Zolder’s 40th Anniversary

This weekend (June 20-21) sees the Historic Grand-Prix at Zolder, and this 29th edition takes place almost exactly at the 40th anniversary of the track. The first cars raced on the Belgian track on the 19th of June 1963. The keynote of the events this weekend will be the circuit’s birthday, but of course, there will be racing too..

FIA Cup for Historic Grand Touring Cars
European Sports Prototype Trophy (pre 1971)
Group C Racing for Historic World Endurance Sportscars (post 1971)

But the organizers have also brought together a huge collection of racing cars that once raced on the track, as there will be a coming together of the stars that drove the cars. The list is too long to publish but here are some of them stars from Zolder’s past:

Jean Blaton, Claude Bourgoignie, Eric Bruynoghe, Bernard de Drijver, Loris de Sordi, Franz Dubois, Yvette Fontaine, Jean-Pierre Gaban, Jean-François Hemroulle, Daniël Herregods, Jacky Ickx, Eddy Joosen, Jean-Michel Martin, Hervé Regout, Patrick Schreurs, Valentin en Paul Simons, Patrick Snijers,
Fons Taels, Thierry Tassin, Julien Vernaeve ...

Zolder became famous after hosting the F1 Grand Prix during the seventies and the eighties, but endurance, sportscar and GT racing have also played an important role during the last 40 years. The second race of the first day of racing 40 years ago (yesterday) saw a Lotus 23, an AC Cobra and a Ferrari LM on the front row of the grid.

And it never stopped, the sixties brought Ford GT 40 and Ferraris P2 of the Ecurie Belge to Zolder, the highlight of the seventies was certainly the German Group 5 series, coming to Zolder, the eighties delighted the race fans with German Group C racing, a new 24 hours race, the birth of what now is Belcar etc. The end of the last century even saw a race for the international sport prototype series with the Ferrari 333 SP, plus two FIA GT races, Euro GTs….

One might hope that all those series will continue to come to Zolder and if you still want to have a look at the history of all this, come to Zolder….or enjoy the picture gallery.
Joost Custers

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