Zandvoort circuit – a legend in the dunes

The name of Zandvoort reminds of two things: the beach and the race track. Zandvoort circuit is unique unto itself, being located in the dunes. A legendary and internationally famous motorsport race track with a history going back more than 70 years. No run-off areas and many fast turns - this is what makes it very special. As René Rast would say: "It's a man's circuit.”

The first street race was held on June 3, 1939. However, a permanent race track was not constructed until after the World War II. The circuit was inaugurated on August 7, 1948 and in 1950 the race became the "Grote Prijs van Nederland" or Dutch Grand Prix. 1955 saw the first proper Formula One race counting for the World Championship. After 2 more years without a race, the Dutch Grand Prix was back on the World Championship(s) calendar in 1958, and from then on remained a permanent fixture (with the exception of 1972) until 1985, when it was held for the last time.

34 Grand Prix have been run on the dune circuit. Big names like Alain Prost, Jackie Stewart and Niki Lauda have won this famous race. During the 1973 GP, British driver Roger Williamson crashed exiting the fast 'Hondenvlak'. A flat tire caused him to hit the guard rail, and his car was launched into the air and rolled over. The tank was ruptured and the fuel caught fire, which cost Williamson his life.

Circuit Zandvoort is only 75 meters away from the sea front. Located in the dunes area, north of the little beach town Zandvoort, Netherlands, near the North Sea coast line, the circuit is rather undulating and features many elevation changes. The corners are of many different cambers and angles. Particularly the notorious ‘Scheivlak’ corner, which goes up and down and to the right, all at the same time. The ‘Tarzan’ hairpin at the end of the straight still is one of the most famous corners in motor racing today.

Dec 19, 2017