Formula One at Zandvoort Holland 1970 & 71

by Terry Powell

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While stationed with the US Army in Germany from 1970 to 1971, I  attended the Dutch Grand Prix at Zandvoort.  I've always been a car and motorcycle enthusiast and prior to serving in the army, attended many stock car races at the local 1/4 mile oval near Ephrata, Washington.  My father and I also raced go karts during the early 60s.  But I had never attended a major auto race and certainly not a road course type event.  I was not prepared for what I'd see at a world class formula one event.  So on Saturday June 20, 1970, a few army buddies and I hopped on a train in Wesel near where we were stationed and headed for Amsterdam and got a hotel room.  Then it was a 30 minute train ride to Zandvoort on the coast for Saturday activities.  The first big surprise was watching the cars being driven from the resort area in Zandvoort to the race track.   Facilities were not adequate for working on cars at the track.  This was really cool and something that has long since disappeared.  Race day was dry but overcast.  The track snakes through the sand dunes and provided excellent close up viewing opportunities.  I was able to take unobstructed photos from multiple locations.  The closeness to the track and the speed gave you chicken skin.  I'm guessing the cars reached 150mph+ at some points.  The race was won by Jochen Rindt in a Lotus Cosworth.  He led the world championship but unfortunately was killed while practicing for the Italian GP at Monza in September.  He became motor racing's first posthumous World Champion.  A YouTube tribute can be found HERE.  The 1970 race at Zandvoort was marred by the death of Piers Courage who crashed on lap 23.  We returned in 1971 for another exciting weekend of racing and fortunately no one was hurt.  We brought our camping gear and stayed at the track.  Jacky Ickx won in a Ferrari. 

Links to check out

Grand Prix Results: Dutch GP, 1970

Grand Prix Results: Dutch GP, 1971

YouTube videos of various races during 1970

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