5 Things to Know About the Circuit Zandvoort

Formula 1 returned to Circuit Zandvoort for the first time in 36 years. Located in the dunes north of Zandvoort, Netherlands, the legendary motorsport race track takes center stage as the location of the revived Dutch Grand Prix. 

Here are 5 more things to know about Circuit Zandvoort.

An aerial shot of Circuit Zandvoort | Photo: Circuit Zandvoort

1. Races were held in Zandvoort as early as 1939

The first street race in Zandvoort (and in Dutch history) was organized on June 3, 1939. It drew about two thousand spectators.

The success prompted the local government at the time to plan to build a permanent race track. However, the plan was put on hold because of the Second World War.

2. It officially opened in 1948

When the race track opened in 1948, key facilities were still missing. Teams had to use garages in the nearby town because Circuit Zandvoort did not have pit boxes.

3. Circuit Zandvoort first hosted Formula 1 in 1952

The race track impressed drivers during the first F1 race in the circuit in 1952. Its narrow track, sweeping turns, and challenging run-off delighted the drivers.

4. Prince Bira of Siam was the winner of the first race on the permanent Zandvoort circuit.

The first race on the new permanent Zandvoort circuit was held on August 7, 1948, and Prince Birabongse Bhanudej Bhanubandh, better known as Prince Bira of Siam, emerged a winner.

Although it did not count for championships, the event, named "Grote prijs van Zandvoort" drew several F1 drivers.

5. British driver Piers Courage was killed during a crash in the Zandvoort circuit.

During the 1970 Formula One Season, British racing driver Piers Courage met his end in the dunes of Zandvoort after a fatal accident at the high-speed Tunnel bend on the old layout. 

Another tragedy happened three years later, this time claiming the life of another British driver Roger Williamson.