APRIL 26, 1999
Zandvoort still dreaming of F1
ZANDVOORT, the home of the Dutch Grand Prix between 1952 and 1985, is bidding for a race once again. The circuit which came under attack from environmentalists was shortened in the early 1990s but the new circuit was not a success and in recent months work has been carried out to restore much of the old circuit in the sand dunes near the seaside resort of Zandvoort. Last week FIA safety inspector Roland Bruynseraede visited the track to look at the work, which includes a completely new pit complex.
He concluded that the track is not yet up to the standard necessary for Grand Prix racing because of a lack of run-off at the high-speed Bos Uit corner. This has been a problem because the Zandvoort racing school is in the way. The lease, however, will soon run out and the school is relocating and so the necessary run-off area will be created. In addition the circuit intends to build new grandstands and a new bid for an F1 licence is expected next year.
The granting of a licence is only a small step to getting a Grand Prix because of the current competition there is for new events. Most of the current tracks have contracts until 2001 and China, the United States and South Africa have all been promised races. In addition Portugal is hoping for a race at the rebuilt Estoril circuit.
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