Motor Racing: Belgian Grand Prix

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Whatever the outcome for Nigel Mansell in Budapest this Sunday, the Belgian Formula One Grand Prix over the August bank holiday weekend offers good value in its proximity to Britain and the challenging circuit which provides good spectating.

The undulating circuit at Spa Francorchamps, 35 kilometres south- east of Liege in the Ardennes and about two hours from Brussels, is a mixture of public roads and private track. It is formidably challenging for the drivers as it is a long circuit at 4.321 miles, fast and wide with extensive straights, but difficult because of the bends. The Eau Rouge corner, on a steep climb, is such an example and offers spectacular viewing because of its line. Walking the long circuit has the advantage of viewing points that are not too crowded.

Page and Moy, of Leicester, specialises in grand prix trips. Its packages include a coach tour, with regional departures and returning after the race, at pounds 49, a day trip flying from Stansted at pounds 189 per person and longer breaks combining the Eindhoven jazz festival and Brussels with the grand prix. Ticket prices are still at pre-race rates. The Uxbridge-based company, Airtrack Services Ltd, also offers a day trip from Stansted at pounds 199 per person, including optional lunch hospitality at pounds 120.

Chequers Travel, of Dover, has 12 tours to the grand prix, ranging from a two-night trip by air from pounds 229 per person to 10 coach trips, the cheapest of which costs pounds 49 return from Dover with pick-up points in Manchester (additional supplement pounds 18), Birmingham ( pounds 12) and London ( pounds 8).

Just Ticket and Motoring Limited, also of Dover, provides tickets and has a package for the motorist. Based on four passengers and including ferry and one- night hotel, the trip costs pounds 68 per person.

Belgian Grand Prix, 28-30 August.

Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, Route de L'Eau Rouge 280, 4878 Francorchamps (Tel: 010 32 87 275258) is 35km south-east of Liege on E44.

Grandstand seats (includes admission): Friday: Silver 1 (Spa) and 2 (Francorchamps) pounds 27, children free; Bronze (ground admission) pounds 18, free; Green (ground admission) pounds 12.50, free. Saturday: Silver 1 and 2 pounds 53, pounds 18; Bronze pounds 36, pounds 9; Green pounds 27, pounds 9. Sunday: Gold 1 (Covered) and 2 (Raidillon) pounds 142, pounds 71; Silver 1 pounds 107, pounds 53; Silver 2 pounds 89, pounds 53; Bronze pounds 62, pounds 18; Green pounds 45, pounds 9. Weekend tickets: Gold pounds 160, pounds 89; Silver 1 pounds 124, pounds 62; Silver 2 pounds 107, pounds 62; Bronze pounds 89, pounds 23; Green pounds 71, pounds 14. Prices at circuit, Agents' prices may include surcharge.

Belgian Tourist Office, Premier House, 2 Gayton Road, Harrow, Middlesex HA1 2XU (Tel: 081- 861 3300).

Page and Moy Ltd, 136-140 London Road, Leicester LE2 1EN (Tel: 0533-524344).

Airtrack Services Ltd, 16-17 Windsor Street, Uxbridge UB8 1AB (Tel: 0895-270921).

Chequers Travel Ltd, 3 Market Square, Dover CT16 1LZ (Tel: 0304-204515).

Just Ticket and Motoring Limited, 1 Charterhouse, Camden Crescent, Dover CT16 1LE (Tel: 0304-228866).