There were plans for races at Zandvoort before World War II: the first street race was held on 3 June 1939. However, a permanent race track was not constructed until after the war, using communications roads built by the occupying German army. Contrary to popular belief John Hugenholtz cannot be credited with the design of the Zandvoort track, although he was involved as the chairman of the Nederlandse Automobiel Ren Club (Dutch Auto Racing Club) before becoming the first track director in 1949. Instead, it was 1927 Le Mans winner, S. C. H. "Sammy" Davis who was brought in as a track design advisor in July 1946 although the layout was partly dictated by the existing roads.
The first race on the circuit, the Prijs van Zandvoort, took place on 7 August 1948. The race was renamed the Grote Prijs van Zandvoort (Zandvoort Grand Prix) in 1949, then the Grote Prijs van Nederland (Dutch Grand Prix) in 1950. The 1952 race was the first to be run as a round of the World Drivers' Championship, albeit to Formula Two regulations rather than Formula One regulations like all the European rounds of the Championship that year; a similar situation also applied to the 1953. There was no Dutch Grand Prix in 1954, 1956 or 1957, but 1955 saw the first true Formula One race as part of the Drivers' Championship. The Dutch Grand Prix returned in 1958 and remained a permanent fixture on the F1 calendar (with the exception of 1972) until 1985, when it was held for the last time.
In 1995, CPZ (Circuit Park Zandvoort) got the "A Status" of the Government of the Netherlands and began building an international Grand Prix Circuit. This project was finished in 2001 when, after the track was redesigned to a 4.3 kilometers (2.7 mi) long circuit and a new pits building was realized (by HPG, the development company of John Hugenholtz jr, son of the former director), a new grandstand was situated along the long straight. One of the major events that is held at the circuit, along with DTM and A1GP, is the RTL Masters of Formula 3, where Formula Three cars of several national racing series compete with each other (originally called Marlboro Masters, before tobacco advertising ban). A noise restriction order was responsible for this event moving to the Belgian Circuit Zolder for 2007 and 2008. However, the race returned to its historical home in 2009.
Track Length: TRACK-LENGTH 1948-1972 Grand Prix Circuit - 2.605 miles / 4.195 km 1973-1989 Grand Prix Circuit - 2.626 miles / 4.226 km 1989-1998 Club Circuit - 1.570 miles / 2.526 km 1999 to date Grand Prix Circuit - 2.676 miles / 4.307 km Grand Prix Circuit with chicane - 2.684 miles / 4.320 km Nationaal Circuit - 1.809 miles / 2.911 km Club Circuit - 1.570 miles / 2.526 km Oostelijk Circuit - 0.873 miles / 1.405 km
Circuit Park Zandvoort is located in the seaside town of Zandvoort, approximatley 30km from Amsterdam. The nearest international airport is Amsterdam's Schipol Airport, approximately 30 km to the south-east and around 35 minutes drive from the circuit.
The circuit can be reached by road from Amsterdam on either the N200 or N201 roads, while Zandvoort aan Zee railway station is a short walk from the circuit, while regular bus services also operate from Amsterdam centre.