Circuit Zandvoort (Dutch pronunciation: [sɪrˈkʋi ˈzɑntfoːrt]; known as Circuit Park Zandvoort until 2017) is a motorsport race track located in the dunes north of Zandvoort, Netherlands, near the North Sea coast line.
1930s to mid 1980s
The first race on the circuit, the Prijs van Zandvoort, took place on 7 August 1948. The race was renamed the Grote Prijs van Zandvoort (Zandvoort Grand Prix) in 1949, then the Grote Prijs van Nederland (Dutch Grand Prix) in 1950. The 1952 race was the first to be run as a round of the Formula One World Drivers’ Championship, albeit to Formula Two regulations, which also applied in 1953. There was no Dutch Grand Prix in 1954, 1956 or 1957, but 1955 saw the first proper Formula One race as part of the Drivers’ Championship. The Dutch Grand Prix returned in 1958 and remained a permanent fixture on the F1 calendar (with the exception of 1972) until 1985, when it was held for the last time.
Mid 1980s to present
In 1995, CPZ (Circuit Park Zandvoort) 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 4.3 kilometers (2.7 mi) 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 held at the circuit, along with DTM and A1GP, is the RTL Masters of Formula 3, where Formula Three cars of several national racing series compete with each other (originally called Marlboro Masters, before tobacco advertising ban). A noise restriction order was responsible for this event moving to the Belgian Circuit Zolder for 2007 and 2008. However, the race returned to its historical home in 2009.
Circuit Park Zandvoort played host to the first race in the 2006/07 season of A1 Grand Prix from 29 September–1 October 2006. On 21 August 2008, the official A1GP site reported that the 2008/09 season‘s first race has moved from the Mugello Circuit, Italy to Zandvoort on the 4–5 October 2008 due to the delay in the building the new chassis for the new race cars. The Dutch round moved to TT Circuit Assen in 2010. A1GP bankrupted before its fifth season and the Dutch round was replaced with Superleague Formula.
The circuit design has been modified and altered several times:
- 1948–1971: length 4.193 kilometers (2.605 mi)
- 1972–1979: length 4.226 kilometers (2.626 mi)
- 1980–1989: length 4.252 kilometers (2.642 mi)
- 1990–1998: length 2.526 kilometers (1.570 mi)
- 1999–present: length 4.300 kilometers (2.672 mi)
The corners are named as follows (the numbers correspond to the map in this section, 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)
- naamloze corner (formerly Renault corner) (8)
- corner zonder naam (formerly the Vodafone) (9)
- Hans Ernst corner (formerly Audi S corner) (10 + 11)
- Kumho corner (12)
- Arie Luyendyk (formerly Bosuit) (13)
The elevation difference is 7.92 meters (26.0 ft).