Is Eau Rouge flat-out still the daunting prospect it once was? DriveTribe’s Jethro Bovingdon finds out in a 260bhp, 670kg Radical SR3 RSX race car
Eau Rouge. For decades, it remained among the most fearsome corners in all of motorsport, where only the bravest or most foolhardy souls dared give it the turbocharged beans. Naturally, the Spa-Francorchamps corner has met with its fair share of high profile incidents over the years: Jacques Villeneuve managed to barrel roll there twice in successive years in the late 90s, while the memory of one of Germany’s greatest drivers – Stefan Bellof – lives on 32 years after his passing. Improved aerodynamics, higher downforce and herculean amounts of grip however mean that, today, Eau Rouge is not quite the bastion playground of the driving elite it once was, but that doesn’t mean it can’t still pose a challenge.
Indeed, for Drivetribe’s Jethro Bovingdon, to take Eau Rouge flat-out remains ‘the ultimate challenge’. So of course, he had to give it a go.
But which vehicle to attempt this personal battle, given that, presumably, Audi wanted its 2016 R18 Le Mans car back after last weeks’ test drive. The answer lay with the Radical SR3 RSX, the British company’s most successful racer to date. It weighs 670kg (or less than the chair you’re sitting on) and kicks out 260bhp from a 1.5-litre four-cylinder sourced from a Suzuki Hayabusa that revs out to 10,500rpm. So, yeah, it’s quite nippy.
And don’t think the bollock-shrivelling concept of a 388bhp/ton power-to-weight through Eau Rouge is Bovingdon’s only challenge for the afternoon, since he also has track day traffic to contend with, including several McLarens, a few dozen 911s, and even a couple of Aston Martin Vulcans. Can the ex-EVO Magazine man pull it off…?