ZANDVOORT – The fourth edition of the Historic Grand Prix Zandvoort was a great success in every aspect. 52.500 visitors enjoyed the three-day historic motorsport races and demonstration programme at Circuit Park Zandvoort in the Netherlands. The FIA Masters Historic Formula One Championship and two other series with Grand Prix Cars revived the era of the Dutch Grand Prix. Races with formula cars, touring cars and GTs offered the enthusiastic crowd not only much spectacle, but also an overview of several decades of motorsport history. The Historic Grand Prix Zandvoort is much more than historic races, with once again extraordinary demonstrations and a parade with race cars through the centre of Zandvoort. The organisation of the Historic Grand Prix Zandvoort already looks forward to next year when the fifth anniversary will be celebrated. Circuit Park Zandvoort and the Historische Auto Ren Club have established first conversations in order to organise another great spectacle.
Visitors needed three full days to enjoy everything Historic Grand Prix Zandvoort had to offer. In addition to the extensive programme of 19 races, various demonstrations entertained the audience. One of the many highlights was the demonstration of Freddie Hunt with the Hesketh Formula 1 car. He remembered his father James Hunt who celebrated his first F1 win during 1975 Dutch Grand Prix. “It’s an incredible feeling to drive here at Zandvoort, 40 years after my dad’s first win and he would have celebrated his birthday this weekend,” said Hunt. “It’s an honour driving at such an historic track and I’m really enjoying it.”
The Brabham BMW BT52 Formula 1 car was among the prominent vehicles BMW Group Classic brought to Circuit Park Zandvoort. Nelson Piquet won the world title with this car in 1983. Jan Lammers and Michael Bleekemolen performed demonstrations with the BMW M1 Procar, 35 and 36 years after they both participated in this legendary championship that held races at historic circuits like Zandvoort. “It’s fantastic and a great honour to drive this vehicle after all those years,” said Bleekemolen. “It’s unique what BMW has brought to the track.”
Also Jan Lammers enjoyed it. “This is a wonderful event with an enthusiastic audience. It’s great to see that visitors are sharing their passion with family and friends.”
Also BMW celebrities performed on track, like Toine Hezemans, former European touring car champion with BMW, and Steve Soper. They were accompanied by BMW’s Head of Design Adrian van Hooydonk, a regular and enthusiastic participant of the Historic Grand Prix Zandvoort.
Porsche was well represented and had put the Porsche 917K, in which Gijs van Lennep and Dr. Helmut Marko won the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1971, on display in the prominent and traditional ‘Porsche Village’. “It’s the first time that ‘my’ Porsche 917 is here at Circuit Park Zandvoort,” said van Lennep. “Many visitors take photos of it and speak to me. I have met many enthusiastic people this weekend.”
The former Coloni Formula 1 drivers Roberto Moreno and Predro Chaves hit the track with their Formula 1 cars too.
The British FORCE travelled to Circuit Park Zandvoort with four Formula 1 vehicles. They introduced the visitors to the Benetton B192, formerly driven by Michael Schumacher.
The Golden 50 cc and 125 Racing Riders performed demonstrations with their classic race motorbikes.
The visitors, including winners of the BankGiro Loterij, were served with an all-day large and various race programme on Saturday and Sunday. Three racing series with Formula 1 vehicles and Grand Prix Cars from 1950 to 1985 revived the Grand Prix history of Circuit Park Zandvoort. Just as spectacular was the race of the FIA Masters Historic Sports Car Championship with 40 fast and noisy sports cars. The NK HTGT and NK GTTC are two Dutch racing series for touring cars and GTs of ‘yesterday’. They came to Zandvoort with the maximum allowed total of 57 participants.
The Historic Formula Two Championship, the FIA Lurani Trophy with Formula Junior cars and the Historic Monoposto racing represented the formula cars really well. The Pre ’66 Touring Cars and the Gentlemen Drivers completed the racing programme.
All race winners received a special Tudor Heritage Chrono chronograph. Gassan Diamonds auctioned the same exclusive watch in favour of the Lymph&Co fund, that raises money for research of the treatment of lymph node cancer. The fund, founded by Bernhard van Oranje, was pleasured by a donation of 10 thousand euro.
Drivers like Jan Lammers drove twelve critically ill children around the track. This was organised by ‘Stichting Groot Hart’.
Competitors of the Historic Grand Prix Zandvoort drove through the streets of Zandvoort on Saturday evening, an event’s tradition. Waved by thousands of visitors, drivers like Gijs van Lennep, Michael Bleekemolen, Jan Lammers and Steve Soper drove along and enjoyed the spectacle. Fans could see the cars from up close in the town’s centre afterwards. The evening was concluded by fireworks, offered by the Historische Auto Ren Club that celebrates it’s 40th anniversary this year.
The seaside boulevard near Holland Casino was turned into a Classic Car Parking, meant for classic cars from visitors of the Historic Grand Prix Zandvoort. The beautiful weather and filled cafe terraces completed the Grand Prix atmosphere.
You can relive the Historic Grand Prix Zandvoort at www.historicgrandprix.nl. Here you can find results, photos, reviews and more feature articles in the next few days. The Historic Grand Prix Zandvoort also maintains a Facebook page (www.facebook.com/historicgrandprix) and Twitter (#historicgrandprix).