Circuit Park Zandvoort

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Circuit Park Zandvoort is a motorsport race track located in Burgemeester van Alphenstraat 108, 2041 KP[1] in the dunes north of the town of Zandvoort, in the Netherlands, near the North Sea coast line.

Contents

History

There were plans for races at Zandvoort before World War II: the first street race was held on June 3, 1939. However, a permanent race track was not constructed until after the war, using communications roads built by the occupying German army. However, contrary to popular belief, John Hugenholtz cannot be credited with the design of the Zandvoort track, although he was involved as the Nederlandse Automobiel Ren Club chairman (the Dutch Auto Racing Club) before becoming the first track director in 1949[2]. Instead, it was 1927 Le Mans winner, S. C. H. "Sammy" Davis who was brought in as a track design advisor in July 1946[3] although the layout was partly dictated by the existing roads.

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 2.6 kilometers (1.6 mi) 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 4.3 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 will return to its historical home in 2009.[4]

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