Belgian Racing Legends

50 years of motorsport from the Belgian Gentlemen Drivers to the ’90s

The legend starts…

After the Second World War, a few young people from wealthy families, smitten with speed and thrills, decided to devote themselves to motorsport. Their names were André Pilette, Jacques Swaters, Charles de Tornaco, John Claes, Roger Laurent, Paul Frère… Their objective: to race at the highest level. For example, later on, in ’51, Swaters created the Francorchamps Racing Stable and Claes created the Belgian Racing Stable. There were no sponsors for these pioneers. They had to pay for everything themselves – cars, fuel, spare parts, mechanics, travel, registration fees… And there were very few, if any, rules… Also, women were not excluded! Some of them were successful, such as Thirion, Beckers and Fontaine. They ended up being dubbed “Belgian Gentlemen Drivers”…like their English counterparts. After them, many other Belgian pilotes were known worlwide such as Olivier Gendebien, Jacky Ickx, Willy Mairesse, Jean « Beurlys » Blaton, Lucien Bianchi, Pierre Dieudonné, Thierry Boutsen, Willy Braillard, Marc Duez, Bertrand Gachot, Georges Haquin, Jean-Michel Martin…

The exhibition : pilotes and cars !

In a completely original style, the exhibition recreates the magical atmosphere of the racetrack, with its paddocks, terraces and unique atmosphere, and of course its finest competition cars (30 in total). On a mocked up track: some 15 cars placed in chronological on the starting grid. While in the paddocks and around the mezzanine: racing and rally cars. On the terraces, screens will display info about the drivers, their victories and their anecdotes. Not forgetting the video areas with period film screenings, photo galleries, posters, trophy cupboards, etc.

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