Video: Spa is a unique challenge in a brutal V8 Daytona Coupe

23rd May 2023
Simon Ostler

We’re so used to seeing the Spa-Francorchamps circuit during a Formula 1 weekend, where cars routinely take the likes of Eau Rouge, Raidillon, Pouhon and Blanchimont completely flat out without a hint of a wiggle, that when the time comes every now and again that we see something other than an F1 car tackle this famous old circuit it takes us back just how challenging it can be.

Sat behind the wheel of a Shelby Daytona Coupe, with its 4.7-litre V8 pushing out somewhere near 400PS, the Spa circuit suddenly looks like an entirely different beast. It’s all fairly tidy through La Source, but the run down to Eau Rouge and then up the hill through Raidillon is tentative, squirrelly and downright alarming.

The run up the Kemmel Straight is straight forward enough, but even as we tackle the relatively low speed chicane at Les Combes that rear end refuses to behave, as the driver is working incredibly hard to keep his car on line.

It’s not so much a lift off the throttle through Pouhon either, as it feels like an absolute age before we get into a position where it’s safe to get back on the gas. The stark difference between a modern F1 car that generates unholy levels of downforce versus a 1960s sportscar relying entirely on mechanical grip is on full display here.

We recommend watching through the entire lap so you can enjoy the skill and bravery required to send this brutal car through Blanchimont at around 100mph.

Welcome to Goodwood Elevenses, a helping of motoring-related amusement to help break up your day. Watch the last video: This is the most extreme off-roading ever

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