A potted history of Zandvoort
The first ever motor race took place on the streets of Zandvoort in June 1939 and the event proved so popular that the local mayor decided a permanent circuit should be built in the dunes to the north of the town.
The new track hosted its first race, won by Prince Bira of Siam, after the war in 1948. But it wasn’t until 1952 that the ‘de Grote prijs van Nederland’ became part of the F1 world championship.
The 1967 Dutch Grand Prix was significant because Jim Clark triumphed in the Lotus 49, recording the first win – on its debut – for the Ford-Cosworth DFV engine.
Tragedy struck at Zandvoort when Piers Courage lost his life in the 1970 event and then Roger Williamson suffered a fatal accident three years later. Williamson’s car overturned, caught fire and despite the brave rescue efforts of his friend David Purley, he succumbed to his injuries.
James Hunt stunned the F1 establishment when he overcame the might of Niki Lauda’s Ferrari to win the 1975 Dutch Grand Prix in the privately run Hesketh – the little team’s only world championship victory.
In total, 30 F1 races were held at the track and winners included champions Mario Andretti, Nelson Piquet and Alain Prost. McLaren’s Niki Lauda triumphed at the final grand prix to be held at Zandvoort in 1985. Soon after, the layout of the circuit was shortened.