Zandvoort Historic GP 2014

 

End thirties of last century, Zandvoort was a rather mondaine coastal city. Many young and wealthy people were guest in the hostels near the coastline. And ofcourse many of them drove in sportscar, exactly as the young and wealthy of today. Their competition spirit made them race their cars soon on temporary closed streets. It didnt take long before these races were known in the wide environment and attracted thousands of visitors. That brought the idea of a closed racetrack, build with only one purpose : racing. The dunes north of Zandvoort was the location were it all should happen. The outbreak of WWII delayed the plands, but in 1948 the Zandvoort racetrack was erected and August 7 1948 was the big day : the first official race at the Zandvoort racetrack, won by Prince Bira van Siam.

Tommy Dreelan , Aaron Scott / Porsche 962C / Team Celtic Speed
Tommy Dreelan , Aaron Scott / Porsche 962C / Team Celtic Speed

Starting in 1952, the ‘Grote Prijs van Nederland’ is part of the official F1 World Championship. Many famous pilots conquered the curvy roads in the dunes, like Alberto Ascari, Juan Miguel Fangio, Stirling Moss, Joakim Bonnier, Wolfgang von Trips to name just a few.

In the early seventies the track is changed a few times after some fatal accidents. The last F1 race at dutch soil was in 1985, a race won by Niki Lauda. The last F1 victory for this Austrian wonderboy.

The Zandvoort Historic GP continues the long tradition of racing at the coastal racetrack. In it’s 3rd year of existence only, the Zandvoort Historic GP managed to get some top level races to the Netherlands.

Roman Caresani / Porsche 904
Roman Caresani / Porsche 904

Races with historic single-seaters, touring-cars and sportscars pur sang from the late 1940’s up to the mid eighties : exactly the period in which the Zandvoort race-track hosted F1 races.

Over 50.000 spectators came to the track to be part of a unique opportunity to see iconic cars do what they were built for : race on a track. From friday early morning till sunday late afternoon, the sound of the roaring engines and the smell of the burning rubber filled the air of Zandvoort. Luckily for the thousands of visitors and hundreds of pilots and mechanics, the weather was quite good. Just a few showers during those 3 days, but that couldn’t spoil the fun.

A unique premiere for the Netherlands were the Group C cars, that never made it to Holland before. It is and always will be impressive to witness how true monsters like the Porsche 962 or Mercedes C11 are raced to the limit. Unfortunately for the 2 Jagermeister Porsches 962 this caused some minor damage. More bad luck for 2 other Group C cars, who had a rather severe crash with major damage as a consequence.

More Porsche power during the DRM Klassik Pokal, the predecessor of what’s now called the DTM . Daniel Schrey of Kremer Racing threw a Porsche 935K3 in the race, Eberhard Baunach of the same racing-team drove a Porsche 935K2. Lots of Porsche 911 RSR’s and 2 members of the State-of-Art family joined the party in a Porsche RS and a Porsche ST. And ofcourse you can’t imagine a vintage car event on a dutch track without the HARC present. Lots of early Porsches 911 in those races, and a Porsche 904 finishing second. Bad luck for Chris Mulder who had a little crash on saturday morning on a wet and slippery track, with some damage to the right side of his 1965 Porsche 911, disabling him for the sunday race.