Are you a racing fan or a thrill-seeker looking for a new adventure? Look no further than Circuit Zolder, the legendary racing circuit located in Heusden-Zolder, Belgium. Since its establishment in 1963, Circuit Zolder has hosted some of the most exhilarating motorsports events in Europe. In this article, we’ll take a deep dive into the history, design, and events of Circuit Zolder.
Location of the circuit
The circuit of Zolder, also known as Terlaemen, is located in the Belgium province of Limburg, in the municipality of Heusden-Zolder.
History of Circuit Zolder
Circuit Zolder has a rich history dating back to the early 1960s. The track was built in response to the need for a new racing circuit in Belgium, as the existing circuit, Spa-Francorchamps, was deemed too dangerous. In 1963, the first race was held at Circuit Zolder, a non-championship Formula 1 race.
Over the years, Circuit Zolder has hosted a variety of racing events, including the Belgian Grand Prix, the 24 Hours of Zolder, and the Superleague Formula. The circuit has also undergone numerous renovations and upgrades, including the addition of new stands and improved safety features.
The Design of Circuit Zolder
Circuit Zolder is a 4.011-kilometer (2.492-mile) track with 10 turns. The circuit has a clockwise layout and is known for its technical sections, including the chicane before the Terlamenbocht turn and the two hairpin turns. The track’s long straightaway allows for high speeds, making it a favorite among drivers and fans alike.
The circuit is surrounded by forests, adding to the track’s natural beauty. The paddock area includes garages for the teams, a media center, and hospitality suites.
Notable Events at Circuit Zolder
Circuit Zolder has hosted numerous memorable events throughout its history. Here are some of the most notable:
- 1973 Belgian Grand Prix: The first Formula 1 race held at Circuit Zolder was won by Jackie Stewart in a Tyrrell-Ford.
- 1980 24 Hours of Zolder: The first edition of the 24-hour race at Circuit Zolder was won by the Belgian duo of Jean-Michel Martin and Pierre Dieudonné in a BMW M1.
- 1981 Belgian Grand Prix: This race is remembered for the collision between Gilles Villeneuve and Jochen Mass, which resulted in Villeneuve’s car flipping over.
- 2007 Superleague Formula: The inaugural season of the Superleague Formula, a racing series featuring teams representing football clubs, was won by Beijing Guoan FC’s driver Davide Rigon at Circuit Zolder.
- 2021 FIA GT World Challenge Europe: Circuit Zolder hosted the season finale of the FIA GT World Challenge Europe, which saw Belgian driver Maxime Martin and his co-driver Dries Vanthoor take home the championship title.
Circuit Zolder’s Future
Circuit Zolder continues to be a popular destination for motorsports fans and racers from around the world. The circuit’s management team is committed to ensuring the track remains a world-class venue for racing events.
Recent upgrades include the installation of new LED lighting around the track, allowing for night racing events. The circuit also hosts a variety of non-racing events, including cycling races and concerts.
Events at Circuit Zolder Terlaemen
Circuit Zolder is a legendary racing circuit that has hosted some of the most exciting racing events in Europe. From its technical layout to its stunning natural surroundings, Circuit Zolder is a must-visit destination for any racing fan or thrill-seeker.