river. After all, there’s not really anywhere for water to go aside from the lowest point of the track... which happened to be right there. It turned the track into a temporary river, unfortunately making good on the Eau Rouge name, which translates to “red water.” That bit of the track is named for the river that runs nearby.
ES Motorsport didn’t offer much by way of track conditions, other than noting that “the track and tunnels are falling apart.” Circuit officials also stated that racing had to be cancelled because tunnels had completely flooded and that it would be looking for ways to clean up the track and prevent this chaos from striking again.