Circuit Zandvoort, known as Circuit Van Zandvoort when it was originally on the Formula One calendar and Circuit Park Zandvoort until 2017, is a racing circuit on the North Sea coast, just north of Zandvoort, Netherlands. The track opened in 1948, and last hosted Formula One in 1985. It will host the Dutch Grand Prix again starting from 2020. Likelihood of Zandvoort coming back: very likely.
Prior to World War II, there had been plans for a race track in the area. The local club had held street races in the late 30s, but the war put a hold on those plans. The mayor of Zandvoort at the time proposed the construction of a road along the sea front, ostensibly for a parade for the winners of the war. The actual purpose was to keep locals from being sent to Germany as slave labor, and by the time the project was completed, the war was almost over. After the war a track was laid out, incorporating the 'parade road' as the main straight, and using other defense roads built by the German Army. The track was designed by S.C.H. "Sammy" Davis, British driver and journalist, and winner at Le Mans in 1927.
The track was at first a temporary road circuit, with public access for most of the time. But increasing speeds and safety issues, most notably the deaths of Piers Courage and Roger Williamson, led the owners to close off the track, and add safety barriers. After the crash of Courage at the Tunnel Ost kink, a wide right-left chicane was added at the old Bos In section for 1974. and in 1980, a similar (but left-right) chicane was added just before the old Hondenvlak section. These were the last changes before the demise of the Grand Prix after 1985.
The original layout for Circuit Van Zandvoort in 1948 was 4.193 km (2.605 mi). After the fatal accident of Piers Courage at Tunnel Oost in 1970, a chicane was added just before at Hondenvlak. The track length from 1972-79 was 4.226 km (2.626 mi). A second chicane was added before the 1980 race, tightening up the Panoramabocht. The track length for that period was 4.252 km (2.642 mi).
A plan was circulated in 1987, to rebuild the track away from the influx of residences, and minimize the noise complaints. But the plans stalled, when the owners filed for receivership. In 1989, more than half of the renamed Circuit Park Zandvoort was bypassed when a new, 2.526 km/1.570 mile club circuit was constructed. The land at Tunnel Oost and Panoramabocht was sold to developers, with a deal reached that no housing was to be built within 100 meters of the track. The new circuit kept the old pits and initial first few turns, but made a sweeping 180 right just beyond Hunzerug, called Toyotabocht. Then a right kink (Nissanbocht) and a left 180 led down a short straight to a tricky right named Gran Doradobocht. The track then rejoined the old circuit at a new sweeping Bos Uit corner, retaining about 2/3 of the old main straight.
The following is a list of Formula One World Championship events held at the Zandvoort circuit:
- ↑ "Dutch Grand Prix to return at Zandvoort from 2020". formula1.com (Formula One Administration). 14 May 2019. https://www.formula1.com/en/latest/article.dutch-grand-prix-to-return-at-zandvoort-from-2020.1OTLRqLZB6mXdD1VPyHiNx.html. Retrieved 14 May 2019.
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