Circuit Park Zandvoort
|Circuit Park Zandvoort|
|Location||Burgemeester van Alphenstraat 108, 2041 KP Zandvoort, Netherlands|
|Events||Formula One; Marlboro Masters; A1GP (Season 2006-07)|
|Record driver||Luca Badoer|
Although there were plans for races at Zandvoort before World War II, the first street race was held on June 3, 1939. A real circuit was not built until after the war, built on communications roads built by the German army during its occupation in the Second World War. The circuit mainly designed by John Hugenholtz.
The circuit was inaugurated on August, 7, 1948. Next year, in 1949 the circuit hosted the Zandvoort Grand Prix. The following year, the race was called the Dutch Grand Prix, and it was included in the Formula One World Championship in 1952. It remained on the F1 calendar for 30 out of the next 34 years. In 1985, the Dutch Grand Prix was held for the last time. The company that commercially ran the circuit (CENAV) went out of business, marking the end of Circuit Zandvoort. The track, owned by the municipality of Zandvoort, was not used for some time and part of the grounds and approximately half of the track was sold in 1987 to Vendorado, a Bungalow park developer at that time. A plan to save the remaining track was made by a group of people and companies. Circuit Park Zandvoort was born, and the track was remodeled to an interim Club Circuit of 2.6km in the summer of 1989.
In 1995, CPZ got the "A Status" of the Dutch government and began building an international Grand Prix Circuit. This project was finished in 2001 when, after the track was redesigned to a 4.3km long circuit and a new pits building was realized (by HPG, the development company of John Hugenholtz jr, son of the former director), a new grandstand was situated along the long straight. One of the major events that is currently held at the circuit, along with DTM and A1GP, is the BP Ultimate Masters of Formula 3, where Formula 3 cars of several national racing series compete with each other (originally called Marlboro Masters, before tobacco advertising ban).
The circuit gained popularity because of its fast, sweeping corners such as Scheivlak as well as the "Tarzanbocht" (Tarzan corner) hairpin at the end of the start/finish straight. Tarzanbocht is the most famous corner in the circuit which provides excellent overtaking opportunities. This corner is reportedly named after a local character who had earned the nickname of Tarzan and only wanted to give up his vegetable garden in the dunes if the track's designers named a nearby corner after him. On the other hand, many different stories about Tarzan Corner are known.
In the history of the circuit, several fatal accidents have occurred.
|Wim Gerlach||June 10, 1957||Died in the Gerlach corner. First fatality on the circuit.|
|Piers Courage||June 21, 1970||His car turned over and caught fire. He was pinned down by his De Tomaso car and had no chance to escape.|
|Roger Williamson||July 29, 1973||He lost control of his car during the F1 Dutch Grand Prix and crashed into the barriers, spun upside-down and caught fire. David Purley stopped his own race and tried, unsuccessfully, to save Williamson. The circuit was poorly prepared and not enough extinguishers were on hand.|
|Rob Slotemaker||July 29, 1979||He broke his neck and died during a non-F1 event.|
Its design has been modified and altered several times over time:
- 1948-1973: length 4.193km
- 1973-1980: length 4.226km
- 1980-1989: length 4.252km
- 1989-1998: length 2.526km
- 1999-present: length 4.300km
The corners are named as follows (the numbers correspond to the image above, starting at the start/finish line):
- Tarzan corner (1)
- Gerlach corner (2)
- Hugenholtz corner (3)
- Hunzerug (4)
- Rob Slotemaker corner (5)
- Scheivlak (6)
- Masters corner (formerly Marlboro corner) (7)
- Renault corner (8)
- Vodafone (9)
- Audi S corner (10 + 11)
- Kumho corner (12)
- Arie Luyendyk (13)
The elevation difference is 15m.
Use in games
The older 'Classic' Zandvoort circuit layout from 1967 is modeled in detail and can be driven in the Grand Prix Legends racing simulation for X86-based pc's. This was later converted to NASCAR 4, NASCAR 2002, 2003 and other simulations using a converter from website 'The Pits'. The current layout is used in the SimBin game RACE 07 - Official WTCC Game.
|A1 Grand Prix Circuits|