Zandvoort gets the green light

THE Dutch racing circuit at Zandvoort, near Haarlem, has been given the go-ahead to construct a completely new racing circuit and rebuild all its existing facilities. In addition the local government has agreed to finance part of the work in the hope that the rebuilt track will be able to attract Grand Prix racing back to Holland.

Zandvoort was a regular feature on the F1 calendar from 1950 onwards but has not hosted a race since Niki Lauda's victory there in 1985. The track was closed down because of environmental protests and, although a new circuit was built, it was never up to F1 standard.

Last year the circuit, which is owned by the Zandvoort town council, was leased for 20 years by entrepreneur Hans Ernst and last week he was granted planning permission for work to begin. The construction of new pit buildings and offices is expected to begin next year with the new circuit being built in 1997. The circuit hopes to bid for a Grand Prix in 1998 and the promoters hope that Jos Verstappen will have become a top F1 name by then to ensure the success of the event.

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