The Cathedral of Motorsport, the Assen circuit. It is not uncommon for a wonderful event to take place there that delights the fans. From September 8 to 10 it happened again. In the capital of Drenthe, the public came into contact with the rich motor and motorsport past under radiant conditions. And there was another memorable moment. American motorsport legends Kevin Schwantz and Randy Mamola left their mark in Drenthe, as they were immortalized in the city center of Asser with the unveiling of two bronze plaques.
That was not the only activity organized around the two American former drivers. Because during the final day of the event, the American former drivers entertained thousands of fans on the TT circuit during the TABAC Classic GP Assen. Team Classic Suzuki from England prepared two extremely rare 500 cc Grand Prix motorcycles from the former TT winners, with which the two legends stole the show during an event around classic racing cars and motorcycles on the TT circuit.
World premiere: MV Agusta Brutale 1000 RR Assen
The event was made possible by TABAC, a renowned brand in personal care for men since 1959. This 2023 edition marked the return of another legendary brand to the circuit in Drenthe, and that was MV Agusta. Mayor Marco Out unveiled the MV Agusta Brutale 1000 RR Assen, and that was a real world premiere. It was not without reason that the unveiling took place in Assen, because that is where the Italian motorcycle brand celebrated 35 past victories at the TT Circuit Assen.
There was plenty to enjoy for both fans of historic motorcycles and adepts of classic circuit cars. They could see how classics such as the NSU 1300 TT, the Melkus SRG MT77, the March 783 Toyota, the König 500 GP, the Honda RS 500, and countless other classic competition cars and motorcycles competed within different categories.
Le Mans start
During the Formula Legends, legendary formula cars took to the track, while Formula 2 driver Richard Verschoor treated top model Kim Feenstra to a number of fast laps in the 'TABAC 2-seater'. In addition to the demonstrations, including a classic 'Le Mans start' provided by the Dutch Vintage Sports Car Club and an attack on the lap record with a Jaguar R5 F1, there was some serious hard racing with classics.
The Swiss Alexander Weiss won the AVD Historic F3 Euroseries race in his Reynard 873 Alfa Novamotor. Gregor Nick, Weiss's fellow countryman, was the first to cross the line in the 'Kampf der Zwerge' in a Mini Swiss 24H special. Amanda Hennessy, another driver from Switzerland, won the third race of the weekend in the Youngtimer Touring Car Challenge in an Argo. German Daniel Schrey won the final two YTCC races in his Porsche 935 K1. Schrey also won the NK GTCC race in the class for touring cars built between 1966 and 1981.
English motorcycle racer Mark Cornshaw triumphed at the NK Classics (IHRO) on a Matchless JCRacing 450. Ralf Goral from Germany won the AVD Historic Race Cup FFR / FOR in an Opel Louts MKII. The Wilhelmus finally sounded at Assen for Allard Kalff and Michiel Campagne, who won the Super Sixties race in their Corvette C2 Grand Sport. Leonard Batenburg secured the second Dutch victory in a BMW M3 on Sunday in the NK HARC 82-90.
Future potential guaranteed
Naturally. The good weather played a major role in the success of the three-day event in Assen. But it was - just like during the 2022 edition - more than clear that the organization of this beautiful classic racing event had put together a nice field of participants with exceptionally beautiful competition material. And that - in combination with the legendary TT circuit - was again a golden composition in September 2023. One that guarantees the future potential of this beautiful event in everything.
Various images were made by Damon Teerink
More news and impressions? Go to the website from TABAC Classic GP Assen.