The Dutch pre-66 GT and touring car championship has been handed back its own spot in the programme for the 2019 Historic Grand Prix after it joined the Masters Historic Racing-run GT and touring car races in 2018. This will allow the Catawiki NK HTGT to field a large number of cars that will spark interest whichever size they have – from the behemoth Corvette Grand Sport to the lightweight Mini Cooper S.
If there is one thing in which the Zandvoort circuit excels, it is the varying challenge it has on offer: straights and fast corners are mixed with technical sections that place entirely different demands on the set-up and characteristics of each car. That is why NK HTGT races at Zandvoort are so entertaining to watch. American V8-powered muscle cars power away on the faster parts of the circuit before they have to work hard to keep the nimble smaller cars at bay in the sequence of turns found at the back of the circuit.
The same will be the case at the 2019 Historic Grand Prix. In the red corner, we find galloping stallions like Michiel Campagne’s Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport, the Jaguar E-types of Rhea Sautter/Andy Newall and Ronald Zoomers and Georg Nolte’s Ford GT40. And who knows there will be an AC Cobra too, like at the mid-May Historic Zandvoort Trophy.
From Detroit, Ford USA will be represented by a fleet of Mustangs and Falcons raced by familiar faces in the championship: from Martin Bijleveld/Jaap van der Ende and Norbert Gross from Germany to Roel Korsten and Cees Lubbers. Add to that some Mustangs with the Shelby treatment, like Frans van Maarschalkerwaart’s GT350. And what about exotics such as the Iso-Rivolta 300 GT of Roger Grouwels?
In the blue corner, the Lotus Elans of father and son Jos and Bob Stevens have led the way for years, but the Elan is not the only lightweight in the field. Egbert Kolvoort, Mark Hope and Niek van Gils all bring MGBs while Dennis Bron offers an MGA. The Mini Cooper S is represented by Bert Mets and Rob Rappange, among others. The strange ducks in the pond – and no ugly ducklings at all – are the Ginetta G4s of Nigel Winchester and Brian Lambert.
Of course, the NK HTGT also has cars on hand with their weight and handling characterics somewhere in between, both on the touring-car and the GT side. Gerrit-Jan van Leenen and Bert Du Toy van Hees will bring their familiar Lotus Cortina while the mid-sized sports cars include Erwin van Lieshouts Porsche 911, Robert Hamilton’s Marcos 1800 GT and Huib Mars’ Austin Healey 3000.
Both NK HTGT races will undoubtedly see all these cars concertina’ing up and down the circuit, depending on their track position. And that is exactly the attraction of the Pre-66 Dutch Touring Car & GT Championship.
Historic Grand Prix 2019
This year’s Historic Grand Prix at the Zandvoort circuit will take place on 6, 7 and 8 September. Free practice and qualifying are on Friday and Saturday, the races take place on Saturday and Sunday. Saturday evening 7 September will see a parade through the town centre of Zandvoort.
A pre-sale day ticket for the General Admission area is just € 18,99 (32,50 euros for three days). A paddock ticket, which includes access to the main grandstand and the General Admission area, is 32,50 euros (day ticket) or 55 euros (three days). Children up to 4 have free access. Also, the exclusive Paddock Club will allow you to experience the Historic Grand Prix at VIP level.