TRL Limitless tries to set the fastest lap at his favourite virtual track – Zandvoort – but driving his least favourite cars.
When was the track built?
Like Silverstone, Zandvoort was first opened in 1948, part of the wave of post-war motorsport enthusiasm that swept across Europe. Originally made up of a mixture of permanent track and public roads that snaked through the sand dunes of the Zandvoort resort town, the Dutch Automobile Racing Club – who initiated the plans for the circuit – brought in 1927 Le Mans winner Sammy Davis to consult on the layout for the original 4.2km track.
When was its first Grand Prix?
Formula 1 arrived in the Dutch dunes in 1952, with Alberto Ascari dominating the race as he led home a 1-2-3 for Ferrari. Formula 1 would go on to race on and off at the track until 1985 – before, in 2019, the announcement came that the championship would return to Zandvoort for 2020, after a 35-year hiatus.
What’s the circuit like?
‘Really quick’, ‘pretty insane’, ‘crazy’ and ‘old-school’ were words used by the current crop of F1 drivers when asked to describe the Zandvoort track that many of them tackled in their junior category days. We’d also add ‘undulating’ to that list. The Zandvoort track swoops and flows through the sand dunes, creating a rollercoaster-like feel to the lap. And while the circuit will be modernised in time for F1’s 2020 return – including increasing the banking angle at the famous Tarzan corner to an Indianapolis Motor Speedway-trumping 18 degrees – Zandvoort will remain a proper, challenging drivers’ track.